"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises." -- Pedro Calderon de la Barca
In the world of fancy coloured diamonds, a green diamond may be the most mysterious and intriguing!
Can you imagine how our world would look like without the color green? Green is the color of life, nature, environment, renewal and harmony.
It's not very often that you come across natural green diamonds. In my design career, I am fortunate to work with some of the most gorgeous fancy colored exceptional diamonds. And yet, I can only count a handful of green diamonds that I have had the privilege to design around. The largest of green diamonds that I have worked with so far is an exceptional Greenish-Yellow diamond, weighing 8.60 carat. What I find is that people who ask for and buy green diamonds have a great sense of their own unique individuality and need a stone to match that. They are in the know of coloured diamonds, and appreciate provenance and rarity.
Bruno Scarselli, of Scarselli Diamonds in New York is a third generation of the Scarselli family and a fancy color diamonds connoisseur. Bruno tells me, "Green might be one of the greatest color resembling the full beauty of nature. Only to imagine natural radiation, deeply penetrating the crystal, is the attribute of color depth within its heart of what creates a green diamond."
I am constantly learning about these mysterious green diamonds and I hope you find this blog post useful.
Pure green diamonds are extremely rare and highly valued, ranging from light mint greens to vivid grass greens. Green Diamonds can contain a yellowish, bluish or grayish modifying color. Only a handful of natural green diamonds are introduced into the market each year making green diamonds some of the most sought after of all natural color diamonds. Green diamonds are found predominately in regions of Africa and South America. The strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a natural color diamond. The value of a natural color diamond increases with the intensity of the most prominent color within the diamond.
Over the last ten years, diamonds with these natural color components comprised less than 0.4% of all diamonds submitted to GIA’s laboratories worldwide (including both fancy-color and those on the D–Z scale). Pure hues of green, blue, or red are even rarer, accounting for less than 0.07% of all diamonds examined. [Source: GIA]
Of natural colored diamonds, green and red diamonds are by far the rarest body colors. The appearance of green in a diamond is caused by millions of years of exposure to a source of natural irradiation in the earth, either among uranium compounds or percolating ground water, which changes its specific absorption of light. The majority of naturally irradiated diamonds show isolated green strains that barely penetrate the surface of the crystal and are almost always removed during the cutting process. Conversely, a very small minority are exposed to the irradiation source over an extended period of time and therefore exhibit an even green hue throughout the entire crystal. Among this extremely select group of stones, only a very few have a true green color without any bluish, greyish or yellowish secondary colours. Natural, true green diamonds are therefore unique gemmological rarities, and represent an extraordinary group of beautiful and mysterious gems.
The most famous of all green diamonds is the legendary ‘Dresden Green’, a modified pear-shaped bluish apple-green diamond of 41.10 carats.
The spectacular 41-carat “Dresden Green” diamond, which probably originated in the diamond mines of the Golconda district in India, first appeared in the historical record in 1722. A diamond dealer named Marcus Moses offered it for sale to Friedrich Augustus I (“August the Strong”), elector of Saxony and king of Poland in 1726. His son, Friedrich Augustus II bought the diamond from the Jewish merchant Delles at the Great Annual Easter Fair at Leipzig in 1741. A continuous historical record and provenance has accompanied this extraordinary Rosetta Stone of green diamonds ever since. At the close of World War II, it was taken to Russia by Soviet troops, and then returned to Dresden in 1959 and is now on display in the Jewelry Room of Dresden’s Green Vaults.
In addition to its long history, which predates experiments with artificial irradiation, the Dresden Green is famous because its green color was created by natural radiation and the color is throughout the stone – not just at the surface as is typical of natural green diamonds.
The Ocean Dream Diamond. 5.51-carat, fancy deep blue-green, shield-shaped diamond. The Ocean Dream is the first and one of the only natural diamonds known to the GIA to possess a blue-green hue (besides the Ocean Paradise Diamond owned by the Nahshonov Group, found in Brazil in 2012), making it one of the rarest diamonds in the world. The Ocean Dream originated in Central Africa, and is currently owned by the Cora Diamond Corporation and was cut by Master Cutter Mazhar Saylam.
The Chopard Chameleon Diamond. The 31.32 carat oval-cut chameleon diamond is the largest documented stone in this category. Named after the tiny animal that changes colour in order to adapt to the world around it, the chameleon diamond fascinates connoisseurs: its ability to temporarily change colour after heating or long storage in the dark gives it unique status among diamonds. The change in colour of Chameleon diamonds is ephemeral - the original “olive green” colour of the stone shifts into an intense yellow or orange-yellow colour when the stone is kept in the dark for 24 hours or when it is heated to approximately 200 degrees Celcius. It gradually reverts to green when exposed to daylight or as it cools down. The Chameleon diamond is the centerpiece of a ring surrounded by a delicate pavé setting of tiny yellow diamonds. The ring was designed by Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and was presented at Baselworld 2008. The estimated worth of the stone in 2008 was $10 Million USD.
Source & images:
- The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA)
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- NCDIA, Blog by By David Shara and Josh Cohn
- Optimum Diamond LLC
- Scarselli Diamonds
- A.A Rachminov Diamonds
- Leibish & Co.
- Tiffany & Co.
- Cora Diamond Corp.
- Peregrine Diamond
In the past I have authored posts on, Top Ten - Largest Diamonds Discovered In The World, Splendors of Mughal India, The Magnificent Maharajas Of India, Mystery & History Of Marquise Diamond Cut, Ór - Ireland's Gold, The Legendary Cullinan Diamond, Bejeweled Persia - Historic Jewelry From The Qajar Dynasty, Famous Heart-Shaped Diamonds, Type II Diamonds, Green Diamonds, Red Diamonds and more. Being a curious artist that I am, over years, I have spent countless hours in self-driven studies on diamond, jewelry history and research. All good stuff, as I have accumulated a great deal of interesting knowledge, something that definitely informs my jewelry design and other artistic creations. I wrote these blogs for simple reason - to share my collected knowledge with all who are interested, so that more can benefit from it. Take a look and enjoy! -- Reena