We all have a list of objects that we would want to own, far-off trips we would take and extravagant things we dream of indulging in if only we had the opportunity. Since I’m hopelessly in love with gemstones—natural diamonds, in particular—I thought, with the holidays on the horizon, what better time to share with you my Diamonds Wishlist?
OK, several of the five stones I narrowed my list down to aren’t even available…at any cost. But then again, a guy can dream, can’t he?
The Dresden Green, Priceless, Not for Sale
With its pure bluish-green hue, the Dresden Green is the largest natural green diamond in the world, weighing in at 41.1 carats. And as with many historic diamonds, its entire history isn’t fully known. But what we do know is that when the verdant jewel was acquired in 1741 by a Saxon royal, it was set into a sumptuous hat ornament inspired by the Order of The Golden Fleece.
What personally attracts me to it? Its crystalline clarity, even natural color and old cut pear brilliant shape. Scientists believe that unlike other colored diamonds that owe their color to trace elements, all-natural green diamonds are imparted this particular hue by natural radiation.
Whether from a radioactive host rock, or even flowing water over some time, it’s one of the few instances where the color comes after a diamond’s formation. Luckily for me, when the “home of this particular stone (the Green Vaults in Dresden) was robbed in 2019, the diamond was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. If you can believe it, just recently three suspects were arrested in Berlin on suspension for being involved with the heist that still has over $1.2 billion in historic jewels missing.
Esperanza Diamond, ~$1,000,000
As the only diamond on the list found in the United States, this particular jewel is unique for many reasons. Unearthed in 2015 by a park visitor to The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, the only place in the world where the public can ‘dig for diamonds’, the Esperanza Diamond was the fifth largest stone ever discovered at the park, weighing in at 8.52 carats.
After a master diamantaire spent over 180 hours polishing the incredibly pure and clean stone (known to the trade as a “type IIa” diamond), it weighed in at 4.65 carats and was set into a modern design that showcased its unique triolette shape.
I was able to see the stone myself during the California pit stop on its pre-auction nationwide tour. And rumor has it that the diamond is now being reset into a new piece of jewelry featuring other American gemstones like the Montana Sapphire.
The Orlov/Orloff Diamond, Priceless, Not for Sale
I may have to wait, well, infinite eternities to acquire the next diamond on my wishlist because… it’s currently adorning a genuine scepter. The Imperial Scepter of Russian Empress Catherine the Great, to be exact.
Estimated to weigh nearly 190 carats with a slightly bluish-green tinge, this stone is one of the few historic diamonds of Golconda that retains its original Indian rose-style cutting. Legend has it that the stone once adorned a Hindu temple deity as its “eye”. Scholars also believe the massive diamond was once the Great Mogul Diamond, originally much larger at an estimated 280 carats. I’m entranced by the cutting style, incredibly rich provenance and again: the fact that it’s in an actual honest-to-goodness scepter!
L’Incomparable Diamond, ~$55,000,000
Another interesting tale surrounds the discovery of this “incomparable” diamond. It was discovered in the tailings of a diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo by a young girl playing next to her uncle’s home. Weighing in at 890 carats, it changed through several hands before being sold to the chairman of Zales for unveiling at the company’s 75th anniversary in 1984.
It took years of planning and execution to finish polishing the massive stone, which ended up coming in at 407.78 carats, getting graded “internally flawless”, and ranking as the third largest faceted stone in history, as well as the largest of that clarity grade in the world.
After some time (and a few auctions) it ended up in the hands of Geneva-based jeweler Mouawad, which took the stone to new heights. Set into a necklace with another 200 carats of diamonds, the fancy orangey-yellow stone made it into the record books, specifically into The Guinness World Records as the “World’s Most Expensive Necklace”.
But despite all that, just the fact that a child playing could find an egg-sized jewel of this magnitude has always captivated me—along with the stone’s unique facet pattern.
The Argyle Violet, Price Upon Request
Although this diamond is the smallest on my wishlist, it’s arguably the rarest of them all. In over 30 years of diamonds coming out of the Argyle mine in Australia, it’s only produced 12 carats of violet diamonds, including the largest of them all: the world record 2.83 carat Argyle Violet.
Regal and noble, the hue violet is quite different from purple or blue; gemologists believe that the shade is caused by hydrogen, something unique to the recently retired Argyle mine.
As luck would have it, I’ve had several personal encounters with this beautiful oddity of nature. Once I was actually able to hold this stone during the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. Then a couple of years later, I was fortunate enough to wear the finished ring that now holds it (made by LJ West & Scott West Diamonds). I have and always will hold a special place in my heart for this almost mythical stone.
OK, so most of these natural diamonds are not only “not for sale”, but are considered integral to our culture and history. But isn’t it nice to wish and have dreams? Realistically these stones are all too important for just one person to keep for themselves, buttt if I had to narrow down my dream diamond wishlist to just one stone, I would probably go with any Violet Diamond from the Argyle Mine. My very own sparkling piece of history.