The National History Museum of Los Angeles County, California, has announced the holding of a rare exhibition at its renowned Gem & Mineral Hall, christened, “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE,” which will bring together a rare collection of natural colored diamonds, never before seen in the United States. The exhibition is organized by NHM Los Angeles County in association with the New York based L. J. West Diamonds, one of the world’s most distinguished houses for some of the most rare and important exotic Natural Fancy Color Diamonds to have ever been unearthed. The exhibition will be on view for over three months from December 16, 2016, to March 19, 2017, giving visitors an opportunity for an insight into the mysteries of these marvels of nature, created billions of years ago deep inside the crust of mother earth. Commenting on the hosting of this rare exhibition, NHM’s Associate Mineralogy Curator, Dr. Aaron Celestian said, “We are thrilled to share these gems, which are incredibly rare in color, intensity, quality and size – and so brilliantly fashioned from the original roughs – with museum visitors, providing opportunities to learn about the geology, physics and chemistry behind each diamond’s sparkle and hue. These jewels, on loan from L. J. West, capture the imagination and will shine amongst the museum’s world-renowned collection of gems and minerals.”
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be undoubtedly the “Juliet Pink Diamond,” an extremely rare pink diamond of over 30 carats and a 2.83-carat, oval-cut, fancy deep grayish-bluish-violet diamond known as the “Argyle Violet,” named after the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, where the diamond was discovered in the year 2015.
Scott West, the vice president of L.J. West Diamonds, co-organizer of the event said, “Throughout history diamonds have been synonymous with love and romance. The Juliet Pink captures this connection with its vibrant, strong pink color that is both alluring and seductive. After understanding the stone’s importance and color we decided to name the stone the ‘Juliet Pink Diamond,’ as the stone captivates passion and ultimate beauty.”
The “Juliet Pink Diamond,” will be displayed at the exhibition as a pendant to a necklace set with marquise-cut, pear-cut and circular-cut colorless diamonds, with a total weight of 98.70 carats. GIA’s Diamond Type Classification Letter designates the “Juliet Pink Diamond, as Type IIa, due to its chemical purity and clarity. Type IIa diamonds constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds, and are generally absolutely colorless, and known as top-color diamonds (D-F color). However, a very small percentage of such diamonds, less than 0.1%, have undergone plastic deformation in their crystal structure during their violent genesis, that imparts rare fancy colors to these Type IIa diamonds, such as pink, red, orange, violet and brown. The occurrence of natural fancy colored diamonds is extremely rare and estimated to be around one in 10,000 diamonds brought out from the mines.
Another extremely rare diamond that will feature at the “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE” exhibition is the “Argyle Violet,” diamond, a 2.83-carat, oval-cut, fancy deep grayish-bluish-violet diamond. In fact, there is no other diamond in existence in any part of the world, with the same combination of colors, clarity and size and the “Argyle Violet” is the largest violet diamond to be discovered in the Argyle Diamond Mine. The “Argyle Violet” will be displayed at the exhibition set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle Vivid Pink Diamonds.
The Vice President of L. J. West Diamonds further said, “We are so pleased to be able to share these exceptional stones with the public through the Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of LA. Just as the ring and necklace settings provide a backdrop to highlight the brilliance of the cut stones, the excellent company of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall collection will provide the perfect context for these rare and important diamonds.”
Like the co-organizer of the exhibition L. J. West Diamonds, another New York based company, Rio Diamond Manufacturing Corporation, has also come forward to contribute to the success of the “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE” exhibition to be held at NHM Los Angeles County. Rio Diamond Manufacturing Corporation is lending out one of its extremely rare colored diamonds, perhaps the only one in existence in the world, to be displayed at the NHM Los Angeles County exhibition. The diamond known as the “Victorian Orchid Diamond” is a 1.64-carat, cushion brilliant-cut, fancy vivid purple, SI2 clarity diamond. The company has stated that the rare diamond will be made available to its clients only after the museum has completed its research and after the conclusion of the “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE” exhibition on March 19, 2017.
According to Jose Batista, son of Jose O. Batista, owner and President of Rio Diamond Corp, “There are not many Fancy Vivid Purples in the world, let alone over 1 carat in size. Purple is extremely rare; stones of this color and intensity are not often discovered. Natural purple color diamonds with no modifiers are rare. They are usually described with various hue modifiers such as brown, gray and pink. The Orchid is graded fancy Vivid Purple by the GIA, making it a significant diamond.”
The “Victorian Orchid Diamond” will be on display at the “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE” exhibition, in a designer flower ring setting, inspired by the orchid flower, strongly desired but rarely found, according to Jose Batista.
Another stunning exhibit at the “DIAMONDS : RARE BRILLIANCE” exhibition, will be a ‘Rainbow Diamond Necklace,” made up of fancy colored diamonds, of all shades of color found in the rainbow. The “Rainbow Diamond Necklace” will be displayed under fluorescent lighting at the exhibition.
By the display of rare natural colored diamonds in the various fancy colored shades they exist in nature such as red, pink, violet, purple, orange, brown, yellow, green and blue, under different lighting conditions, the aims and objectives of the exhibition, is to educate the public on the rare properties of colored gemstones; the science behind natural colored diamonds and how the interplay of light and chemistry gives diamonds their color.