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Wilkinson Diamond Brooch

Photograph of the Wilkinson yellow diamond brooch (NMNH G7106)
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G7106-00
Weight 61.3 ct

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Wilkinson in 1977.

This yellow gold brooch has 71 fancy-colored diamonds ranging in hue from orange to brown. The diamonds are marquise, pear and round brilliant cut gems that range in size from 0.3 – 2.5 carats each and have a total weight of approximately 61.30 carats. The National Gem Collection is noted for its colored diamonds and includes some of the world’s finest important colored diamonds on display. Diamonds, as seen here, are not necessarily colorless; in fact, very few are completely without color. In most diamonds, a few atoms of nitrogen substituted for some of the carbon as the crystals form tint the stones yellow or brown. Blue diamonds owe their color to boron; and red & pink diamonds, it is believed, owe their color to defects or mistakes in the crystal structure. The popularity of colored diamonds has increased dramatically over the years, and some of the most valuable gemstones are fancy colored diamonds, especially in shades of blue, pink and red. This brooch was given to the Smithsonian in 1977 by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Wilkinson.


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