FAMOUS GREEN DIAMONDS

 

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The Dresden Green

Very green diamonds are extremely rare and the Dresden Green, named after the capital city of Saxony in Germany where it has been exhibited for almost the last two centuries, is certainly the most beautiful known specimen.

It’s 40.70 ct. has 58 facets and was graded as VS1 clarity by the Gemological Institute of America in 1988. The uniform distribution of the green colour also makes this stone extremely rare. The Dresden is cut in an irregular pear shape and the stone can be dated back to 1722 when a London news sheet carried an article about it.

It is said that the rough stone was purchased in India's Golconda region by the famous diamond merchant Marcus Moses. Conflicting reports indicate Moses had the stone cut either in India or in London shortly before 1741. The stone was eventually purchased by Duke Frederick Augustus II (1733 -1763) at the Leipzig Fair in 1741 for 400,000 Thaler (a European currency used from about 1500 - 1900).

Following 2 earlier settings, the Dresden Green diamond was eventually put in to a hat clasp (as pictured on left) in which it remains to this day. The diamond was actually seized by the Soviets at the end of the Second World War, but was returned to the Germans in 1958. Today, it is kept in the Albertinium Museum in Dresden.

 

 

 

The Gruosi Green Diamond A.K.A. The DeGrisogono Green Diamond

The Gruosi Green diamond is of South African origin, but other historic details are not known. Fawaz Gruosi purchased the diamond in 1998, and the rough diamond weighed 100 carats. Almost three-quarters of the weight of the rough stone was sacrificed, in transforming the stone into a near flawless, cushion cut green diamond, weighing 25 ct., the second largest natural green diamond in the world after the Dresden Green. Another important feature of the diamond is that the green colour appears to be evenly distributed in the crystal and not confined to the outer layers as a skin, as is the case with the Dresden Green.

Fawaz Gruosi is the founder of the Swiss Jewelry house de Grisogono and described the diamond as the finest modern specimen of a green diamond. He said that, "looking at this stone is like looking into the sea, it's an unusual green that is sparkling and alive."

Gruosi set the green diamond in a gold ring, surrounded by 382 smaller black diamonds, weighing 7 ct. Gruosi estimated the ring's value at $7.3 Million USD.

 

 

 

The Ocean Dream

The Ocean Dream Diamond is a 5.51 ct., fancy deep blue-green, shield shaped diamond. Although the Ocean Dream is not very large, it was the only natural diamond known to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to possess a blue-green hue, when they first examined the stone. This characteristic alone places the Ocean Dream diamond among the rarest stones on earth.

As such a unique colour, testing was conducted on the diamond to ensure the colour was indeed a natural beauty and not artificially enhanced. The testing initiated by the GIA proved that the exceptional hue is a result of millions of years of exposure to natural radiation.

Unfortunately, there is not too much information about the history of the Ocean Dream diamond available. It is known that it was found in Central Africa, but no information as to which mine or what year it was found exists. Also, the diamond's current owner, the New York-based Cora Diamond Corporation, came to acquire the Ocean Dream, but when and how it was purchased was never publicized.

The Ocean Dream diamond was on display in 2003 as part of the Smithsonian's "Splendor of Diamonds" Exhibition (as pictured on left). The exhibition also featured other famous diamonds, including the "De Beers Millennium Star", the "Allnatt", the "Heart of Eternity" and the "Steinmetz Pink".

 

 

 

The Orlov

The Orlov is 189.62 metric carats and the clarity is typical of the finest Indian diamonds and its colour possesses a slight bluish-green tint. It'smounted in the Imperial Sceptre, made during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796). The shape of the diamond is described as resembling half a pigeon's egg and on one side of the diamond there exists a slight indentation.

It is part of the collection of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin. The origin of this resplendent relic can be traced back to an 18th century Hindu temple, in India where it once served as the eye of the presiding deity. The man held responsible for its removal (around 1750) was a French deserter from the Carnatic wars who apparently converted to the Hindu faith solely to gain access to the statue and invested years planning his thievery. After his escape, he sold the stone and from then it went from merchant to merchant, each seeking great profit.

The stone eventually made its way to Amsterdam where the current owner, an Armenian gem/jewelry dealer, Grigori Safras garnered incredible attention for the jewels he had. Safras was invited by Catherine the Great of Russia to St. Petersburg for a time, during which there were negotiations to sell the stone. Nothing was finalized and Safras returned to Amsterdam.

Count Grigorievich Orlov (1723-1783) was a Russian nobleman and an army officer of great distinction. For a time, he was also the lover of Catherine the Great until she replaced him with another. His love loss drove him out of Russia and ultimately to Amsterdam where he concocted a plan to win back Catherine after he learned the diamond was still with Safras and still available. In the end Orlov paid a purported 1,400,000 Dutch florins, equivalent to 400,000 Russian roubles for the stone which still bears his name.

In the end Catharine accepted the diamond and had it set in the Imperial Sceptre, The Empress gave Orlov a marble palace at St. Petersburg, but she never rewarded him with his former position as her favorite. In 1777 Count Orlov married his cousin, but following her death in Lausanne in 1782, he became mentally deranged and returned to Russia to die the following year.

 

 

 

The Chopard Chameleon

Not strictly a green diamond, in 2007 Swiss jeweler, Chopard, acquired an oval cut, 31.31 ct. chameleon diamond with virtually no inclusions. It is the largest chameleon diamond in the world, comfortably exceeding the previous record holder, a 22.28 ct. stone.

The diamond is the centerpiece of a ring surrounded by a delicate pavé setting of tiny yellow diamonds. The ring was designed by Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and was presented at Baselworld 2008. The estimated worth of the stone in 2008 was $10 Million USD.

Since officially this stone has yet to be named, it's safe to assume that the Chopard Chameleon is an appropriate title.

Check out our section on Chameleon Diamonds for more information on this very unique type of natural coloured diamond.