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On Saturday, visitors to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles were the first to view an elite collection of ultra-rare green diamonds. Called "Green Diamonds: Natural Radiance," the exhibit includes 60 gems on loan from New York-based Optimum Diamonds, a company that has amassed the largest collection of natural green diamonds in the world.
The gems displayed among eight cases in the museum's Gem and Mineral Hall cover a wide range of green varieties, from yellow-greens on one end of the green spectrum to blue-greens on the other. Highlighting the exhibition is “The Mantis,” the largest vivid yellowish-green diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America at 4.17 carats. A second headliner is “The Shangri-La,” a vivid green diamond weighing 3.88 carats.
“Like the works of the great masters, the supply of these diamonds is finite, and the investors, collectors and jewelers that pursue them do so with incredible intensity,” said David Shara, owner of Optimum Diamonds. “I’m very pleased to be able to share my passion for these rare gems and the result of nearly 15 years of chasing these stones. They are something that most people rarely have the opportunity to see.”
When it comes to fancy-colored diamonds, the two rarest colors are red and green. Green diamonds are so rare that only a handful are introduced to the market each year, with the very finest ones fetching upwards of $3 million per carat.
Even though the exhibit has a green theme, Optimum will be presenting two very rare diamonds obtained at the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. The Argyle Everglow™ is a 2.11-carat radiant-cut fancy red diamond and the Argyle Liberté™ is a 0.91-carat radiant-cut Fancy Deep Gray-Violet diamond.
Museum visitors will not only get to see some of the rarest diamonds on the planet, they will also learn how the amazing color of green diamonds is attributed to the natural gamma radiation present during their formation deep within the earth. The shade of green varies depending on the amount of radiation exposure, and appears more yellow or blue if the crystal has other impurities, noted the NHMLA.
The exhibition will run through April 1, 2018. For more information about the green diamond exhibition, check out the Natural History Museum's website at this link.
Credits: Green diamonds copyright © Digital Jewelry Photography. Red and violet diamonds copyright © 2017 Argyle Diamonds Limited.