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DeYoung Pink Diamond [G3772]
DiamondDiamonds, like soot, are made of carbon. In a diamond, chains between atoms tightly link to form the hardest material known. In fact, the word diamond comes from the Greek word adamas, which means invincible. Add diamond's fiery brilliance to this extreme hardness and you have a magnificent gem-the April birthstone. Colorless diamonds are few and far between, and valuable as a result. Most diamonds are naturally tinted pale yellow or brown. Fancy diamonds-those with deep shades of yellow, blue, pink, and red-are very rare and highly prized. It is estimated that such fancy colors occur in only one in every 100,000 diamonds.
Hover over color tiles above to learn what this object tells us about the history of the Earth
About this object
Very few diamonds are completely without color. In most diamonds, a few atoms of nitrogen substitute for some of the carbon as the crystals form, causing the stones to be tinted yellow or brown. Red and pink diamonds probably owe their color to light interacting with defects, such as missing atoms, in their crystalline structure. When the hue is sufficiently intense, the diamond is graded “fancy-colored.” The lively 2.86-carat pear-shaped DeYoung Pink Diamond comes from the Williamson mine in Tanzania. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the DeYoung Pink as a natural fancy intense purplish-pink diamond with a clarity grade of SI-1. 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. The National Gem Collection includes some of the world’s finest and most important colored diamonds on exhibit today. The DeYoung Pink Diamond is on display in the Gem Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History.
denotes specimens currently on exhibit
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