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Purple Diamonds Wiki


Fancy Deep Purple DiamondDeep Purple Diamond

Colored diamonds are exceedingly difficult to come by, and can be found in a number of hues, some rarer than others. A very small percentage of the natural fancy diamonds mined each year are considered gem quality, meaning they are fit to be shaped and polished for sale. Of all the colors in the rainbow, one of the most difficult to find is the purple diamond.

This color has been long linked to royalty and honor, as years ago only kings could afford purple cloth, and the purple heart medal is given as a recognition of bravery for soldiers killed or wounded in battle. Considering these grandiose and luxurious associations, it's no surprise that purple diamonds are so sought after.

There are many other reasons why these gems have garnered much attention from collectors and investors, however.

Read on to discover the perplexing phenomenon that is purple diamonds.

Are Purple Diamonds Real?

It's difficult to believe that these stones are, in fact, a natural occurrence. While they are nearly impossible to find and therefore most don't know exist, purple diamonds are real.

It's important to note, though, that pure purple diamonds are exceedingly rare and are therefore practically priceless items to possess. These magnificent gems can be found in a range of shades, and the majority of them have secondary hues of pink, gray or brown.

Fancy Intense Pink Purple Diamond Intense Pink Purple Diamond
Fancy Dark Brown Purple Diamond Dark Brown Purple Diamond
Fancy Graying Pink Purple Diamond Graying Pink Purple Diamond

These modifying colors, particularly gray or brown, may lower the perceived quality of the gem and with it its price.

The color intensity levels for purple diamonds can range from light, fancy light, fancy, fancy dark, fancy intense, fancy vivid and fancy deep. The majority are on the lighter end of the spectrum, making those that exhibit a strong purple hue more rare, more valuable, more sought after and with those MUCH more expensive.

As interest in purple diamonds has risen - but there are so few of them available on the market - some companies have created enhanced purple diamonds through various techniques, such as irradiation. Essentially, this sophisticated method involves artificially tinting the diamond within its structure. While they may boast a purple hue, their beauty and value cannot come close to a true natural fancy colored diamond.

This is why it's crucial to only invest in a purple diamond with a certificate from a reputable organization, like the Gemological Institute of America, which ensures its authenticity.

Experts can distinguish a true purple diamond from a treated one by examining the distribution of the color. Diamond Price Guru explained that natural purple diamonds will have concentrated color near the deformation lamellae, while treated stones show saturated color throughout.

Where do Purple Diamonds Come From?

Most purple diamonds are found in the Argyle Mine in Western Australia, but in recent years, some have been unearthed in other regions, like Siberia. According to Diamond Price Guru, though, natural purple diamonds only account for 1 percent of the gems mined in Siberia's Mir kimberlite field. The Israeli Diamond Institute reported that a 2008 discovery of 649 diamonds in Quebec's James Bay region revealed nine purple stones, suggesting that these gems may exist in more areas than previously thought.

There is more than one theory on how purple stones get their color. The most widely accepted proposal, however, is that while these diamonds are being pushed by magma from the earth's mantle to the surface, a plastic deformation forms in their crystal structure. This deformation is also responsible for the color in red diamonds. As such, purple gems often command equal prices to red diamonds at auction.

Is There a Difference Between Purple and Violet Diamonds?

While browsing you will come across violet diamonds as well as some that are graded simply as purple. While both are inarguably breathtaking to the viewer's eye, they do differ from a gemological perspective.

Purple Diamond vs Violet DiamondPurple Diamond vs Violet Diamond

It's worth noting the difference between these two. What distinguishes true purple diamonds from violet ones is that the previously mentioned deformations in the crystal lattice produce the grain-like lines of purple that are visible in the stone. Conversely, violet diamonds owe their hue to trace amounts of the element hydrogen.

Are There Famous Examples of Purple Diamonds?

Although there are not a lot of well known purple diamonds, several famous stones have certainly made their mark. Adding to intrigue of these gems is the fact that there are very few details known about them.

Arguably the most notable is the Royal Purple Heart Diamond, which is the largest fancy vivid purple diamond known to exist, according to the Israeli Diamond Institute. The source reported that this 7.34-carat diamond is believed to from Russia. The Julius Klein Diamond Corporate cut it into a perfect heart, a shape that enhances the stone's brilliance and remarkable clarity. No one knows who currently owns the Royal Purple Heart.

Another famous gem, the Supreme Purple Diamond Heart, is perhaps more mysterious. No one knows the exact color or clarity grade of this gem. What is certain, however, is that despite what the name of this diamond suggests, it features a round brilliant cut, with an estimated weight between 2 and 5 carats. The origins of the stone are not known, though the Israeli Diamond Institute noted that many experts maintain it was mined in the last 30 years somewhere in the Amazon basin. The institute explained that what's so awe-inspiring about this diamond is that one can supposedly see various shades of purple when viewing it from different angles. From one perspective it appears a deep red, while from another it looks deep purple.

In 2003, Lakers star Kobe Bryant gave his wife Vanessa an 8-carat purple diamond ring as an atonement gift. The diamond's estimated value is a whopping $4 million, according to the Israeli Diamond Institute.

How Much Do Purple Diamonds Cost?

It makes sense that purple diamonds would fetch such staggering prices - they are the second rarest color after red diamonds, according to Diamond Price Guru. Meanwhile, the desirability of these stones has steadily been rising. As a result of the increasing demand and diminishing supply, the prices of purple diamonds are no doubt poised to soar.

There is no definite method to determine exactly what a purple diamond will cost. However, Birthstones Online reported that on average, purple diamonds cost about $200,000 per carat. Buyers can always get an idea of current market prices by evaluating recent auction sales of these colored diamonds from Christie's, Sotheby's, etc.