Are Blue Diamonds Real? How are They Made?

March 24th, 2014 by Noam Flint

 

Blue Diamonds are Real! Looking at these diamonds, it’s hard to believe that they are real – and moreover, that they could be made in nature. As some of the most coveted colored diamonds, collectors around the world have been clamoring to add these gems to their collections for centuries. Why are they so highly prized (and priced)? Blue diamonds boast highly unique properties – not to mention a striking beauty that’s nearly impossible to match.

If you’re still skeptical about the authenticity of these stones or simply want to know more about how they’re produced, here are some answers to your burning blue diamond questions:

What is a blue diamond?

To be deemed a real blue diamond, the stone must have been found in nature with this hue. An enhanced blue diamond that has been treated with heat or chemicals is actually merely a white diamond at its core. That’s why it’s so important to buy a GIA certified blue diamond or to immediately issue one upon the purchase of the diamond. These certificates will indicate the stone’s color origin (Natural or Treated) and also specify the exact color. If the blue diamond is real, under the origin in the certificate it will state the word “natural.”

Shades of Blue DiamondsShades of Blue Diamonds – Fancy, Intense and Deep Blue

It’s also worth noting that there are a variety of shades when it comes to blue diamonds. While some may boast a pure hue, others might have undertones or green, violet or gray. Additionally, the intensity may range from light to vivid. These “slight” changes in colors can mean A LOT when it comes to the pricing.

How are blue diamonds made?

How Are Blue Diamonds Made
How Are Blue Diamonds Made?

There are two different kinds of these color diamonds: treated blue diamonds and natural blue diamonds.

It’s remarkable that blue diamonds are actually found in mines with their beautiful tone, but the reality is that nature is responsible for these stones’ stunning hue. So when it comes to the real thing, what’s the cause of the color? All it takes is a trace amount of boron to absorb red light for a diamond to be blue. More specifically, stones get this hue when boron is present during the diamond’s formation and the nitrogen content is low. This boron content also marks another major difference between natural and artificial blue diamonds: It provides the ability to conduct electricity.

What about color-enhanced diamonds? Stones that are found colorless in nature can be artificially treated, typically through irradiation, to change the atomic structure of their crystal lattice and thus alter their appearance.

SEE ALSO: How are Colored Diamonds Made

Where do blue diamonds come from?

There are very few mines where blue diamonds can be found. The majority of blue diamonds come from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Australia and Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine near Pretoria, South Africa. A smaller number of blue diamonds have been mined in the Goloconda mine in India.

29.6 carat Rough Blue Diamond by Petra 29.6 carat Rough Blue Diamond by Petra – Image courtesy of Petra Diamonds

Over the past year, a record number of blue diamonds were found in the rough and each broke records when sold. The above image was the latest, a 29.6 carat Blue Diamond that was sold for $25.6 Million Dollars – almost a million dollar per carat in the rough.

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