Friday, April 17, 2009

Chameleon Diamonds' Charm


Not all that long ago, a peculiar sub-set of natural fancy color diamonds referred to as chameleons were pretty much the territory of a small group of mineralogists who favored collecting odd mineral varieties. But these phenomenal diamonds, so called for their infinite ability to change from one color, referred to as their stable color, under normal circumstances, to a completely different or unstable color when subjected to extreme heat or dark storage--and back again, are now hot ticket items for diamond collectors.

One dealer confided recently that up until a few years ago, he 'couldn't get rid of them at any price.' That is more likely due to the uneducated consumer who was completely in the dark about what these stones could do when they were left completely in the dark.

The stable color of these curious diamonds is usually a khaki (greyish or brownish) green, and changes into shades of yellow to orangish yellow in their unstable condition. Not long after showing their chameleon-like color change, they revert to their original 'stable' hue. Incidentally, the Argyle mines of Australia have produced their own chameleon diamonds of greyish purple which change to pinkish blues.

On April 22, 2009, some fortunate collector will be able to bid at Christies New York (Lot 135) on a magnificent 19.13 carat briolette cut chameleon diamond as the centerpiece of a unique pendant and necklace with purple-pink and colorless diamond accents all in a platinum and rose gold mounting. Pre-auction estimate is $800,000 to $1,200,000 US. Paddles up!

No comments: