Four Extraordinary Coloured Diamonds
"If finding red diamonds is like finding the Holy Grail, then finding pure orange diamonds is like stumbling on a needle in a haystack" Harvey Harris, Fancy-Color Diamonds
In his travel book of 1499, Sir John Mandeville notes how "the diamond takes perverse pleasure in assuming the colour proper to other gems". Thus, even at this early stage, scholars were aware that diamonds occurred in many colours other than white. However, because of their great rarity, only a small group of collectors were aware of this, and it has only been in recent decades that a wider audience has been introduced to these gemstones.
One of the reasons for this heightened awareness has been the appearance of exceptional fancy coloured diamonds at auctions. Unearthed from private collections where they lay hidden and sometimes unappreciated for many years, the subsequent record prices obtained for these stones make headline news, and bring coloured diamonds to broad public attention.
The following four diamonds are among the most unusual diamonds to have appeared on the market in recent years. Of special note is the 4.08 carats fancy vivid orange diamond which is only the second pure vivid orange stone (with no modifying tone) to have appeared at auction, the first being the famous "pumpkin" diamond of 5.54 carats bought by Harry Winston in 1997. Similarly, the 0.73 carat red diamond is one of the few pure red diamonds in existence, the majority of such stones being classified as purplish or purple red.