Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know about the beautiful and mysterious blue diamonds.
Of all fancy colored diamonds, blue diamonds are among nature’s rarest colors, high in demand like its red and purple counterparts.
In recent history, many high-profile blue diamonds have sold for astonishing prices, that has rejuvenated the market once more for these stunning gemstones.
The sale of these coveted gemstones created a flurry of news articles in media outlets around the world and led to much discussion.
In fact, blue diamonds are so rare that only one natural blue diamond can be found for every 100 Picasso paintings at auctions – according the Natural Color Diamond Association.
Have you ever wondered why are blue diamonds so ‘blue’? The beautiful hue is caused by the presence of boron a metalloid chemical element sometimes found in the crystal lattice of a diamond in its growth phase. Boron is present only closer the surface of earth. It is very rare to find boron in the earth’s mantle which is very diamonds are formed. And this is why blue diamonds are so special and exceedingly rare.
In blue diamonds there is a specific category called the Type IIb. This just means that they have no nitrogen traces in the structure and have a pure blue color without any secondary color influence. Most blue diamonds are the Type IIb kind and very rarely will you find a Type 1a. These tones show a greyish or pale greenish hue.
Blue diamonds are most sought after by investors, gem enthusiasts and to-be-brides for that much coveted blue diamond engagement ring.
But blue diamonds have quite the fan following in the scientific community as well. Research shows that blue diamonds are the best conductors of heat and electricity of all the substances on Earth, better than diamonds of any other color. They have many unique properties like red phosphorescence and an absolute lack of fluorescence.
Sadly, because they are so rare and valuable scientists seldom get the opportunity to study them for their unique characteristics.
The main source of blue diamonds are found in the Cullinan mine in South Africa – owned by Petra Diamonds.
This mine has yielded some of the finest blue diamonds on the planet, including the epic Cullinan I and Cullinan II that are now part of the British crown jewels.
Other mines that produce blue diamonds include the Letseng mine in Lesotho, the Karowe mine in Botswana and the Golconda mines in India.
Blue diamonds hold great fascination for collectors because of the appreciation in value and rarity.
The Natural Color Diamond Association had reported that prices for natural blue diamonds have been steadily and consistently increasing in the range of 12-17% each year in the past decade. Not surprisingly the results of recent auctions also indicate that there is an uptick in the demand for blue diamonds – the rarer the better.
One of the most famous diamonds auctioned at a sale with a record breaking price is the legendary Hope Diamond.
The true origins of the magnificent 45.52 carat Hope Diamond are shrouded in mystery till date. There is some speculation that it dates back to the mid-1600s and was likely unearthed in India.
Since then it has had an interesting and fabled history. Much controversy, tragedy and death surrounds anyone who has possessed it.
Eventually, The Hope was donated by Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institute in 1958.
Then, there is the Tereshenko blue diamond which has a beautiful pear shape. The stone is named after the original owners – the Tereshenko family – sugar barons in pre communism Russia. The stone was smuggled out of Russia just before the Russian revolution and passed into private ownership.
When the Tereshenko came up for sale in 2014 at a Christie’s auction, it was sold within 40 seconds. Going, going, gone at 10 million Swiss francs into the hands of collector Robert Mouawad.
Some other well-known diamonds include the he 31.06 carat Wittelsbach diamond which is believed to have come from the same piece of rough that yielded the Hope. Similarly, The Winston Blue is an internally flawless fancy vivid blue pear shaped diamond acquired by Harry Winston for $23.8 million at 13.22 carats. It set the world record for the highest price per carat for colored diamonds.
Last but not the least, the almost constant rise in prices for blue diamonds has inspired owners to take their profits. As more diamonds make their appearance at public and private auctions, the diamonds are in short supply. If you are thinking of investing in them, start today even if it is a small investment.