Lab-grown diamonds have come into the diamond world as revolutionaries and have changed the business significantly. These diamonds are similar to the mined diamonds, chemically, physically, and optically. Lab-grown diamonds are eco-friendly as they are grown in labs and are not extracted from the earth’s surface. This also makes them averse to conflict, as they do not harm nature in any way.
Some people have also seen this as a business opportunity and have started investing in them, as they are priced 20-30% less than mined diamonds. Diamonds are classified into various types to define their purity and to state their overall excellence in their fraternity. Out of which, type IIa diamonds are considered to be the purest, rarest, and most valuable form of diamond. The inexistence of nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure is a feature they are well-known for. They are usually colorless, which adds to their pure nature, and don’t contain any measurable impurities.
Type IIa diamonds account for only 1-2% of all mined diamonds in the world. Cullinan and Kohinoor are examples of Type IIa diamonds. This category of diamonds undergoes very high pressure for a long period of time, and hence they have an irregular shape more often than not. They are highly valuable and are considered a great investment opportunity.
The world-famous Koh-I-Noor (Persian for Mountain of Light) diamond was found near Kollur, India. It is the largest known diamond in the world; its size has been reduced significantly since its years of evolution. The diamond originally weighed 793 carats; it now weighs only 105.6 carats after multiple attempts at cutting and polishing. The Koh-I-Noor diamond passed through multiple hands through dynasties, emperors, and invasions. It eventually ended up as a British Crown Jewel and is a part of the Crown, held by Queen Elizabeth.
The Elizabeth Taylor diamond is a 33.19 carat Asscher cut ‘Type IIa’ diamond. It was bought by Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor’s husband, in 1968 for USD 300,000 at the NY auction. Later on, it was sold in 2011, for USD 8.8 million. The diamond was an important part of Taylor’s collection as she wore it as a ring.
The Archduke Joseph diamond is an antique cushion-shaped diamond, colorless ‘Type IIa diamond’. The diamond originally weighed 78.54 carats, it was later bought by Molina jewelers in Arizona in the 1990s and was re-cut to 76.45 carats. This also improved the clarity and symmetry of the diamond.
The diamond was recovered in India’s Golconda mines. It was claimed for the first time by Austria’s Archduke Joseph August as he deposited it in a Hungarian bank vault in 1933. Similarly, there are many other famous Type IIa diamonds, including The Star of the South, Winston Legacy, The Agra, Darya-I-Noor, Beau Sancy, and so on. Type IIa diamonds are very close to complete extinction and are getting rare. Another reason is the rapid decline in the production of the earth-mined diamonds.
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