Beautiful. Unbreakable. While diamonds are usually crystal clear, there are some variations in color which result from certain impurities or defects in their lattice atoms. These discolorations in diamonds result from variations in their atom’s structure, chemical properties, or exposure to other factors such as radiation.
When pure diamonds are subjected to nitrogen, they may turn yellowish, which reduces the price of the stone. When a diamond is exposed to radiation, it may turn green. When there is a certain portion of scattered boron in the diamond’s matrix, it will have shades of blue.
Usually, people and jewelry lovers prefer the pure and transparent diamonds but there are times when colored diamonds, especially pink or blue ones, are priced even higher and are more sought after. An excellent example is the Hope Diamond, also referred to as “Le Bijou du Roi,” which is kept safe in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
The Hope Diamond is a perfect example to show that blue diamonds are marvelous. It is a large diamond with a deep-blue shade weighing 9.10 grams or 45.52-carats. Although known for being cursed, the present owner of this valuable gem has had no unfortunate experiences related to it.
When exposed to ultraviolet light for a few minutes and viewed in the dark, the Hope Diamond exhibits phosphorescence; a kind of photoluminescence closely related to being florescent. Diamonds have the ability to disperse light of different colors and blue diamonds such as the Hope Diamond even show phosphorescence!
Another famous blue diamond is one which used to belong to the King of Spain; the Wittelsbach Diamond. Sold for more than $24 million at an auction, this 35.56-carat once held the record for most expensive rate per carat for a diamond.
Not only are blue diamonds beautiful to behold, they also have functional purposes not limited to being wonderful pieces of jewelry. In some cases, blue diamonds can function as natural semiconductors. This is a unique trait of blue diamonds because most diamonds are the opposite; they are usually great electrical insulators.
This semiconductive capability of blue diamonds originate from and is made possible by the boron impurity of the stone. Instead of the usual carbon atoms in pure diamonds, blue diamonds have boron in their matrices, which adds a hole to its valence band.
From light to deep and rich blue shades, blue diamonds are indeed cool and captivating precious stones to behold. They may have their boron impurities, but these so called defects make them unique and sometimes even more desirable than the normal type of pure diamonds.