Green diamonds do occur naturally though most people are not aware of their existence. However, simultaneous existence of all the environmental conditions necessary for formation of green diamonds is virtually impossible. As such, green diamonds are extremely rare and extraordinarily valuable.
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We all know that diamonds take birth deep inside the womb of mother earth (at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 120 mi) in the Earth mantle) when excessively high temperatures and insanely intense pressures act on the carbon that happens to be present at such great depths. This continues over the course of hundreds of thousands of years and ultimately crystallizes the carbon into a diamond.
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When perfectly colorless natural diamonds get exposed to a source of radioactivity during their formative years over a prolonged period of time (millions of years or even longer) some diamonds acquire a green color. Green diamonds of such type are truly unique.
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Mostly, such radiation comes in the form of alpha and beta particles emitted by underground uranium compounds or by seeping groundwater. The penetration of green color imparted by this radiation is not very deep and is often lost during the fashioning of the stone. Expert cutters leave a ‘skin’ or staining of surface radiation on the stone giving the stone a greener appearance.
Since the GIA grades color on face up appearance and since the skin occurs naturally there is little clue as to how the stone appears green.
3.24 Carat Round Natural Diamond AGI Certified Green-VS2 Excellent Cut 18k White Gold 4-Prong Setting Split Shank Engagement Ring
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You should view the diamond loose and check how much of the stone is in the rough form (Lesser the better). Green diamonds with the same GIA grades can vary greatly in value on account of the green ‘skin’. This should not daunt a collector from buying a skin stone as a natural green diamond is exceptionally rare in any form.
Less often, gamma rays from radioactive sources shower the diamond and impart the green color deeper into the diamond. In rarest of rare cases the entire gemstone is turned green.
The size of the gemstone, the strength of radioactivity, the length of time of exposure to radioactivity along with the type of radiation (as brought out above) are the factors governing the intensity and depth of the green color acquired by a natural green diamond.
Like all natural colored diamonds, natural green diamonds too exhibit more than one spectral hue. The predominant green color is accompanied by modifiers which are one or more additional colors that contribute to its overall impression. There are many combinations of modifying colors contributing to a green diamond’s final appearance & they factor in determining its final per-carat price.
Modifiers colors of green diamonds include brown, yellow, gray and blue. As a result, Yellowish-Green, Yellow-Green, Bluish-Green, Blue-Green, Grayish-Green, Gray-Green, and even Gray-Yellowish-Green diamonds also occur in nature.
Brown and Gray modifiers greatly reduce the value of a stone. Yellow as a modifier too devalues a diamond but in some cases it can create vibrant colors.
Blue as a modifier is the most valuable. Bluish-Greens, Blue-Greens, Green-Blues, and Greenish-Blues are even rarer and these diamonds are at times even more highly valued than pure greens.
Pure green colored diamonds without any trace of secondary color modifiers are highly valued and greatly admired in the diamond and jewelry industry.
Most Famous Green Diamond:
The Dresden Green Diamond, more famously known as ‘Dresden Green’, is the most famous green diamond on earth. It is a 41 carats (8.2 g) natural green diamond. The diamond probably weighed over 100 carats (old carat) in its rough form and came from the Kollur mine in the state of Andhra Pradesh in the India.
The diamond has been named after Dresden, capital of Saxony, Germany where it has been on display for the last two hundred years.
Earliest record pertaining to The Dresden Green can be seen in issue dated October 25th – 27th, 1722 of ‘The Post Boy’, a London new-sheet of the 1700’s which reads as follows:
“On Tuesday last, in the afternoon, one Mr. Marcus Moses, lately arrived from India, had the honor to wait on his Majesty [King George I (ruled 1714-27)] with his large diamond, which is of a fine emerald green colour, and was with his Majesty near an hour. His Majesty was very much pleased with the sight thereof. It is said there never was seen the like in Europe before, being free from any defect in the world; and he has shown his Majesty several other fine large diamonds, the like of which ’tis said were never brought from India before. He was also, the 25th, to wait on their Royal Highnesses with his large diamond; and they were surprised to see one of such largeness, and of such a fine emerald color without the help of a foil under it. We hear the gentlemen values it at £10,000.”
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) examined the stone in 1988.
- The Dresden Green Diamond found to be of extraordinary quality, and a rare type IIa diamond.
- The clarity grade established by GIA was VS1 and the gem has the potential of being internally flawless.
- The gem measures 29.75 x 19.88 x 10.29mm. The GIA graded the symmetry good and the polish very good. This is astonishing for a diamond cut prior to 1741.
- The Dresden Greed Diamond is displayed Albertinium Museum in Dresden.
Or Learn About More Colored Diamonds As Follows: