Purple diamonds are the result of plastic deformation of a diamond’s crystal structure, the same condition that produces red diamonds. Purple stones are as rare as red diamonds and command equally high prices when they appear for sale.
There are only two world-famous purple diamonds, and comparatively little information is available about them.
The Royal Purple Heart Diamond is the largest Fancy Vivid Purple diamond known to exist. The stone, which is generally believed to have originated in Russia, weighs 7.34 carats, has a clarity of I-1, and was cut into its perfect heart shape by the Julius Klein Diamond Corporation. The diamond’s current owners have not been identified.
Even more mysterious is the Supreme Purple Heart. Despite its name, the diamond is a round brilliant cut. Its precise color grade is not known, nor is its clarity. Even its weight is a matter of conjecture, with estimates ranging from two to five carats. Like the Royal Purple Heart Diamond, the Supreme Purple Heart’s origins have not been confirmed, but most believe it was mined in the Amazon basin within the last 30 years. The diamond is remarkable in that its color changes – when viewed from one angle, it appears deep purple, and from another angle looks deep red.
Purple diamonds are so rare that even celebrities have a hard time getting their hands on one (or getting one on their hands.) But in 2003, Lakers star Kobe Bryant – who at the time was facing rape charges – appeased his wife, Vanessa, by buying her an eight-carat purple diamond ring worth about $4 million.
In 2008, it appeared that a new source of purple diamonds had been found. Metalex Ventures, Dianor Resources and Wemindji Exploration announced that a sample taken from Quebec’s James Bay region had yielded 649 diamonds, including nine purple stones.