Why this natural colored diamond is perfect for Halloween

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that experiences four seasons, chances are fall is your favorite. Yes, the weather is dreamy, but autumn is also the gateway to the holiday season, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, Halloween is upon us, and you can finally wear the diapers you’ve been dying to be seen in. There’s one color that gets you in the mood for fall and Halloween than any other. No other color represents the change of leaves and is more represented in seasonal decor just like orange. The color alone instantly makes you want to carve pumpkins, sip hot apple cider and stroll through crisp leaves on the sidewalk. This mood-evoking color is found in nature, but the rarest natural occurrence of orange is the most stunning. Natural orange diamonds are not only the rarest occurrence of orange in nature, but are also among the rarest colors of all natural diamonds.

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A Fancy Vivid orange diamond from Leibish. Photo credit: Leibish
The orange diamond, 14.82 carats fancy bright orange. Photo credit: Christie’s

Two famous orange diamonds stand out from the others never discovered. The first and perhaps the most famous is called The Pumpkin Diamond. The Pumpkin Diamond was found in the mid-1990s as an 11-carat rough diamond that exhibited an orange-brown color. Legendary diamond cutter William Goldberg then purchased the rough stone in hopes of maximizing the beauty of color in the art of diamond cutting. Often the full potential of rough colored diamonds cannot be seen until they are cut. Diamond cutters sometimes buy rough in the hope of having a finished product of greater value when cut, but this gamble does not always pay off. In the case of The Pumpkin Diamond, however, William Goldberg managed to turn this orange-brown rough diamond into a “fancy vivid orange,” the highest and rarest color designation for an orange diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America graded the stone, which stated at the time, “The Pumpkin Diamond is one of the largest naturally colored fancy vivid orange diamonds in the world.” William Goldberg’s bet had paid off. But where does the name The Pumpkin Diamond come from? The now 5.54-carat cushion-cut diamond was auctioned by Sotheby’s on the eve of Halloween 1997 and bought by Ronald Winston from famed New York jeweler Harry Winston. Its shape, color and day of purchase were undoubtedly Ronald Winston’s inspiration for the perfect name.

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The Pumpkin diamond, a Fancy Vivid orange diamond of 5.54 ct. Photo credit: GIA

After its purchase, Winston designed a classic three-stone ring to set the remarkable stone, flanked by two small colorless diamonds. Actress Halle Berry then wore the ring in 2002 as she accepted her Best Actress Oscar for the film ball of monsters. In 2003, the Pumpkin Diamond was featured in the Smithsonian’s “Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit, which is still recognized as one of the most remarkable diamond exhibits in history. An anonymous buyer reportedly purchased the ring from Winston in 2005 for over $3 million.

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Halle Berry wearing The Pumpkin Diamond as she poses with her Actress in a Leading Role Oscar for ‘Monster’s Ball’ (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

The pumpkin diamond remained the largest example of a fancy vivid orange diamond ever discovered until 2013 when mysteriously a 14.82 carat pear-shaped fancy vivid orange diamond was announced to be auctioned off at Christie’s. . This miracle of nature is so unique that it is simply called The Orange Diamond. In a document accompanying the grading certificate, the GIA said of The Orange Diamond: “Pure orange diamonds are exceptionally rare in nature. So few have been graduated in the world that the origin of their color still carries a part of mystery. The current diamond is the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond graded by the GIA to date: “In the Laboratory’s experience, strongly colored diamonds in the range of orange hues rarely exceed three or four carats when polished. . (This diamond) is almost four times larger than this size range.

This extraordinary diamond sold at Christie’s auction in Geneva in 2013 for more than $35 million, nearly double its original high estimate. It was bought by a private collector who was present in the auction room but who wishes to remain anonymous. Even though it was sold in 2013, it remains in the top three most precious stones per carat sold at auction and is the largest fancy vivid diamond of its color ever discovered.

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A model shows “The Orange” a 14.82 carat pear-shaped diamond during a press preview. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Although the cause of the color of diamonds is not fully understood, scientists know that nitrogen impurities play an important role. Like yellow diamonds, nitrogen impurities are incorporated into the diamond’s carbon lattice structure during formation deep in the earth. The arrangement and abundance of nitrogenous impurities cause a range of yellow colors, from lightest to darkest. The same is true for orange diamonds, except that the nitrogen absorption is at a different, rarer wavelength. In addition to nitrogen, some orange diamonds are even thought to have color caused by “plastic deformation”, the same cause as pink diamonds. The vast majority of these diamonds have secondary hues of red, pink, purple or yellow. “Pure” orange diamonds, however, are almost as rare as fancy red diamonds.

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Orange Diamond Color Scale From left to right: Light Orange, Fancy Orange, Fancy Intense Orange, Fancy Bright Orange, and Fancy Deep Orange. image copyrightLeibish

Next time you carve your Halloween pumpkin or bite into the orange leaves outside, imagine the rarest orange nature has given us, orange diamonds, and add them to the list of things that get you in the mood for the season.

Sarah C. Figueiredo