Natural green diamonds almost never appear at auctions, unlike blue, pink and yellow diamonds, but they also do not result in final prices that would reflect their rare occurrence. It is a well-accepted fact that red is the rarest diamond color in the world, followed by blue and pink diamonds. However, green diamonds often do not receive this consideration. Perhaps it is because they are simply not as popularized in the public eye, but they are not categorized as one of the top 3 rarest diamond colors. The truth is that they are almost as rare, but because they are not in as high demand, they do not receive an equal amount of press time and a subsequent strong demand from the world at large.
The color green appears naturally in diamonds when the diamond is exposed to radiation underground during its formation under the earth. This phenomenon happens incredibly rarely and natural green diamonds are very difficult to discover in diamond mines. Occasionally, a diamond of a different color will have a green overtone, such as a blue-green diamond or a yellow-green diamond. However, pure green diamonds hardly ever occur, and those of Fancy Vivid Green are the rarest of all. That makes them priced the highest of all as well. However, they are still not as in demand as red, pink or blue diamonds and therefore they are not as expensive in per carat price or total price.
Since they are not as popular as red, blue or pink diamonds, they do not qualify as investment diamonds but rather as collectors’ diamonds, and true fancy color diamond collectors pride themselves on owning green diamonds as a part of their collection, not as an asset to resell after a given time period.
In the last 40 years or so since natural fancy color diamonds have been appearing at auction, there has been only a handful of natural green diamonds to appear. Since 2003, only a single Fancy Vivid green was ever sold, a 2.54 carat Fancy Vivid Green VS1 diamond. At its Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on November 17, 2009, it sold for a record price of $1.222 million per carat, or $3.08 million total. Any other green diamonds to ever appear at auction in the last 40 years was not Vivid but either a Fancy or Intense color intensity.
Christie’s Hong Kong auctioned the ‘Aurora Green’ diamond, a rare 5.03 carat Fancy Vivid Green diamond for $16.8 million. It special not only because of its size, which makes it the largest ever Fancy Vivid Green diamond ever sold at auction, but also because of its VS2 clarity, and that it has no fluorescence, which is extremely rare for such a diamond. Just to put it in perspective, it is twice the size of the largest Fancy Vivid Green diamond ever offered at auction – and that diamond sold for $3.08 million! And don’t forget that the price per carat of a diamond increases with size.
The rectangular-cut fancy rock had been valued at $16 million to $20 million and although it sold at the lower end of that range, it set a “world auction record for a green diamond and world record price per carat for a green diamond,” Christie’s said.
The buyer was Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, one of the world’s largest jewellery retailers.