The color green does not come to mind when thinking of diamonds; however, green diamonds are one of the rarest diamonds to exist in the world.
They are somewhat tricky to come across, with almost all of them found in South American mines, among a few exceptions found in Africa.
Green diamonds are often underestimated due to lack of supply or awareness about them, but these emerald-hued diamonds are very precious.
How Do They Get Their Color?
While other colored diamonds owe their physical attributes to chemical impurities or defects, the unique green diamonds tell a different story.
Safe from any contamination, green diamonds get their shade from radiation exposure during their formation as they near the Earth’s surface. Only the parts that come into direct contact with the said radiation will have a sparkling deep green hue, while the rest of the diamond remains unaffected.
This creation process means that you will find the most beautifully marbled diamonds, with various shades of green or uneven coloring, upon excavation.
So, a uniformly colored green diamond is an even rarer find than a diamond with a hint of green.
Factors Affecting The Appearance
The richness in their color is dependent on three main factors, which is why the green diamond may vary in appearance.
- Mass of the diamond
- Duration of radiation exposure
- Level of radiation
The majority of the green diamonds available in the market are referred to as ‘skin stones,’ meaning the radiation has only scratched the surface — usually indicating weak radiation in the form of Alpha rays. These stones only have a green exterior, while they remain unchanged at the core.
Similarly, diamonds with weak radiations might lose their hue once they are cut and polished, reducing their value.
On the other hand, Beta and Gamma rays produce the most vibrant and bright green diamonds sought-after in the world. However, diamonds produced by these strong radio waves only constitute 0.1% of all green diamonds, making them the most expensive colored diamond available.
Different Shades Of Green
- Faint Green
- Very Light Green
- Light Green
- Fancy Light Green
- Fancy Green
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Vivid Green
While most people prefer a pure green color, many stones contain secondary colors, including yellow, brown, grey, or even sometimes blue – another rare find.
The Role of Secondary Colors
In the world of jewelry investors and creators, uniform green diamonds are the best and most expensive find.
Furthermore, the color’s intensity also determines the stone’s value — the deeper the color, the steeper the price.
However, some secondary colors found in these stones might end up being an equally rare find and end up holding the same value as pure green diamonds. In special cases, the secondary color’s rarity may end up exceeding the value of even tone green diamonds as well.
Among this category, the Green-Blue diamond, also known as the ‘Ocean Dream,’ is an ideal color combination that is highly regarded worldwide. Meanwhile, colors like yellow and brown are not valued such highly.
Man-Made Green Diamonds
Green diamonds are hard to come across while mining gemstones, so scientists have resorted to creating them artificially.
The first experiment was conducted in 1896 by Antoine-Henri Becquerel, where he irradiated diamonds to test if their color would change-and it worked. Ever since the initial trial, treating diamonds to turn them green gained popularity and is commonly used today.
In the modern world, the widely used technique is the irradiation of polished stones with a low-energy electron beam. This method is ideal for colorless or even yellow diamonds and instantly gives them a light green hue.
Additionally, a thin layer of silica can also be applied to the polished diamond’s surface to change its color. However, it is only a coating at the end of the day and may wear off over time with use.
It is important to note that the value of chemically modified green diamonds is far less than the naturally found stones. But they do offer the same aesthetic appeal.
Are Green Diamonds Safe?
When one hears the word radiation, the question of safety arises.
Since most people use green diamonds in jewelry, the concern is valid as the stone will be in constant contact with their skin.
As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission keeps a check and balance on all the diamonds produced through irradiation, many rumors have been debunked.
Companies can only use approved facilities and methods to create these stones, after which they store the diamonds in a secure space until the radiation levels lower.
Strategic Cutting of Green Diamonds
The majority of green diamonds’ color is only surface deep, so once you start cutting them, they reveal a colorless interior.
The top layer is the most crucial part to preserve during the cutting process to keep the green diamond’s color intact.
As most green pigment usually lies on the top layer, the diamond is cut to utilize most of the surface only. The diamond is mostly cut to keep the color unchanged, either at the stone’s girdle or culet.
Placement in Jewelry
Jewelry designs are countless and personalized to each person’s taste. Yet, green diamonds are popularly used in rings — a tasteful fashion statement without being too flashy.
Some of the most common settings are:
- Solitaire Setting: The green diamond stands alone and speaks for itself.
- Halo Setting: The stone is surrounded by smaller colorless diamonds — an easy way to increase the Carat weight.
- Three-Stone Setting: Ideal for increasing your ring’s width, complementary stones like Emerald can go well with this setting.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Out of all the gemstones available in the market, the green diamond truly holds its place.
Although it is a lesser-known member of the diamond family, it is a highly unusual stone that you know not everyone will have.