Iranian Yellow Diamonds

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Origin of name

The collection of 23 yellow diamonds with a minimum of 38 carats and a maximum of 152 carats are an important part of the Iranian National Royal Jewels, and are together known as the Iranian Yellow diamonds.

 

Characteristics of the diamonds

According to the web page on Iranian National Royal Jewels of The Iran Chamber Society, website, 23 diamonds known as the Iranian Yellow diamonds are listed in descending order of carat weights, giving their shape/cut and color grades based on the old system. A careful scrutiny of this list shows that diamond No. 9 has been inadvertently omitted. Thus only 22 Iranian Yellow diamonds have been listed.

A revised table of the same list of 22 diamonds is given below, incorporating the modern G. I. A. color grade and description. According to the revised list 3 diamonds are colorless, falling within the D to F range; 11 diamonds are faint yellow, falling within the K to M range; 5 diamonds are very light yellow, falling between N and R and 1 diamond is light yellow with a color grade of S to Z. There are two diamonds in the list which are not at all yellow. They are diamond nos. 11 and 19. Diamond no. 11 is a 72.84-carat champagne colored diamond, a term used for brown diamonds. Diamond no. 19 is a 54.35-carat peach colored diamond, which may be a pinkish-orange diamond, if the term peach has been used appropriately.

D to F color grade diamonds are obviously Type II a diamonds as they colorless, being chemically pure and structurally perfect.

K to M, N to R, and S to Z color grade diamonds which are respectively  faint yellow, very light yellow, and light yellow diamonds are obviously Type I aAB   diamonds, in which the yellow color is caused by nitrogen atoms distributed as groups of 2-atoms (A-aggregates), 4-atoms (B-aggregates) and 3-atoms (N3-centers). The A an B aggregates do not affect the color of the diamond but N3-centers do, giving a pale to medium yellow color, depending on the concentration of N3-centers.

None of the diamonds in the list, are the rare Type I b diamonds, which are intense yellow diamonds, caused by nitrogen atoms scattered as single atoms in the crystal structure.

 

Revised table of 22 Iranian Yellow diamonds incorporating the GIA color grading.

S/N

Carat Weight Shape/Cut Old world color grade GIA color grade

G. I. A. description

1 152.16 rectangular old brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
2 135.45 high cushion brilliant cape N-R very light yellow
3 123.93 high cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
4 121.90 multi-faceted octahedron cape N-R very light yellow
5 114.28 high cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
6 86.61 rounded triangular brilliant cape N-R very light yellow
7 86.28 irregular Mogul cut silver cape K-M faint yellow
8 78.96 high cushion brilliant cape N-R very light yellow
9 75.00 pendeloque brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
10 75.00 pendeloque brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
11 72.84 irregular pear shape champagne - -
12 66.57 cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
13 65.65 rectangular brilliant cape N-R very light yellow
14 60.00 cushion brilliant dark cape S-Z light yellow
15 57.85 round brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
16 57.15 cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
17 56.19 cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
18 54.58 irregular oval Mogul cut finest white D-F colorless
19 54.35 high cushion brilliant peach - -
20 53.50 high cushion brilliant silver cape K-M faint yellow
21 51.90 elliptical Mogul cut finest white D-F colorless
22 38.18 multi-faceted trapezoid cut finest white D-F colorless

History

The Iranian Yellow diamonds consist of 23 diamonds of different sizes and shapes, varying in weight from 38 carats to 152 carats. The diamonds have different shades of pale yellow colors.

These yellow diamonds are all South African in origin, and considering the year the diamonds were purchased (1889), may have originated in the highly productive De Beers or Kimberley mines, that started production in the mid-1860s. The Iranian Yellow diamonds are part of the Iranian National Royal Jewels.

The cut and polished diamonds were purchased by Emperor Nasseridin Shah in 1889, on his third trip to Europe. Nasseridin Shah was the Shah of Iran from the Qajar dynasty, and ruled  between 1848 and 1896. He was the ablest and the most successful of the Qajar Sovereigns. The modernization of Iran began during his reign, and he was responsible for introducing western science, technology and educational methods into Iran. He also introduced telegraph and postal services, built many roads, and opened the first school offering education along western lines. He also launched Iran's first newspaper. He visited Europe three times, in 1873, 1878, and 1889, and was impressed with the technology he saw there. It was during his last trip in 1889, that he purchased the yellow diamonds, that became part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.

His granting of concessionary rights to foreigners to build railways, irrigation works, etc. in return for large payments, that went into his pockets, made him very unpopular, and eventually in 1896, Nasseridin was assassinated by a fanatic.

 

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