Vivid Purple and Violet Diamonds Shine in 'Rare Brilliance' Showcase

A breath-taking array of rare, fancy colour diamonds is on display now at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA).

The 'Diamonds: Rare Brilliance' exhibit features diamonds never seen before in the United States, including the largest violet diamond ever discovered in Australia’s Argyle Mine. Anyone with a passion for diamonds is encouraged to view the full collection before it is taken out of public view on March 19, 2017.

Included in the collection are three exceptionally rare fancy coloured diamonds: a 30.3 ct Fancy Intense Pink, a 2.83 ct Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet and a 1.64 ct Fancy Vivid Purple diamond, all loaned by L. J. West - a New York-based diamond house.

The Juliet Diamond

'Diamonds: Rare Brilliance' is centred round a 30.03 ct Fancy Intense Pink, also known as The Juliet Diamond, which was cut from a 90 ct rough found in South Africa. The Juliet Diamond - romantically named after Romeo and Juliet - is similar to the 34.65 ct, cushion-cut Fancy Intense Pink Princie Diamond, which was discovered 300 years ago in the Golconda Mines. It was sold by Christie’s in April 2013 for $39.3 million.

Rather than being presented on its own, the Juliet is mounted in an impressive necklace set with 98.70 ct of round brilliant, pear and marquise-cut colourless diamonds of E and F colour and VVS clarity.

Juliet Pink Necklace. Image Courtesy of Brian Lazar. NHM LA
Juliet Pink Diamond - set in a necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut shape white diamonds. Image Courtesy of Brian Lazar

 

The Argyle Violet Diamond

Named after its place of discovery - the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia - the Argyle Violet is a sensational and almost impossibly rare 2.83 ct Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet gem. Its hypnotic colour was the star attraction at the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which offered an invite-only look at this magnificent diamond.

The Argyle Violet was expertly cut from a 9.17 ct rough, with incredible skill used to harness the colour to its maximum potential.

Argyle Violet Ring. Image courtesy of Aaron Celestian. NHM of LA
Argyle Violet Ring. Image courtesy of Aaron Celestian

 

The Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple

The 1.64 ct, cushion-cut, Fancy Vivid Purple 'Victorian Orchid' diamond is considered one of the rarest in the world thanks to its unique colourway and SI2 clarity. It is displayed mounted in the centre of a flower-like platinum ring.

Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple. Image Courtesy of Aaron Celestian. NHM LA
Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple. Image Courtesy of Aaron Celestian

 

The Rainbow Diamond Necklace

'Diamonds: Rare Brilliance' also features the showstopping Rainbow Necklace set with 88 fancy radiant-cut, coloured diamonds in a range of hues (shown in cover image). The total diamond weight is 35.93 ct. According to L. J. West, it took five years to source all of the necessary diamonds for the piece and then complete the assembly process. 

All of these incredible diamonds will be available to view in the NHMLA’s 6,000 sq ft Gem and Mineral Hall until March 19, 2017. To find out more please click here. ■

NHMLA Gem and Mineral Hall. Image Courtesy of NHMLA
NHMLA Gem and Mineral Hall. Image Courtesy of NHMLA

Interested in finding out more about diamonds? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's diamond courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image Rainbow Diamond Necklace. Image courtesy of Brian Lazar.

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