Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Remember When . . . The Diamonds Were Fancy?

I admit it--I've long had a fascination with gemstones. It started with memorizing birthstones and just blossomed from there. And I've always leaned toward the bright, clear colors.

So naturally, when it came to diamonds, my teenage self said, "Psh. Diamonds. They're so boring--they're clear! Unless, of course, they're colored..." I had every intention of being rich and famous, remember, so I declared that rather than some boring engagement ring with a clear/white diamond, I wanted a colored one.

Ahem. Yeah, um...reality took over, LOL. Neither David nor I turned out to be stinkin' rich, so there you go.

But the fascination never quite left. And so, it should come as no surprise that it's worked its way into my books. Back in college, I wrote a contemporary about an artist, and there was a character who was a jeweler. I loved delving into the world of jewels in my research!

And it comes up in my upcoming historical series from Bethany House too. One of my editors asked if the jewels I mention really are as rare as I say in the book...which reminded me that the whole world might not have done the research I did on colored diamonds, LOL. But in case you're interested... =)

Diamonds can occur naturally in gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, pink, green, purple, brown, and black. The color is caused by impurities...yet they happen rarely, so they can dramatically increase the value of a diamond. IF they are bright colors. Faint colors can just dull the brilliance and usually degrade a diamond rather than making it more valuable. These bright colors are called "fancy colored diamonds."
The Hope Diamond

The most famous, of course, is the blue diamond called the Hope. At over 45 carats, this thing is huge, and has quite a history attached to it.

The most expensive blue diamond to date, however, is a 7-carat one that sold in 2007 for $9.5 million. (The Hope hasn't been sold in a long time). But that record was broken in 2013 by an orange diamond that sold for--brace yourself--$35 million.


The largest red diamond ever mined is the Moussaieff Red Diamond, at a bit over 5 carats. It was discovered in Brazil in the 1990s. Before that, most red diamonds came from Africa or India.

The largest purple diamond (purple! love purple!) is the Royal Purple Heart, from Russia. Its origins are rather shrouded in mystery...but even more mysterious is the Supreme Purple Heart. Which is round, not heart-shaped (go figure). Believed to have been mined in the last 30 years, experts can't even verify it's size. They guess somewhere between 2 and 5 carats, and that it came from somewhere in the Amazon. It's said to look deep purple from one angle and deep red from another.

Such a lovely, colorful world of gems! Do you have a favorite stone?


  1. Colorful diamonds are pretty but I adore the White Diamond my husband gave me when we became engaged. My favorite gemstone, other than that particular one, is Sapphire. I have a lovely smaller version of Princess Diana's engagement ring, much much smaller. ;)

  2. When we got engaged, I told my husband, I don't care how pure the diamond is, just get a big one! Then I changed my mind and told him I wanted a really pure white diamond no matter the size, but unbeknownst to me, he'd already gotten it. And he'd gotten a pure white one ... just under a carat, so I was delighted! I love gems as well. Had a collection at one time, but had to end up selling them. Ruby is my birthstone, so it would be my second favorite. Or perhaps turquoise. I have tons of turquoise from our years in New Mexico and wear something turquoise nearly every day. In fact, I wear a turquoise tennis bracelet that I never take off. Cool post!