Similar to natural pure fancy purple diamonds, natural pure violet diamonds are exceedingly rare, they are arguably even rarer than purple diamonds and are seldom found in sizes larger than 1 carat. In fact, fancy violet diamonds are typically very small, routinely ranging from 0.10 carat to approximately 0.30 carat.
The color appears as a combination of blue diamonds and purple diamonds, although it is a color in its own right, and comes in different hues and intensity. Many of the world's violet diamonds originate from the Argyle Mine in Kimberley, Western Australia.
As with several other natural fancy colored diamond groups, the presence of a trace element (in the case of fancy violet diamonds is hydrogen) in the atomic lattice, is responsible for their particular color. The cause of color in violet diamonds is markedly different from that of purple diamonds, which is due to plastic deformation, or mutation of the atomic lattice. Violet diamonds and purple diamonds therefore consist of two separate colors.
Fancy violet diamonds are assessed according to intensity of color, or a combination of saturation and tone. The following describe violet diamond intensities:
|Fancy Violet Diamond Intensity Scale|
|Fancy Intense Violet|
|Fancy Deep Violet|
|Fancy Dark Violet|
The further along this spectrum you go, the richer and more intense the violet is to be seen in the diamond. The more intense a diamond's color saturation, the more it will be worth. A Fancy Intense Violet diamond will be worth considerably more than a Fancy Violet diamond, although both are valuable in their own right.
Pure violet diamonds without secondary modifying colors are even harder to find, as most are paired with Gray or Blue. While some colored diamond industry professionals use the words "violet" and "purple" interchangeably, violet diamonds are a distinct color group that should not be confused with purple diamonds, physically and in discussion. Violet diamonds will appear more Blue Gray to the eye while purple diamonds appear Red or Pinkish:
Pure violet with no secondary hue almost never occurs in nature, and when it does, these diamonds appear only in small sizes. Even though this is very rare, it is not considered as rare as fancy red diamonds and fancy blue diamonds. The violet colored diamonds found in nature usually appear with Gray or Blue as a secondary hue, and are also very beautiful although not always as expensive.
When the color appears as a modifying color in a secondary hue, it can be either Violet or Violetish (i.e. Fancy Violetish Blue or Fancy Dark Violet Gray), depending on how the violet modifying color appears in the diamond. Their color is related to hydrogen, but the exact mechanism is as yet unknown. They are often very small and diamonds greater than 1 carat are extremely rare.
Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of a violet diamond, and the continuum in between. GIA grading does not make a distinction in tones, but to the eye a stone with darker tones may appear more intense in color. For someone looking for the appearance of a Fancy Intense Violet diamond without the price tag of one, a good option may be a Fancy Violet diamond with a darker tone.
Violet diamonds do not have a marked tendency to exhibit fluorescence to UV light. In the final analysis, the enhancement to a stone's aesthetics that fluorescence offers is entirely subjective.
Natural fancy violet diamonds can be found in virtually all shapes, including pear shapes, radiants, cushions and the classic round brilliant cut. In the case of violet diamonds, a round brilliant cut does not necessarily desaturate color as they usually have relatively darker tones than other diamond colors. Take note of uneven color distributions as well (these will be noted on your GIA certificate), as they can certainly affect a diamond's appearance and value.
Natural fancy violet diamonds are extremely valuable. Even more valuable are those that are a pure violet color without any secondary modifying color. Violet diamonds tend to be found coupled with Gray or Blue as secondary colors. The modifying colors tend to devalue such violet diamonds, but they are nonetheless rare and possess high value in their own right. Violet diamonds of any kind are typically small and rarely, if ever, exceed 1 carat. If a violet diamond larger than 1 carat should surface on the market in the future, there will be a hefty price tag attached to that rare commodity.
The majority of violet diamonds originate from the Argyle mine, the same mine made famous worldwide for its production of fancy pink diamonds, in Kimberley, Western Australia. Violet diamonds rose to prominence when they were discovered in Australia in the late 1980s. Argyle violet diamonds tend to exhibit conspicuous overtones of Blue or Gray, affirming the complete dearth of pure violet diamonds.
As of yet, there are no famous violet diamonds.
Natural violet diamonds are extremely rare and belong to the purple diamond family.
A colored diamond is generally rare when it exists as one color without any modifying colors. Violet diamonds can be found paired with Blue and Gray.
It is more common for violet to serve as a secondary color modifier, such as a diamond graded Fancy Voletish Blue or Fancy Violet Gray, than for it to be the dominant color in a diamond that is modified by another color.