Natural gray diamonds, like all colored diamonds, get their color from the inclusion of foreign elements during the formation of a diamond underground. In this case, the gray color is caused by an inclusion of hydrogen, although it can also be caused by boron. Despite this, these diamonds come in a variety of shades, which gives them a very unique color. Gray diamonds are sometimes called coal-gray, steel, shale, silver and pigeon and are of low intensity.
Their tones range from tin and nickel to deeper shades such as graphite and lead. Gray diamonds are mined in India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Australia, where the Argyle mine is located. Production of gray diamonds accounts for 2% of all colored diamonds (most of them are champagne-colored diamonds). Interestingly, gray diamonds, like blue diamonds, are semiconductors of electricity—unlike most diamonds, including most colored and colorless diamonds, which are not electrical conductors.
Gray as Primary or Secondary color
Its color intensity levels are light gray, fancy light gray, fantasy gray, fantasy dark gray, and fantasy deep gray. Diamond colors appear cooler or warmer depending on whether they contain cooler blue or green, or warmer browns and yellows.
Depending on how they are installed in the jewelry, the darkness or lightness of the diamond may be more or less pronounced. Surrounding it with colorless diamonds really allows the diamond to shine the most and occupy a central place, especially if secondary colors are present in the center of the diamond.
Gray appears as a secondary color mainly in green and blue diamonds, but can also be found in yellow, chameleon and purple.
Famous grey diamonds
The Diamond of Hope, the most famous diamond in history, is officially considered a fancy blue-gray. There are no famous grey diamonds as they have not been historically popular, but some of the most famous blue diamonds in the world have the official colour designation “greyish blue” – including the famous diamond of hope, the Sultan of Morocco and the Wittelsbach diamond.
Diamond of Hope
The Diamond of Hope (formerly “Le bleu de France”) is the largest dark blue diamond in the world. The 45.52-carat (9.10 g) fancy deep grayish-blue VS1 diamond was mined in India and measures 25.60 mm (length) × 21.78 mm (width) × 12.00 mm (depth).
Legend has it that the original shape of the Hope Diamond was stolen from the eye of a sculptural statue of goddess Sita in a Hindu temple. The priests of the temple then placed a curse on whoever could possess the missing stone, and a “curse” of the diamond of hope was born.The diamond of hope and the curse associated with it were subsequently used, among other deaths, in the beheading of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. September 1812 is the earliest moment when the story of the diamond of hope can be definitively established. A blue diamond of the same shape, size and colour as hope’s diamond was recorded in the possession of London diamond dealer Daniel Eliason. The diamond of hope appeared in 1839 in the published catalog of the collection of precious stones of the famous British banker Henry Philip Hope, who died in the same year. His eldest nephew, Henry Thomas Hope, inherited the Hope diamond. After further inheritance problems and numerous changes in ownership, the diamond of hope finally fell into the hands of diamond dealer Harry Winston in 1949. On November 10, 1958, Winston donated the diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. Traditionally, the diamond of hope was in a necklace exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in an oval frame surrounded by a series of white diamonds; however, in 2009 it was exhibited as a free gemstone. On November 18, 2010, The Hope Diamond was featured in a new mandrel, with the design chosen from three possible in an online vote of more than 100,000 people. The Diamond of Hope was shown in this frame for a year before being returned to its traditional frame.
Wittelsbach was a 35.56-carat fancy deep grayish-blue VS2 diamond, cut with an unusual pattern of 82 faces. Since the Madrid archives were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939, the earliest record of the diamond dates back to 1664, when it was donated by Philip IV to his daughter Infante Margareta Teresa, then 15 years old, for her engagement to Emperor Leopold I of Austria. Her husband inherited all her jewels and in turn left them to his third wife, Empress Eleanor Magdalena, who gave the large blue diamond to her granddaughter, Archduchess Maria Amelia.
Sultan of Morocco
Cut cushion, 35.27 carats, the fancy grayish-blue sultan of Morocco has an unknown purity. It is believed that the diamond came out of India in the middle of the 19th century, but how it got to Europe, for how much, the previous owner and the like is unknown.
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