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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.

Feel free to watch this 5 minutes video to get the brief about purple diamonds!

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



Are There Real Purple Diamonds?

Natural diamonds can be purple. 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 they exist, natural purple diamonds are real. And not only that, they come in a huge variety of shades of which we'll elaborate on shortly.

Fancy Intense Pink Purple Diamond GIA Oval Intense Pink Purple Diamond

Are Purple Diamonds Rare?

To properly address the question of the rarity of purple diamonds you need to first understand the rarity of natural fancy color diamonds.

In the niche of natural fancy colored diamonds there are several base colors. Colors like blue, pink, yellow, green, orange, brown, gray are only a few of the diamond colors that exist.

And it gets even more complicated because there are unique color combinations made out of two or even three colors combined. Not all color combinations exist. For example there are no blue purple diamonds. BUT, there are dozens of other combinations that do exist - pink purple diamonds for example are extremely popular.

Even though it sounds that thanks to the quantity of colors (or color combinations) fancy color diamonds are in abundance, they are actually extremely rare. It is said that only 1 out of 10,000 carat of mined diamonds is a gem quality fancy diamond.

And in the niche of fancy diamonds, purple diamonds are among the rarest of them all. Inferior maybe only to red diamonds.

On top of the above, pure purple diamonds are exceedingly rare and are therefore practically priceless items to possess. Usually, the purple diamonds that you can find (barely) are the ones with secondary colors, secondary hues. More particularly - 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

How Much Do Purple Diamonds Cost?

There is no formula or price chart that can tell how much a purple diamond is worth. But using the general guide along with some Internet search can assist in leading you to a rough valuation and estimation on the diamond you are looking for.

Modifying colors, particularly gray or brown, will lower the perceived quality of the gem and with it its price compared to a secondary tone of pink and definitely compared to the rare pure purple.

The color intensity levels for purple diamonds can range from light, fancy light, fancy, fancy dark, fancy intense, fancy vivid and fancy deep.

Lavender
Plum
Violet
Orchid
Dark Magenta
Deep Purple

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.

In today's market, prices of light colored pink purple diamonds (pink is a popular and common secondary shade) are about $10,000-$25,000 per carat for diamonds smaller than half a carat (even as small as 0.10 carat) with medium grade clarity such as SI.

If you go up in the intensity level to fancy or intense you swiftly go into the $25,000-$50,000 per carat range and even more. And prices quickly rise further.

1.01 carat Intense Pink Purple Diamond by JamesAllen 1.01 carat Intense Pink Purple Diamond by James Allen valued at close to $200,000

Why Are Purple Diamonds So Expensive?

It makes sense that purple diamonds would fetch such staggering prices - they are the second rarest color after red diamonds. Meanwhile, the desirability of these stones has steadily been rising. As with the economics of any product and/or commodity - increasing demand and diminishing supply mean that prices of purple diamonds keep soaring.

Recommended Reading: Amethyst - The Purple Birthstone of February

But there are purple diamonds that are not so expensive - though they are not "real" purple diamonds.

As interest in purple diamonds keeps growing - and there are so few of them available on the market - some companies have created enhanced purple diamonds through various techniques, such as irradiation and others are literally growing them in labs (i.e. Lab Grown Diamonds or Man Made Diamonds). Essentially, these sophisticated methods involve 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 buy a purple diamond with a certificate from a reputable organization, like the Gemological Institute of America (the GIA), which ensures the origin of color.

GIA Certificate of a Natural Purple Diamond Example of a GIA Certificate of a Natural Purple Diamond

Experts can distinguish a true purple diamond from a treated one by examining the distribution of the color or by using special equipment. Visibility wise, 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. Considering that the Argyle mine is set to be closed, the Siberia finding was great news. However, natural purple diamonds only account for a very small fraction of the gems that are mined in Siberia's Mir kimberlite field, some say under 1%.

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.

Purple Diamond Names

Because of all of the color variations and combinations, it is very common to give fancy color diamonds descriptive color names. For example, there are Chocolate Diamonds® and Champagne Diamonds in the brown diamonds family and there are canary diamonds in yellows.

Purple diamonds had earned their own share of names to describe the shades of purple they sparkle. Here are some of the most commonly used naming conventions: lilac diamonds, lavender diamonds, violet diamonds, mauve, etc. The color scale will give you proportions for the different shades:

Lavender
Plum
Violet
Orchid
Dark Magenta
Deep Purple

Is There a Difference Between Purple and Violet Diamonds?

If while browsing you will come across violet diamonds as well as some that are graded simply as purple, you should know that violet diamonds are more than just another name for purple diamonds. 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.

What is the Meaning Behind Purple Diamond Rings?

When addressing the subject of birthstones, there are a lot of discussions about the meanings behind the gems and their colors. But it is less customary to address it when discussing diamonds as a whole (and purple diamonds and purple diamond rings in particular). With that said, it is customary to say that every color has a meaning and treats, and here are the ones associated with the color purple according to "color meanings":

Purple Meaning

Symbolism Effects Positive Negative
Spirituality Enlightens Compassion Sensitive
Mystery Inspires Fantasy Vigilant
Royalty Uplifts Wisdom Immature
Imagination Encourages Creativity Emotional

Add the symbolism behind diamonds themselves - eternity, endless, strength - and you get a winning gift.

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.