For centuries, the color purple has been acknowledged as the color of royalty. Many nobles proudly wore purple clothing and accessories and displayed purple decor in their royal quarters. Some nobles went as far as to have crafted purple jewels for them.
This begs the question: Are there real purple diamonds?
The answer is yes; purple diamonds can be found in nature even though they’re extremely rare.
What gives them the color purple? How much do they cost? Answers to these – and many more – questions are covered in this article. So, be sure to read it until the end – and learn more about these peculiar colored diamonds.
Nature’s Wonder: Purple Diamonds
It’s hard to believe such colored diamonds do occur in nature, isn’t it? But it’s true.
While they are almost impossible to find – so, most people don’t even know they exist – natural purple diamonds are indeed real. Not only that, they come in a variety of different shades!
Are Purple Diamonds Rare?
To properly address this question, we need you first to understand the rarity of natural fancy colored diamonds.
In the niche of natural fancy colored stones, there are several baseline colors. Colors such as blue, yellow, green, pink, orange, gray, and brown are only a few existing diamond colors.
It gets even more complicated due to the fact that there are unique color combinations created out of two or more colors combined. However, not all color combinations exist in nature.
For instance, there are no blue-purple diamonds, but several other combinations exist, such as pink-purple diamonds.
Although it may seem that because of the quality of colors and color combinations, fancy color diamonds are in abundance, they’re, in reality, extremely rare. It’s said that only 1 out of 10,000 carats of natural mined diamonds is of gem quality fancy diamond.
And when it comes to fancy colored gems, purple diamonds are considered among the rarest of them all – inferior only to red diamonds.
On top of that, pure purple diamonds are exceptionally rare. Therefore, they’re virtually priceless items to own. Typically, the purple diamonds that you can find feature secondary colors – such as pink, brown, and gray.
Why Are Purple Diamonds Purple?
In the same way that other natural gems are colored, purple diamonds result from the presence of impurities while the precious stone is formed.
Scientists believe that large amounts of boron and hydrogen were present within the diamond while forming – and that results in a distinct purple shade.
The longer the boron and hydrogen are present in the formation process, the deeper the color.
There is more than one theory when it comes to how purple diamonds get their color. The most popular proposal is that while these stones are being pushed by magma to the surface from the Earth’s mantle, a plastic deformation creates in their crystal structure.
This deformation is also to blame for the color of red diamonds.
So, as you can see, some gemologists believe that the high pressure endured during the gem’s journey to the Earth’s mantle impacts the color, too. In that sense, the more pressure exerted the richer the gem’s color.
Where Do Purple Diamonds Come From?
Most of the purple diamonds are found in the Argyle Mine, Western Australia. Luckily, in recent years, some purple diamonds have been unearthed in other regions such as Siberia.
Considering that the Argyle mine is soon to be closed, the findings in Siberia were excellent news. However, natural purple gems only account for a tiny fraction of the mined gemstones in Siberia’s Mir Kimberlite field.
The Israeli Diamond Institute reported that the discovery of 649 diamonds in Quebec’s James Bay region revealed nine purple diamonds in 2008. That suggests that these gems may exist in more regions than previously thought.
Even better news, right?
Learn More: Diamond History: How They Form And How They’re Found
How Much Do Purple Diamonds Cost?
No price chart or formula can tell you how much does a purple diamond costs. Still, by using the general guide on top of some quick Internet research, you could get a rough idea and estimation of the stone you’re looking to buy.
Colors such as gray and brown will lower the quality of the gemstone – and with it, the price will go down and be compared to a secondary tone of pink.
For purple diamonds, the color intensity levels can range from fancy deep, fancy vivid, fancy intense, fancy dark, fancy, fancy light, and light.
Most of these stones are on the lighter end of the mentioned spectrum, making those that show a strong purple hue more rare – and thus, more valuable and more sought after.
In today’s market, prices of light-colored purple diamonds range between $10,000 and $25,000 per carat for stones smaller than half a carat and with medium clarity grade, like SI.
If you up the intensity level, the prices swiftly go to $50,000 per carat – and even more.
But Why Are Purple Diamonds So Expensive?
It makes sense that these gorgeous gems would reach such high prices. They are the second rarest fancy colored diamonds, right after red diamonds. Meanwhile, the desire for these gems has gradually been rising.
As with the economics of any product – increasing demand and diminishing supply lead to the prices of purple diamonds soaring up.
However, there are purple diamonds that aren’t nearly as expensive – although they aren’t “real” purple diamonds.
As interest in purple diamonds keeps rising, and there are so few available on today’s market, some companies have produced enhanced purple diamonds through various processes, such as irradiation.
Related Read: What Are Enhanced Diamonds? Should You Consider Buying One?
These sophisticated techniques involve artificially tinting the stone within its structure. While they may boast a purple color, their beauty and value can’t come near to a genuine, natural purple diamond.
That is why it’s essential to purchase a purple diamond with a certificate issued by a reputable organization, such as the GIA, which ensures the true origin of the color.
Expert gemologists can distinguish a genuine purple diamond from an artificially treated one by inspecting the distribution of the color or by utilizing specialized equipment.
When it comes to visibility, natural purple diamonds will have color that’s concentrated near the deformation lamellae. On the other hand, treated diamonds exhibit saturated color throughout.
Unlike colorless gems that are often cut into round brilliant cuts, purple diamonds are generally found in fancy shapes, like a cushion, oval, radiant, pear, and emerald cuts.
Diamond cutters will do anything to enhance the purple color of these stones. And this includes making the proportions deeper or the girdle thicker. That’s because the purple color is so essential to the value of the diamond it overrides all other factors.
Getting To Know Them: Purple Diamond Names
Due to all color combinations and variations, it’s pretty common to give fancy colored diamonds descriptive color names. For example, there are Champagne and Chocolate Diamonds in the brown diamonds family.
Purple diamonds had also earned their share of names to depict the shades of purple. Here are some of the more famous names used for purple diamonds:
- Deep Purple
- Dark Magenta
Is There A Difference Between Violet And Purple Diamonds?
If you came across the so-called violet diamonds while browsing, you should know that violet diamonds are actually more than just another name for purple diamonds.
While both violet and purple diamonds are inarguably stunning to the viewer’s eye, they differ from a gemological perspective.
So, it’s worth mentioning the difference between these two.
What distinguishes true purple diamonds from their violet counterparts is that the crystal lattice deformations create the grain-like purple lines that are visible within the stone. And conversely, violet diamonds owe their color to the trace amounts of hydrogen within them.
Famous Examples Of Purple Diamonds
Even though there aren’t many well-known purple diamonds, several famous stones made their mark. Adding to the intrigue of these gemstones is the fact that there aren’t many details about them.
Arguably the most notable purple diamond is the Royal Purple Heart Diamond. It’s the biggest fancy vivid diamond ever to exist – well, as far as we know, anyway. The sources reported that this 7.34-carat heart-shaped gem is believed to be from Russia.
The Julius Klein Diamond Corporate cut this stone into a perfect heart – a shape that enhances the diamond’s brilliance and exceptional clarity. No one knows who is currently in possession of the Royal Purple Heart, though.
The Supreme Purple Star is another famous gemstone that’s probably even more mysterious. Nobody knows the exact clarity and color grade of this gemstone.
What’s certain is that despite what the name of the stone implies, it features a round brilliant cut, with an estimated weight between 2 to 5 carats. The origins of this diamond are still unknown – although the Israeli Diamond Institute noted that many diamond experts believe it was mined in the last 30 years somewhere in the Amazon basin.
Here’s what the institute says makes this gem so breathtaking: One can allegedly see various different shades of purple when viewing it from different angles.
Best Purple Diamond Engagement Ring Styles
The style of the engagement ring setting can make your purple diamond appear more or less purple. Even if your stone is light purple, you can make the purple color look more saturated by doing two things:
Firstly, surround the stone with a rose gold bezel or rose gold prongs. The basket that holds the diamond securely in place should be rose gold as well, if possible. Then underline the ring with bright white diamonds in platinum or white gold.
The reflection from the rose gold incorporated with the contrast of the white diamonds in white gold or platinum will make a paler purple stone appear more intense.
The contrast effect means that halo-style engagement rings are a perfect choice for your purple diamond.
Another way to add contrast is to take a three-stone setting with a purple diamond in the center. It will make the color of your purple diamond look richer.
What’s The Meaning Behind Purple Diamond Rings?
There are many discussions about the meanings behind gems and their color when it comes to birthstones. However, it’s less common to address it when talking about actual diamonds.
Purple diamonds are usually thought of as a perfect stone for sociologists, artists, psychologists, philosophers, and royalty.
That’s due to the fact that the purple color of the gemstone has been connected with wisdom, nobility, and power for several centuries now.
It’s no surprise then that purple diamond engagement rings became one of the more popular choices among upper echelons of society over the ages.
Purple Diamond Alternatives
Sapphires are rare and gorgeous gems that are much more affordable than most fancy colored diamonds. They also come in more variants of purple color – from pastel shades that imitate the looks of a fancy purple diamond to more intense hues that would be worth a fortune if you could match them in a diamond.
Another alternative for purple diamonds is amethyst. This purple quartz gem is pretty affordable and available in fine colors that can make a stunning amethyst ring.
If you ever asked yourself, are there real purple diamonds?
We’re more than happy to inform you that genuine purple diamonds do exist in nature. The thing about purple diamonds is that they’re extremely rare – only red diamonds are rarer than purple ones. This rarity means they are more sought after, which further means they are highly valuable and extremely expensive.
The purple color of these stones comes from inclusions of hydrogen and boron within the stone. Then again, some scientists believe that the color of these gems is a result of the high pressure these stones endure while they travel from the Earth’s mantle to the surface.
Either way, we can agree that purple diamonds look absolutely wonderful when set in the right diamond setting. So, be sure to talk to your jeweler about how you could enhance their natural beauty.