Purple Diamonds—in Canada?

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding a Canadian mining company’s announcement it found purple “micro-diamonds” prospecting at its site.

Most fancy colored diamonds are rare, of course, but purple diamonds are among the rarest of the rare. And attractive purples are even rarer, according to colored diamond expert Alan Bronstein of Aurora Gems:

There are very, very few pure purple diamonds in the world and the ones that exist are not necessarily pretty. As a matter of fact the ones I have seen with a name of straight purple have a grayish or metallic tone. The best ones are pinkish-purple or pink-purple (which still can appear purple to the eye) and brownish to brown-purple, which may look like the skin of a plum. You see very few of any of these colors in half carat and larger and I believe the largest known stone is about 5 carats (and it’s not pretty at all.) Most purple diamonds are believed to come from Russia.

He thinks there are less than 100 real purple diamonds in the world, about the same number as orange-colored stones.

Of course, the Kobe Bryant “repentance” diamond was sometimes described as a “purple” stone, but was probably, like Bronstein says, purplish-pink. (I’ve also seen it called a pink.)

Anyway, back to the prospective mine: Could there be real purple diamonds there, and to Bronstein’s point, will they be attractive purple diamonds people will want to own? Or will this just turn out to be, like the so-called “World’s Largest Diamond”, a lot of nothing? I guess we will see, but it’s certainly a story that sparks the imagination. And that’s what the diamond business does at its best.

JCK News Director