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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

DeYoung Pink Diamond

DeYoung Pink Diamond. Pear-shaped brilliant-cut light red purple diamond weighing 2.86 ct.
Photo by NMNH Photo Services. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G3772-00
Locality Williamson Mine, Tanzania
Weight 2.86 ct

Gift of S. S. DeYoung in 1962.

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 2.82-carat pear-shaped DeYoung Pink Diamond comes from the Williamson mine in Tanzania. In the late 1950s, the Baumgold Brothers, one of the largest diamond cutting firms in the United States, acquired from DeBeers a sight (“lot”) of pink and blue rough diamonds. Soon afterward they made an agreement with the J. & S.S. DeYoung jewelry firm in Boston to sell them all the finished stones. One of the cut stones was the 2.82ct pink pear-shaped diamond. It was considered exceptional and kept by DeYoung until it was donated in December 1962. 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.



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