You are currently viewing From GIA: Natural-Color Green Diamonds: A Beautiful Conundrum

From GIA: Natural-Color Green Diamonds: A Beautiful Conundrum

Green diamonds are in the news now, thanks to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez getting engaged with a ring that reportedly includes a green diamond center stone. For many, it was the first time they’d ever heard of a green diamond due to the fact it’s so rare. Interestingly, the rarest of diamond colors correlate with the three most popular choices for favorite color, in general—green, blue, and pink to red. 

According to GIA: Among fancy-color diamonds, natural-color green stones with saturated hues are some of the rarest and most sought after. These diamonds are colored either by simple structural defects produced by radiation exposure or by more complex defects involving nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel impurities.

Most of the world’s current production of fine natural green diamonds comes from South America or Africa. Laboratory irradiation treatments have been used commercially since the late 1940s to create green color in diamond and closely mimic the effects of natural radiation exposure, causing tremendous difficulty in gemological identification. Compounding that problem is a distinct paucity of published information on these diamonds due to their rarity. Four different coloring mechanisms—absorption by GR1 defects due to radiation damage, green luminescence from H3 defects, and absorptions caused by hydrogen- and nickel-related defects—can be identified in green diamonds. Careful microscopic observation, gemological testing, and spectroscopy performed at GIA over the last decade allows an unprecedented characterization of these beautiful natural stones. By leveraging GIA’s vast database of diamond information, we have compiled data representative of tens of thousands of samples to offer a look at natural green diamonds that has never before been possible.

Read more at the GIA Website: