Type IIa Diamonds

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and the purest type of diamonds. They contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in the crystal structure. White stones are exceptionally colorless and fancy colored diamonds are often found with a brown, purple, blue, or pink tone. They represent only 1% - 2% of all mined diamonds in the world. 

In the world of mined diamonds, Type IIa are so rare that they command a 5% to 15% premium, when they can be found.

One of the most well-known examples is the “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond.

Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.”  The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

Other iconic historic Type IIa diamonds include the Koh-I-Noor, Darya-I-Noor, the Archduke Joseph, the Regent, the Agra, The Star of the South, The Winston legacy and the Beau Sancy. Type IIa diamonds also have a famous historic connection with Golconda diamonds mined from the historic Kingdom of Golconda in India.

Pear-shaped, Type IIa “Artemis Pink” and Type IIb “Apollo Blue”, Sotheby's + Reena Ahluwalia 'Portal of Dreams' diamond painting. 

Pear-shaped, Type IIa “Artemis Pink” and Type IIb “Apollo Blue”, Sotheby's + Reena Ahluwalia 'Portal of Dreams' diamond painting. 

The Artemis Pink is a Type IIa, Fancy Intense Pink Diamond weighing 16.00 carats. Image: Sotheby's

The Artemis Pink is a Type IIa, Fancy Intense Pink Diamond weighing 16.00 carats. Image: Sotheby's

Unique Pink, a 15.38 ct. fancy vivid pink diamond, the largest fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction. Image: Sotheby's 2016

Unique Pink, a 15.38 ct. fancy vivid pink diamond, the largest fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction. Image: Sotheby's 2016

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana.

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana.

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana. This magnificent stone was transformed into THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI - an ultra-rare 342-carat, Type II A, D-Flawless diamond found by Lucara Diamond Corp in 2010 at Karowe, Botswana. This magnificent stone was transformed into THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

THE GARDEN OF KALAHARI, a collection of six Type II A diamond jewellery creations by Caroline Scheufele, Chopard. http://www.chopard.com/diary/the-queen-of-kalahari/

Lucara Diamond sold giant Type IIa, 813-ct. Constellation diamond for $63M US in May 2016. Just to put all this in perspective, it is the the highest price ever achieved for the sale of a rough diamond. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

Lucara Diamond sold giant Type IIa, 813-ct. Constellation diamond for $63M US in May 2016. Just to put all this in perspective, it is the the highest price ever achieved for the sale of a rough diamond. Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 1109-carat, the "Lesedi La Rona" is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest Type IIa rough diamond in existence today.  Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 1109-carat, the "Lesedi La Rona" is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in over a century and the largest Type IIa rough diamond in existence today.  Image: Lucara Diamond Corporation

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

At 118.78 carats, the “The Graff Venus” is the world’s largest D-color, Type IIA, flawless heart-shaped diamond. The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. Image: Graff Diamonds

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's 

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's 

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: AP

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: AP

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Reuters

100.20-Carat, Type IIa, Internally Flawless 'Perfect Diamond' could fetch $25 Million in auction in New York in 2015. Photo courtesy: Reuters

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's 

The 100.20-carat "Perfect" diamond during the cutting and polishing process. The original rough weighed more than 200 carats and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa. It took more than a year to study, cut and polish the rough into the 100-carat diamond. Photo courtesy: Sotheby's 

The 'Winston Legacy' is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction. The 101.73ct, Type IIa,  pear-shaped, D colour, flawless diamond was sold to Harry Winston at Christie's auction of jewels in Geneva on 15 May 2013. Its the "largest of its type" ever offered for public sale. Christies Images Ltd 2013.

The 'Winston Legacy' is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction. The 101.73ct, Type IIa,  pear-shaped, D colour, flawless diamond was sold to Harry Winston at Christie's auction of jewels in Geneva on 15 May 2013. Its the "largest of its type" ever offered for public sale. Christies Images Ltd 2013.

World’s largest "flawless" D-color,  colorless diamond at 101.73 carat. The stone was recently cut from a rough diamond, weighing 236 carats, that had been found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana. It took 21 months to polish. The diamond is a Type IIa, less than 1% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

World’s largest "flawless" D-color,  colorless diamond at 101.73 carat. The stone was recently cut from a rough diamond, weighing 236 carats, that had been found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana. It took 21 months to polish. The diamond is a Type IIa, less than 1% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

D-colour, internally flawless, Type IIa diamond of 56.15 cts. In 2011, sold at auction, and becoming a world auction record for any heart-shaped diamond. Image: Christie's

D-colour, internally flawless, Type IIa diamond of 56.15 cts. In 2011, sold at auction, and becoming a world auction record for any heart-shaped diamond. Image: Christie's

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. I had the honor of trying out this legendary beauty at Christie's New York. Memorable moment!

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. I had the honor of trying out this legendary beauty at Christie's New York. Memorable moment!

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.”  The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

The “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” (formerly known as the “Krupp Diamond”), a 33.19-carat Type IIA diamond. Purchased for $300,000 in 1968 by Richard Burton, the ring became one Elizabeth Taylor’s most cherished white diamonds; one she wore nearly every day. Of the ring, she once said, “[It] gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life.”  The Asscher-cut diamond ring recently sold at auction for a whopping $8.8 million.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond. 76.02cts., D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIA. Image: APF

The Archduke Joseph Diamond. 76.02cts., D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIA. Image: APF

Type IIa and connection with Golconda Diamonds.  

A Golconda diamond is a diamond from a specific geographic area within the historic Kingdom of Golconda in India. Diamonds with proven Golconda provenance are of a specific type of rare, pure carbon diamond known as Type IIa. Less than 1-2% of the world's diamonds are Type IIa.

The kingdom of Golconda is situated in India's Deccan plateau. Golconda was a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari, Wainganga, Wardha and Krishna-Venva rivers, in the present-day states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, central India.

 

Koh-i-noor is one of the most celebrated Indian diamonds and perhaps the best-known. A modified oval brilliant cut, the 105.60 ct diamond is set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. This is the name of the platinum crown that was designed for Queen Elizabeth, consort (or wife) of George VI, to wear at the Coronation of her husband in 1937. The Koh-i-noor is now on display in the Tower of London. Photo: Kenneth Scarratt. Courtesy: The Gemmologists, the Crown Jewels. Via GIA

Koh-i-noor is one of the most celebrated Indian diamonds and perhaps the best-known. A modified oval brilliant cut, the 105.60 ct diamond is set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown. This is the name of the platinum crown that was designed for Queen Elizabeth, consort (or wife) of George VI, to wear at the Coronation of her husband in 1937. The Koh-i-noor is now on display in the Tower of London. Photo: Kenneth Scarratt. Courtesy: The Gemmologists, the Crown Jewels. Via GIA

The Idol’s Eye is a 70.20 ct Very Light blue diamond that has been described as being between and round and a pear shaped brilliant cut It is believed to have originated from the Golconda region. This famous diamond is an early 17th century stone, an antique triangular modified brilliant cut light blue diamond. Named because of the legend that it once formed the eye of a temple statue, the diamond traveled through a number of international collections. Image Via GIA

The Idol’s Eye is a 70.20 ct Very Light blue diamond that has been described as being between and round and a pear shaped brilliant cut It is believed to have originated from the Golconda region. This famous diamond is an early 17th century stone, an antique triangular modified brilliant cut light blue diamond. Named because of the legend that it once formed the eye of a temple statue, the diamond traveled through a number of international collections. Image Via GIA

Famous Golconda Type IIa Diamonds. Top Row: Hope (Type IIb) | Koh-I-Noor | Darya-I-Noor Bottom Row: Archduke Joseph | Regent | Sancy Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia    

Famous Golconda Type IIa Diamonds.

Top Row: Hope (Type IIb) | Koh-I-Noor | Darya-I-Noor
Bottom Row: Archduke Joseph | Regent | Sancy

Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

 

 

Famous Type IIa Diamonds. Shown here: (1) The De Beers Millennium Star | 203.04 carat, (2) The Idol's Eye | 70.21 carat, (3) The Agra | 28.15 carat, (4) The Koh-I-Noor | 105.60 carat, (5) The Cullinan I | 530.20 carat, (6) The Hope (Type IIb) | 45.52 carat. Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

Famous Type IIa Diamonds.

Shown here: (1) The De Beers Millennium Star | 203.04 carat, (2) The Idol's Eye | 70.21 carat, (3) The Agra | 28.15 carat, (4) The Koh-I-Noor | 105.60 carat, (5) The Cullinan I | 530.20 carat, (6) The Hope (Type IIb) | 45.52 carat. Image created by: Reena Ahluwalia

The 42.52 carat legendary Hope Diamond without it's white diamond pendant. Photo: Chip Clark. Smithsonian. Did you know? The famous Hope diamond was originally 112 carats before being cut to its present weight of 45.52 carats. The Hope Diamond is a Type II (b) Golconda diamond.

The 42.52 carat legendary Hope Diamond without it's white diamond pendant. Photo: Chip Clark. Smithsonian. Did you know? The famous Hope diamond was originally 112 carats before being cut to its present weight of 45.52 carats. The Hope Diamond is a Type II (b) Golconda diamond.

Golconda Diamonds: Rahul Kadakia, Department Head, Jewelry, Christie's Americas, describes these very special and rare diamonds. (2005) (RT 3:13)

The Star of South Diamond. 128.48-carat, Type IIa, fancy light pinkish-brown diamond. It was discovered in 1853 and became the first Brazilian diamond to receive international acclaim.

The Star of South Diamond. 128.48-carat, Type IIa, fancy light pinkish-brown diamond. It was discovered in 1853 and became the first Brazilian diamond to receive international acclaim.

From The Treasury of Baroda - a magnificent three-tired diamond necklace, shown here worn by the Maharani of Baroda, Sita Devi in 1948. Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display two important diamonds - The 128.48-carat, Type IIa, Star of the South (fancy light pinkish-brown) and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it. Necklace photo: circa 1880.

From The Treasury of Baroda - a magnificent three-tired diamond necklace, shown here worn by the Maharani of Baroda, Sita Devi in 1948. Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display two important diamonds - The 128.48-carat, Type IIa, Star of the South (fancy light pinkish-brown) and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it. Necklace photo: circa 1880.

The Beau Sancy Diamond. Type IIa, 34.98 ct., modified pear, double rose cut diamond. The stone has passed through four European Royal families. Image: Sotheby's

The Beau Sancy Diamond. Type IIa, 34.98 ct., modified pear, double rose cut diamond. The stone has passed through four European Royal families. Image: Sotheby's


 

 

Esperanza Diamond is a Type IIa, internally flawless, D-color, 4.65-Carat ‘Triolette’, cut by master cutter Mike Botha. 

Esperanza Diamond is a Type IIa, internally flawless, D-color, 4.65-Carat ‘Triolette’, cut by master cutter Mike Botha. 

118.28-carat, D-color, flawless, Type IIa, magnificent oval diamond. Image: Sotheby's

118.28-carat, D-color, flawless, Type IIa, magnificent oval diamond. Image: Sotheby's

A model holds a 118.28-carat, flawless diamond dubbed the 'Magnificent Oval Diamond' during a media preview at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house on September 19, 2013. The stone broke a world record on October 7, 2013 when it fetched more than 30 million USD on auction. Photo: Laurent FIEVET

A model holds a 118.28-carat, flawless diamond dubbed the 'Magnificent Oval Diamond' during a media preview at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house on September 19, 2013. The stone broke a world record on October 7, 2013 when it fetched more than 30 million USD on auction. Photo: Laurent FIEVET