Dubbed the “Purple Orchid,” the 3.37-carat fancy intense pinkish-purple cushion-cut gem is an extraordinarily rare natural diamond. A purple diamond with this clarity, size and color intensity rarely appear in nature.
Israeli diamond company Leibish & Co. will introduce the Purple Orchid to the world during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. The gem, which has a clarity rating of VS2, was cut from a 4-plus-carat rough diamond sourced from the Kimberley Mine in South Africa. The diamond was carefully polished over a three-month period.
Leibish reports that purple diamonds can be found in only three locations worldwide — South Africa, Russia and Brazil. While Russia’s purple diamonds have overtones of blue and Brazil’s purple diamonds tend to have a hint of orange, the purples and intense pinkish purples from South Africa display the absolute best brilliance and purple sparkle, according to Leibish.
Appropriately, the Purple Orchid’s 2014 debut coincides neatly with Radiant Orchid’s reign as Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year. The global color authority described Radiant Orchid as “a captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.”
What makes purple diamonds purple is still a scientific mystery. It’s been established that a yellow diamond gets its dazzling color from minute traces of nitrogen in the diamond’s chemical composition and a blue diamond gets its color from boron. When it comes to purple, scientists suspect hydrogen as the stray element, but they’re not so sure.
“The cause of purple in diamonds remains a mystery, which only adds to the glamour and attractiveness of diamonds like these,” said Leibish Polnauer, the president of Leibish & Co.