This week a superb green diamond ring will go to auction, via Christie’s of Hong Kong. So why is it so special? Because it is very rare and very unusual and jaw-droppingly expensive.
The star of the show is rectangular-cut fancy vivid green diamond – the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has released a statement saying that the diamond is of VS2 clarity; and it is the largest fancy vivid green naturally-coloured diamond the GIA has ever graded. It is expected to sell for between €14.3m and €18m. The stone weighs approximately 5.03 carats, and is set within a vintage style halo of circular-cut pink diamonds, mounted in rose gold.
Due to their incredible rarity top-quality fancy vivid green diamond are extremely difficult to find,” said head of jewels for Asia Christie’s deputy chairman Vickie Sek.
The ring has been dubbed the “Aurora Green.” The world will be watching to see who will manage to own this amazing stone. Hong Kong is the perfect place to auction this beauty. The colour green has a special has a symbolic meaning for the Chinese just like it has for the Irish. While here it means fertility and the wealth of the land, in China they adore the colour because it represents growth, patience and healing.
The Aurora Green ring is being sold as part of a larger auction, which Christies says reflects the evolution of taste in Asia over the last 30 years. As well as heart-stopping jewellery, the auction will also be selling classical and modern Asian art, unique watches, and rare wines.
Coloured diamonds have fascinated humans since the dawn of time. In fact, even thieves desire them more than any other kind of jewellery. Famously, an attempt to steal 12 large diamonds in The Millennium Dome Diamond Robbery went horribly wrong. It brought the world’s attention to just how sought after coloured diamonds are. Eleven out of the twelve of these diamonds were coloured. The twelfth diamond was colourless and weighed 203 carats. The stones were valued at the time to total of €258 million, averaging around €20 million per stone. The thieves didn’t get away with the robbery, but you can see the attraction.
Naturally-coloured diamonds are predicted to remain highly desirable for centuries to come. But they will also remain rare. Even if a collector can afford one, it doesn’t mean they will get to own one. Most owners will not let them go once in their possession.
Of all the rare coloured diamonds that appear on the market the most sought-after on the list is the green diamond. The Dresden Diamond is the largest and most famous green diamond in the world, at 40.70 carats. This incredible stone also known as “Dresden Green” was extracted from the Kollur mine in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The stone is a rare Type IIa, with a clarity of VS1. Many have said it is potentially internally flawless, if it was slightly recut but it is unlikely to be altered. It is named after Dresden in Germany where it was on display for the last two centuries. Today the diamond is on display at Dresden Castle.
The Dresden Green Diamond has records dating back to 1722, when a London newspaper wrote an article about it. It was acquired by Augustus III, a Polish king. He got it from a Dutch merchant in 1742, apparently at the Leipzig Fair. In 1768, the diamond was then fused into a hat ornament. However, far from being worn on anyone’s head, it sits in Dresden Castle for the public to view.
Caption: The Dresden Green diamond set into a hat ornament. It was made by Prague jeweller Diessbach in 1768.
So what makes green diamonds so rare? True green diamonds – such as the Dresden Green and the Green Aurora – get their deep green colour over millions of years. As the stone forms in the earth, at some point it comes into contact with a source that is radioactive. Green Diamonds are the only naturally-coloured diamonds that get their colour due to radiation. The Dresden Green, like the Green Aurora, maintained the green colour even after polishing. Once green diamonds are cut and polished, some can lose their green colour, turning into white gems or light yellow stones.
The official scale of green in a diamond (from lightest to deepest) is as follows: faint green, very light green, light green, fancy light green, fancy green, fancy intense, fancy vivid, and fancy deep.
The Aurora Green almost makes it as the deepest green, but the only known natural fancy deep blue-green diamond is the Ocean Dream Diamond. It weighs 5.51 carats and is the first, and perhaps the only natural diamond known to the GIA to possess a blue-green hue. This makes it one of the rarest diamonds in the world. The Ocean Dream was dug out of a mine in Central Africa, and is currently owned by the Cora Diamond Corporation.
Natural green diamonds are so rare that most jewellers have never seen one despite working with diamonds their whole life. These days diamonds can be turned green by giving them a little helping hand by humans. But this is why the Green Aurora is such a find – it is a naturally-coloured diamond. Natural green diamonds remain so rare that when something this big and spectacular this comes on the market it makes international news. The sale of this one-of-a-kind will keep many people’s eyes on the coming auction.