Green diamonds actually receive their color from radiation. Yes, you read that right. The various colors of green diamonds depend on the amount of radiation the diamond was exposed to in the past. The rarity of naturally colored green diamonds makes these gems more expensive. Those with some irradiation treatment tend to be more affordable and accessible. But, never fear. This exposure usually takes place at low levels or thousands of years in the past. Wearing a green diamond won’t make you radioactive – just radiant!
Green Diamonds vs. Emeralds
People often confuse green diamonds with emeralds. However, green diamonds hold a distinct advantage over emeralds. Diamonds rate a 10 on the scale of hardness. Beryl – the family of emeralds – ranks at an eight on the scale. Stone hardness becomes a significant concern if you wear your jewelry daily. Even if you’re not concerned about durability, you probably care about sparkle. Green diamonds tend to have much more sparkle – even in comparable cuts – than emeralds.
(More Than) 50 Shades of Green
These diamonds can carry a single, pure color. Those that are singular in color vary among eight intensity grades. However, many consist of a stunning variety of secondary hues. Colors of these stones vary from gray, blue and yellow shades of green.
The depth of the color depends on the type of radiation that colored the diamond. Beta and gamma rays give the stone consistent color throughout. Alpha radiation causes surface green tones. Because of this, owners of green diamonds must be careful with polishing. The stone should not be polished too often and then only by a professional who has experience with colored diamonds.
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