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The Guide For Buyers & Investors


Fancy green diamonds, like fancy red diamonds, are exceedingly rare and valuable. Natural green diamonds can be grouped into two classes: those which possess natural body color, thus exhibiting a uniform green hue throughout, and those whose color is limited only to its surface, commonly called skin stones, where the source of green color is caused by remnants of radiation impressed on the "skin" of diamonds. Most natural green diamonds are skin stones, making body color green diamonds prohibitively rare and valuable. The most famous – and largest known – green diamond that exemplifies body color is the historic 40.70 carat Dresden Green.


Diamond Envy is made up of experienced GIA Graduate Gemologists, graders, designers, activists and diamond enthusiasts. Our involvement in every step of the mine to market process gives us a superior command for the diamonds themselves, how they are sourced, cut, polished, and set in jewelry.  This approach means that we not only offer the best natural colored diamonds, but we are able to pass along gorgeous, conflict-free green diamonds at superb prices. Read below to understand how we assess, identify, and value our green diamonds. 




Natural fancy green diamonds owe their color to radiation exposure that unfolded after they formed and traveled to Earth's surface via the volcanic pipe. However, the downside of being submitted to radiation is that only those portions of the stone that come into direct contact will show green color, thereby resulting in a diamond with uneven color. As rare as green diamonds are, a diamond with uniform green color is absolutely uncommon. A green diamond’s color is determined by three factors: (1) the kind of radiation the diamond has been subjected to; (2) how long the exposure lasted; and (3) diamond size.


Alpha radiation tends to affect only the surface of the diamonds, resulting in skin stones where the green color is oftentimes wiped out as they are cut and polished. Beta and gamma radiation, on the other hand, will infiltrate the green diamonds more deeply, thus producing diamonds that exhibit much greener color with uniform color distribution. Fancy green diamonds that are the product of beta and gamma radiation are truly unique – incidents of this nature take place less than 0.1 percent of the time.


green diamond 




Fancy green diamonds are assessed according to intensity of color, or a combination of saturation and tone.  The following describe green diamond intensities:


Light Green, Fancy Light Green, Fancy Green, Fancy Intense Green,  Fancy Dark Green, Fancy Deep Green, and Fancy Vivid Green.



 green diamond color intensity



The further along this spectrum you go, the richer and more intense the green is to be seen in the diamond. The more intense a diamond’s color saturation, the more it will be worth. For example, a Fancy Intense Green diamond will be worth more than a Fancy Green diamond. That said, apart from very saturated pure greens, stones that are a split grade containing another truly rare color of highest saturation, such as Fancy Vivid Blue Green, are among the most desirable and valuable types of natural green diamonds.

 fancy green diamonds




Secondary Color Modifiers


A colored diamond is generally rare when it exists as one color without any modifying colors. Green diamonds can be found paired with yellow, brown, gray and blue. The only instance that color in fancy green diamonds can experience equal, if not greater, rarity and value than if such diamonds were to have just its primary color of green is when the primary green color is combined with comparably rare colors such as blue. A “fancy blue-green” of considerable saturation will command a very high price as this color combination is among the rarest.


 green diamonds




Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of a green 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 Green diamond without the price tag of one, a good option may be a Fancy Green diamond with a darker tone.


green diamonds 




It is moderately common for green diamonds to display fluorescence. Natural fancy green diamonds tend to exhibit fluorescence in one of the following varieties: medium to strong blue, strong green, strong yellow and strong white. In the final analysis, the enhancement to a stone’s aesthetics that fluorescence offers is entirely subjective.




All levels of clarity are possible in fancy green diamonds. As truly rare as IF, VVS and VS diamonds are, they are even more so when combined with fancy green color. Notwithstanding, a green diamond that falls on the lower end of the clarity scale is highly valued and rare as long as any major inclusions do not detract from the color and appearance of the stone.




Because round cuts tend to produce lower color saturation, green diamonds, like other colors, are generally cut into fancy shapes such as pear shapes, radiants, cushions, etc. Round cuts cause color desaturation because they are best at reflecting white light, which also gives them their scintillation. In the case of green diamonds, a round cut may make the green color appear fainter, whereas a fancy shape, which reflects less white light, will maximize color saturation. 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.


green diamond shapes 




Natural fancy green diamonds have very high value. The most expensive of all green diamonds are those that are uniformly pure green without any secondary color modifiers. However, one allowance can be made regarding secondary color modifiers: any green diamond that is modified by blue such as Fancy Blue-Green or Fancy Bluish-Green is highly valuable and on par with pure green diamonds in terms of price per carat.


 green diamond price


A color diamond’s worth is determined first and foremost by its color. As already rare and exclusive as fancy green diamonds are, the more intense the base color in a green diamond, the more valuable it will be. Green diamond price is driven by intensity.  Stones that achieve intensities of Fancy, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid will command the highest prices among natural green diamonds. Of course, as the sizes increase, so, too, will their asking prices.




Fancy green diamonds originate from the mines of South America (Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela) and Africa. The single largest challenge confronting gemologists today is establishing a clear-cut way to differentiate natural green diamonds from treated ones: green diamonds can be submitted to irradiation, both natural and laboratory generated, where the latter emulates the former to such an extent that it is difficult to determine which is which.




Famous Green Diamonds


Dresden Green Diamond: at 40.70 carats, the Dresden Green diamond, which can be traced to the Golconda mine in India, is the largest natural green diamond known to man. For the last two and a half centuries, the modified pear-shaped brilliant cut “apple green” VS1 type IIa diamond has occupied a hat ornament designed by Prague jeweler Diessbach in the late 18th century. (To learn more about diamond types, visit the GIA.)Named in honor of Dresden, the capital city of Saxony, Germany, the Dresden Green diamond can be seen at the Green Vaults in the Albertinum museum in Dresden.


famous green diamond 


Gruosi Green Diamond: weighing 25 carats, the type IIa Gruosi Green diamond is the second largest natural green diamond known to exist, behind only the Dresden Green diamond. It has been owned by Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of the Swiss jewelry house de Grisogono, since 1998. The Gruosi Green diamond had a rough diamond weight of approximately 100 carats, having lost nearly 75 percent of its weight in the cutting and polishing process. It is a nearly flawless cushion cut diamond from South Africa. Aside from sheer size, the Gruosi Green diamond is notable for having uniform body color, much like the Dresden Green.


 famous green diamond


The Ocean Dream: the GIA graded this 5.51 carat shield-shaped diamond Fancy Deep Blue-Green, which at the time was the first stone in the entirety of the lab’s experience to exhibit such color. Such an asset instantly qualifies it as one of the rarest stones to ever exist. The Ocean Dream diamond is of Central African origin. It was one of the featured stones in the “Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition hosted by the Smithsonian in 2003. It is currently owned by Cora Diamond Corporation, a company located in New York City.

 famous green-blue diamond


At Diamond Envy, we offer a wide variety of natural fancy green diamonds in all shades. Whether you’re interested in a loose diamond for the investment potential or custom jewelry to give as an unforgettable gift for someone special in your life, shop our green diamond collection today.