Big Colored Diamonds at Smithsonian

How would you like to see a 59.60-ct. fancy vivid pink diamond? You want red, not pink? How about a 5.11-ct. fancy red? Not big enough? Try a 203.04-ct. D Flawless.

Seven of the world’s most extraordinary diamonds, representing a rainbow of colors—red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, blue-green, and colorless—are on view through Sept. 15 in “The Splendor of Diamonds,” an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The exhibit is in the museum’s Harry Winston Gallery, home to the 45.52-ct. Hope Diamond and other important diamonds and gems. Included in this exhibit is the Steinmetz Pink, a.k.a. the Monaco Rose, a 59.6-ct. fancy vivid pink. The Monaco Rose was discovered in southern Africa and is the largest fancy vivid pink known.

A farmer in Brazil discovered the red diamond, the Moussaieff Red, in the 1990s. It was cut by William Goldberg Diamond Corp., and, at 5.11 cts., it’s the largest fancy red diamond ever graded by GIA’s Gem Trade Lab.

Also on view for the first time in the United States is the 203-ct. De Beers Millennium Star, one of the largest perfect diamonds in the world. Weighing 203.04 cts., it has been graded by GIA as a D-color Flawless. Discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the rough crystal weighed 777 cts. and ranks as the sixth largest piece of colorless gem-quality rough ever found. The Steinmetz Group took three years to cut the stone.

Next to these rare diamonds is Ocean Dream, a 5.51-ct. fancy deep blue-green. Found in central Africa, Ocean Dream is one of the rarest diamonds known. According to the Smithsonian, there is no record of any other diamond of this color and size.

The Heart of Eternity, a 27.64-ct. fancy vivid blue heart-shaped diamond, is also on display. Cut and previously owned by the Steinmetz Group, the Heart of Eternity came from the Premier Mine in South Africa, which today is the only significant source of blue diamonds in the world.

The Allnatt, a fancy vivid yellow 101.29-ct. cushion cut, is named after its former British owner, Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt. Fewer than a dozen fancy colored diamonds weigh more than 100 cts. Experts believe the likely source of the Allnatt is the De Beers mine in South Africa.

Last is Harry Winston’s orange 5.54-ct. Pumpkin diamond, cut by William Goldberg Diamond Corp. It’s called Pumpkin because Winston bought it at auction on Oct. 30, the day before Halloween. Halle Berry wore the Pumpkin at the Oscars in 2002 when she accepted her Best Actress award for the movie Monster’s Ball. Found in South Africa, the Pumpkin is one of the largest fancy vivid orange diamonds in the world.

“The diamonds in this collection represent all the important features that make diamonds special to us—size, color, and overall quality,” says Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem Collection at the Natural History Museum. “Each of the diamonds is the finest of its kind and, together with the museum’s gem collection, makes for an exhibit of truly historic proportions.”