Fun Facts About Green Diamonds
Green diamonds are some of the most beautiful and rarest diamonds out there and have been gaining popularity over the past few years (especially for engagement rings). In this article, you're going to learn everything you need to know about green diamonds before you set off to buy diamond jewelry for yourself. So, if you're ready to learn, let's dive deep into everything you need to know about green diamonds!
Because green diamonds often have an opaque or translucent reflection to their color, many women who like the idea of a green stone, but aren't crazy about the solid green of the emerald, adore various shades of these fancy colored diamonds, which are exceedingly rare.
Natural green diamonds are in the top six most popular gemstones available on the market today, creating tight competition for their natural counterparts, green emeralds.
Green diamonds rank ten on the Mohs scale of hardness. Emeralds, another popular green gemstone, rank lower on the list at 7.5 – 8 and are less durable. Other green-colored stones are farther down the scale, with tourmaline at 7 -7.5 and peridot at 6.5-7, making green diamonds perfect for daily wear, such as on an engagement ring.
Green diamonds are incredibly brilliant. Its crystalline structure can refract light that other natural diamonds cannot, allowing it to exude a unique kind of brilliance.
Where Are Green Diamonds Mined?
Green rough diamonds typically come from South American countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. There have also been cases of such diamonds originating from mines in Africa.
Like other raw diamonds, green rough diamonds are generally excavated from the earth's surface. Usually, excavation locations don't target green diamonds specifically because they are incredibly rare, but green diamonds are found accidentally.
How Rare Are Green Diamonds?
Diamonds with a vivid green color are very unusual. There are only about 300 examples in the world above one carat in size. Green diamonds larger than three carats are usually exclusively seen in museums; there are only about ten known in the world.
Green Diamond Color:
Green-colored diamonds can range from faint green to fancy deep green, the more vivid colors being the rarest.
Green diamonds are among the rarest colored diamonds in the world, and unlike their other colored counterparts, these stones get their color in a very unique way.
Most colored diamonds are affected by "impurities" in the chemical bonding or "defects" in the crystalline structure that result in different colors. Whereas green diamonds receive their color acquire their color from an extremely rare process of natural irradiation.
For many green diamonds, their color results from the vacancy defect, also known as the GR1 center. Other defects involving nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel impurities can also cause green colors in these beautiful gemstones; however, they are less common.
While they were underground, in rocks that contained small amounts of radioactive material such as uranium or thorium, as the radioactive materials decayed, they emitted radiation that penetrated the nearby diamond's natural surface.
Because the earth's radiation is inconsistent, most natural green diamonds won't show a uniform color all the way through. Instead, there will be lighter and darker areas, and the green color will gather together mostly at the surface.
Most natural-color green diamonds have a color that is only "skin deep." This thin coloring prevents many of them from being shaped by diamond cutters into faceted gems that retain a distinct green color. Diamonds with a natural origin and an evenly distributed green hue through the stone are exceptionally rare.
Because green-colored diamonds are so rare and costly, a gem with good color can still be quite valuable even if it has noticeable imperfections. However, there should be no distracting inclusions in the middle of paler green diamonds.
What is a skin stone? Skin stones are green diamonds that only have a thin layer of color on their surface. This thin layer of color is due to the diamond being exposed to weak levels of radiation (Alpha) which aren't strong enough to penetrate deeper into the stone's body. Radiation stains usually only reach a few micrometers into the diamond, and this green "skin" can be lost during cutting and polishing.
When it comes to green diamonds, the color is often the result of something peculiar: exposure to radioactive minerals or fluids in nature or artificial irradiation in a laboratory. Such radiation knocks carbon atoms out of place in the crystal structure.
Treated green diamonds generally have a unified color throughout the stone. Only in rare cases, like the Dresden Green, does a natural green-colored diamond have a homogenous green or bluish-green body tone.
Green lab grown diamonds are successfully grown in laboratories in various shades. Green lab grown diamonds with a light green color and a greenish-yellow color have been produced by mixing small amounts of nitrogen and boron into the diamond.
Are Green Diamonds Radioactive?
Now, most green diamonds on the market are artificially treated with radiation from a laboratory.
While radiation is dangerous, green diamonds are harmless, as green diamonds do not contain harmful chemicals. The stones only retain the radioactive stains and not the radioactive properties of the material.
The NRC has no reason to believe that wearing irradiated gemstones can be harmful. There have been no reported cases of anyone being harmed by wearing them.
How Are Green Diamonds Graded?
Green diamonds may range in color grading from faint green to incredibly deep green; the brighter colors are the rarest. Green diamonds also have secondary hues, which are classified as follows: The intensity of the fancy green diamond and its secondary color (where possible) results in a broad array of possible categories in which these stones are divided.
Apart from color, the value of green diamonds is impacted by the same grading factors as any other natural diamond, whether it's a fancy colored or near colorless diamond: cut, carat weight, and clarity grade.
Are Green Diamonds Expensive?
Yes, green diamonds are expensive like other natural diamonds.
Like other colored diamonds, green diamonds are graded on a color scale from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid to Fancy Deep. Generally, the more rich, intense, and uniform the color, the more valuable the gem. In particular, unusual color combinations such as blue and green (like the Ocean Dream below) will fetch the highest prices.
Cutting Natural Green Diamonds:
Unlike near colorless diamonds, green diamonds are commonly cut in fancy shapes such as oval cuts, cushion cuts, radiant cuts, pear shapes, and emerald cuts because the round brilliant cut dilutes the color of green diamonds.
Natural green diamond crystals often have green or brown surface spots, called radiation stains. Since these natural radiation stains are on the surface, their removal is part of the faceting process, so a light green or green crystal loses most of its color after being cut into a finished gem. Sometimes, stains are left along the girdle area to retain the green color. Both natural and treated greens can be uniform or patchy in color.
Most Famous Green Diamonds:
The most famous natural-color green diamond is considered by many to be the Dresden Green Diamond– the largest green diamond ever found, weighing approximately 41 carats. Some diamond experts believe it came from a rough diamond produced at the Kollur Mine in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, while others believe it came from a rough stone in Brazil.
One of the extraordinary features of this famous green diamond, the Dresden diamond, is that, unlike most other colored diamonds, the green color is even throughout the stone. The Dresden diamond is chemically pure, meaning the stone has no traces of boron, hydrogen, or nitrogen, which occurs in many-colored diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America examined the stone. In 1988, The GIA proved that the Dresden Green Diamond is not only of extraordinary quality but also a rare type IIa diamond. It is considered the finest and largest natural green diamond ever found.
For a while, the Dresden green diamond was set in a special badge for the "Order of the Golden Fleece" (to "encourage and reward virtue and faith among men of high lineage"). Then, the Dresden Green Diamond was reset into a hat ornament. This ornament still exists — you can see it in the Green Vault Museum in Dresden, Germany.
In 2000, American jewelry firm Harry Winston arranged to display the Dresden Green at the New York flagship store and then at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C, United States, where it was displayed in the Harry Winston pavilion next to the largest blue diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond.
The Ocean Dream Diamond is an extraordinary example of diamond color. Graded as Fancy Vivid Blue-Green, this rare teal-colored diamond is reminiscent of the Pacific. The Ocean Dream Diamond's unique hue comes from radiation exposure and just the right balance of trace boron minerals in the gem.
This Deep Blue-green diamond weighs 5.51 carats and sold for $8.9 million. The deep and rare color of the shield-shaped diamond makes it one of the rarest stones.
The Aurora Green Diamond is a natural fancy vivid green diamond with just over five carats that sold for $16.8m ($3.3m per carat) in 2016. It is the largest natural-color, fancy vivid green diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The Aurora Green Diamond is set into a ring surrounded by pink diamonds and is the most expensive green diamond ever sold.
The Chopard Chameleon Diamond is a famous example of one of nature's more extraordinary creations – chameleon diamonds. These diamonds sound like something from a sci-fi novel, but they are, in fact, a genuine phenomenon: diamonds that change color depending on their ambient temperature. For example, the 31ct Chopard Chameleon Diamond shifts between olive green and brassy yellow and is the largest, highest quality example of this type of chameleon diamond.
Jennifer Lopez's new green diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck features an 8.5ct. natural fancy green diamond center stone. A pair of trapezoid-shaped white diamonds flank the green diamond ring. Gold prongs surround the bright green rock that, when set against the white base, make the rare colored diamond pop even further.
Green Diamond Symbolism:
Green diamonds have a very fresh, youthful energy to them, like the first new grass of springtime. Green diamonds symbolize clarity and new beginnings. They can be very helpful in promoting personal growth and transformation.
Green diamonds also have a strong connection to nature. They remind us of the healing power of the earth and the renewing energy of plants and trees. Wearing green diamonds can help us feel more connected to the natural world around us.
Apart from its symbolism of abundance (which is ironic considering its exceeding rarity!), the peaceful quality of green and its ability to soothe the eye often associates green diamonds with safety, stability, and endurance.