April: Diamond Moon

South Africa is especially rich in a variety of minerals which is why mining is such a large employer and generator of income for the country. Diamonds are one of the most sought after of these treasures from deep in the South African soil. South Africa is the 4th largest producer of diamonds in the world.

Diamonds do not, as is very widely but erroneously believed, form from coal. Most diamonds that have been dated are much older than Earth’s first land plants!

In South Africa Kimberley is the town that springs to mind when South Africans think about diamonds, but the largest diamond ever found in the world, the Cullinan Diamond, was not found there; it was found at Cullinan in Pretoria in 1905.

The diamond was found by Frederick Wells (a fact about which there is some controversy) and eventually sold to the Transvaal Colony government who gave it to King Edward VII of Great Britain as “a token of the loyalty and attachment of the people of the Transvaal to His Majesty’s throne and person”.

It was supposedly sent to England on a steamship and the safe containing it was guarded by detectives but this was apparently a clever diversion as the stone on the ship was a fake and the actual stone was sent to England by ordinary registered post in a very ordinary box.

The second Full Moon in April is the Gold Moon.


Dates of Diamond Moon

2020 Apr 08, 04:36
2021 Apr 27, 05:30
2022 Apr 16, 20:54
2023 Apr 06, 06:30
2024 Apr 23, 01:54
2025 Apr 13, 02:24
2026 Apr 02, 04:18
2027 Apr 20, 00:30
2028 Apr 09, 12:30
2029 Apr 28, 12:36
2030 Apr 18, 05:18
2031 Apr 07, 19:18
2032 Apr 25, 17:06
2033 Apr 14, 21:18
2034 Apr 03, 21:18
2035 Apr 22, 15:24

2036 Apr 10, 22:30
2037 Apr 29, 21:00
2038 Apr 19, 12:36
2039 Apr 09, 04:54
2040 Apr 27, 04:36
2041 Apr 16, 14:00
2042 Apr 05, 16:12
2043 Apr 24, 09:24
2044 Apr 12, 11:42
2045 Apr 01, 20:48
2046 Apr 20, 20:24
2047 Apr 10, 12:36
2048 Apr 28, 13:12
2049 Apr 18, 03:06
2050 Apr 07, 10:06


During April, we also celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight/Yuri’s Night (Apr 12), International Day for Monuments & Sites (Apr 18), and Earth Day (Apr 22).


Further reading

https://geology.com/articles/gem-diamond-map/

https://geology.com/articles/diamonds-from-coal/

https://www.capetowndiamondmuseum.org/blog/2017/01/worlds-largest-diamond-the-cullinan/

Gorelik, B. (2015) The Cullinan Diamond and its true story. Jewellery Studies -Journal of the Society of Jewellery Historians, June, 5-11.



Heritage Full Moons in South Africa

MonthFirst Full MoonSecond Full Moon
JanuaryMantis MoonLeopard Moon
FebruaryDassie Moon——
MarchHarvest MoonOchre Moon
AprilDiamond MoonGold Moon
MayFrost MoonFire Moon
JuneSisters MoonHoney Moon
JulyMeerkat MoonProtea Moon
AugustPeace MoonDusty Moon
SeptemberSpring MoonBlue Crane Moon
OctoberWhale MoonElephant Moon
NovemberMilk MoonWool Moon
DecemberSpringbok MoonEland Moon

Protecting South Africa’s astronomical heritage