Green diamonds | Diamond color influenced by radiation

When you hear that green diamonds get their color from radiation you might worry. There is of course no need. Green diamonds are nothing like kryptonite from the Superman universe; it has no adverse effects on the mind or body.

The green color of these colored diamonds can be attributed to the amount of radiation they were exposed to while being formed. This happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago; making the green diamonds harmless in present day.


Diamond color classification

Due to the unique origin of these colored diamonds, green diamonds can’t be classified as easily as most other diamonds. You might have heard of type Ib, type IaB and type II. This classification is made to reflect the way diamonds absorb infrared and ultraviolet light, which decides how we view their color purity. The source of color for green diamonds is irradiation which makes this classification less meaningful.

The color of emerald

While both emerald and green diamonds are green, the source of their color is completely different. Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl with ‘impurities’ caused by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. The origin of the color in emeralds and green diamonds are thus miles apart!

Dresden green diamond


One of the most famous green diamonds is the Dresden diamond. The history of this diamond can be traced back to 1722 when Augustus III of Poland bought it from a Dutch merchant. Its name is derived from the German city Dresden where it has been displayed over the past 2 centuries.

This rare green diamond weighing 41 carats has been set in a beautiful hat ornament with 2 other large diamonds and a total of 411 smaller diamonds. It can still be viewed in Dresden at the New Green Vault in Dresden Castle.

What makes this diamond truly special, however, is its ability to identify synthetic diamonds. It’s often used to check if a green diamond is natural or manmade!

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