Lareef A. Samad B.Sc (Hons)
The Lady Heart Diamond Collection, is a collection of five exceedingly rare heart-shaped diamonds of different colors - red, orange, pink, blue and canary yellow - and ranging in weight from 1.71 to 2.28 carats, that was designed by Bernard Bachoura, a fourth generation jeweler from Southern California's Sophia Fiori, one of the most sought after designer diamond collections in both white and colored diamonds. The diamonds are set in separate pieces of gold jewelry, custom designed by Bernard Bachoura, for a temporary exhibition to be held at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in the museum's gem and mineral hall, the "Gem Vault," from February 1 to June 30, 2013. Each of the five heart-shaped diamonds has been christened with a lady's name, which probably led to the naming of the collection as the Lady Heart Diamond Collection. The names of the five diamonds in the collection are as follows :-
1) Lady Mandara - 1.71-carat red diamond
2) Lady Orquidea - 2.00-carat orange diamond
3) Lady Leilani - 1.73-carat pink diamond
4) Lady Diantha - 2.28-carat blue diamond
5) Lady Zahira - 2.26-carat canary yellow diamond
The Lady Mandara Diamond is a 1.71-carat, fancy vivid red, heart-shaped diamond. Fancy vivid is the highest color grade that can be given to a red diamond. The Lady Mandara is documented by the GIA as one of the largest fancy vivid red diamonds in existence, and also as the largest, fancy vivid red, heart-shaped diamond GIA has ever certified. The shape of the diamond is proportionately a perfect heart-shape and not a modified heart-shape, like most other heart-shaped diamonds. The clarity of the diamond is not known
1.71-carat, fancy vivid red, heart-shaped Lady Mandara Diamond
The centerpiece of the Lady Mandara Pendant, is the 1.71-carat, fancy vivid red, heart-shaped Lady Mandara Diamond, mounted in a white-gold bezel, surrounded by eight heart-shaped rows of pave-set, white, brilliant-cut diamonds. The total weight of the white/colorless diamonds is 5.90 carats.
The Lady Mandara Diamond mounted as the centerpiece of a pendant
The Lady Mandara Diamond is a Type II diamond as it does not contain detectable quantities of nitrogen impurities. It is Type IIa, as it does not contain boron or hydrogen impurities that can impart a rare blue color to diamonds, classified as Type IIb, and constitute less then 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds. In that sense, Type IIa diamonds are chemically pure diamonds, and constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. Most of the Type IIa diamonds are not only chemically pure but also structurally perfect, and hence are absolutely colorless, as all factors that can cause color in diamonds, such as impurities and structural distortions are absent. Such diamonds fall under the color grade D, E and F and constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. They are commonly referred to in superlatives, such as "whiter than white," "purest of the pure" and "diamonds of the purest water" etc.
However, a very small percentage of Type IIa diamonds, although chemically pure are not structurally perfect. Such diamonds have structural distortions in their molecules, caused by the twisting and bending of the carbon tetrahedral units, or vacant positions in the crystal lattice. Such distortions or plastic deformation causes lattice defects, such as dislocations, slip planes, vacant positions dispersed or clustered in the crystal lattice etc. that imparts rare fancy colors to diamonds, such as pink, red, orange, violet and brown. The distorted or defective areas in the giant molecule, sometimes referred to as "graining" in common parlance, absorb most of the colors of light of the visible spectrum, except the color of light perceived by the human eye as the color of the diamond, which is reflected.
The occurrence of most of these colors in nature are less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds. For pink diamonds produced in the Argyle diamond mines, the frequency of production of pink diamonds is 1.0 carat of pink diamonds for every 1 million carats of rough diamonds. Hence, the probability of occurrence of pink diamonds at Argyle is 1/1,000,000 = 0.000001. An extremely low probability indeed!!! Red diamonds are even scarcer than pink diamonds, and hence there probability of occurrence must be extremely low; even lower than that of pink diamonds.
Lady Orquidea Diamond is a 2.00-carat, fancy vivid orange, heart-shaped diamond of unknown clarity. Orange diamonds are indeed very rare, even rarer than red diamonds. Hence, the existence of a fancy vivid color grade, the highest grade for colored diamonds, in a scarce orange diamond, further enhances the rarity of this diamond and contributes to the uniqueness of the Lady Heart Diamond Collection. A pure orange diamond should not have any brown component in it. One of the well-known fancy-vivid orange diamonds in the world is the 5.54-carat "Pumpkin Diamond."
2.00-carat, fancy vivid orange, heart-shaped Lady Orquidea Diamond
The 2.00-carat, fancy vivid orange, heart-shaped Lady Orquidea Diamond is mounted as the centerpiece of a white-gold cluster ring, in a heart-shaped bezel, surrounded by two rows of pave-set, round brilliant-cut diamonds, the rows maintaining the heart-shape of the central diamond.
White-gold cluster ring with heart-shaped, fancy vivid orange Lady Orquidea Diamond as centerpiece
The Lady Orquidea Diamond is a rare pure orange diamond without any secondary colors. In the visible spectrum orange lies between yellow and red. Hence, common secondary colors found in orange diamonds are yellow and pink, giving the combinations of yellowish-orange and pinkish-orange. Brown is a another secondary color found in orange diamonds, giving the combination, brownish-orange. Orange diamonds with secondary hues are more common than pure orange diamonds, devoid of secondary colors. Color in orange diamonds is most likely caused by structural abnormalities like other fancy colored diamonds, combined with the presence of trace elements like nitrogen. At least in the case of yellowish-orange diamonds, this may be true. The presence of detectable quantities of nitrogen make these diamonds Type 1 diamonds, even though structural abnormalities cause the pink and brown color of these diamonds. If nitrogen is scattered as single atoms in the crystal structure of the diamond, the diamonds become Type Ib. Scattered single nitrogen atoms are responsible for saturated yellow colors such as fancy deep, fancy intense and fancy vivid colors. The Nitrogen atoms absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum causing the complementary colors, intense yellow, known as canary yellow and the rare orange colors to appear. Orange color is produced by the absorption of visible light by a broad band situated at 480 nm in the blue region of the spectrum. As only 0.1 % of all naturally occurring diamonds belong to this group, the canary yellow and orange colors are extremely rare in diamonds.
A 4.19-carat fancy vivid orange diamond that sold for a record price of $2.95 million at a Sotheby's auction in October 2011, is another example of the finest natural pure orange diamonds, apart from the famous 5.54-carat, fancy vivid orange "Pumpkin Diamond," the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in existence, cut and polished by William Goldberg Corporation and purchased at a Sotheby's auction in 1997 by the House of Harry Winston for US$ 1.3 million. The "Pumpkin Diamond" received international attention at the 2002 Oscars when actress Halle Berry, who won the Academy Award for the best actress for her role in the film Monster's Ball, wore a ring set with the "Pumpkin diamond" by the House of Harry Winston.
4.19-carat fancy vivid orange diamond that sold for $2.95 million
5.54-carat, fancy vivid orange Pumpkin Diamond
The Lady Leilani Diamond is a 1.73-carat, fancy vivid pink, heart-shaped diamond of unknown clarity grade. Like all diamonds in the Lady Heart Collection, the Lady Leilani also has the highest color grade of fancy vivid. This feature combined with the rare and perfect heart shape of the diamond, makes the Lady Leilani a rare diamond indeed, adding to the value and uniqueness of the collection.
1.73-carat, fancy vivid pink, heart-shaped Lady Leilani Diamond
The 1.73-carat, Fancy Vivid Pink, heart-shaped, Lady Leilani diamond is set as the centerpiece of a modern rhythmic, white-gold, tear-drop pendant, surrounded by radiating rows of pave-set, round brilliant-cut, white diamonds, and two external tear-drop shaped rows also pave-set with round brilliant-cut diamonds.
Tear-drop pendant with Lady Leilani Diamond as Centerpiece
The Lady Leilani Diamond is a Type II diamond, because of the absence of detectable quantities of nitrogen. In the absence of any other chemical impurities such as boron and hydrogen that can impart a blue color in diamonds, known as Type IIb (Less than 0.1%) diamonds, Lady Leilani Diamond is a Type IIa diamond. All Type IIa diamonds are chemically pure. However Type IIa diamonds can be 1) structurally perfect (1-2%) 2) structurally imperfect/plastically deformed (Less than 0.1%) or 3) naturally irradiated (Less than 0.1%). Lady Leilani Diamond comes under sub-type 2, which are structurally imperfect/plastically deformed Type IIa diamonds. Plastic deformation of the diamond structure takes place deep inside the earth, either during the diamonds formation under high pressure and high temperature conditions, or its subsequent violent rise during volcanic eruptions. Plastic deformation causes lattice defects, such as dislocations, slip planes, and vacant positions or holes with groups of missing carbon atoms, that imparts rare fancy colors to diamonds, such as pink, red, orange, violet, and brown. The distorted or defective areas in the giant molecule, sometimes referred to as "graining" in common parlance, absorb most of the colors of light of the visible spectrum, except the color of light perceived by the human eye as the color of the diamond, which is reflected. The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is much less than 0.1% and their probability of occurrence was earlier shown to be as low as 0.000001 in the Argyle diamond mines.
The Lady Diantha Diamond is a 2.28-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless heart-shaped diamond. A combination of rare characteristics such as the perfect heart-shape, the fancy vivid blue color and internally flawless clarity, makes the Lady Diantha an important diamond in the collection, and further define the Lady Heart Collection's historic importance as a distinctive and timeless assortment of colored diamonds.
2.28-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, heart-shaped Lady Diantha Diamond
The heart-shaped Lady Diantha blue diamond is set as the centerpiece of a heart-shaped, white-gold, cluster ring. The heart-shaped blue diamond is mounted in a heart-shaped bezel, surrounded by an inner row of pave-set, round brilliant-cut, yellow diamonds and an outer row of pave-set, round brilliant-cut, white diamonds
Heart-shaped, white-gold, cluster ring set with the Lady Diantha Blue Diamond as centerpiece
The Lady Diantha Diamond is a Type II diamond as it does not contain detectable quantities of nitrogen. The Lady Diantha Diamond is a Type IIb diamond, as it contains minute quantities of the chemical impurity boron, that not only imparts a blue color to the diamond but also makes the diamond semi-conducting.
The Lady Zahira Diamond is a 2.26-carat, fancy vivid yellow, heart-shaped diamond of unknown clarity. Being fancy vivid yellow, the highest grade for colored diamonds, Lady Zahira Diamond may also be referred to as a "canary yellow" diamond. It's important to note that "canary yellow" is not an approved color grade, but a loose term that may refer to anyone of the following color grades - fancy deep yellow, fancy intense yellow and fancy vivid yellow. The Lady Zahira Diamond is the diamond with the most intense color in the Fiori Collection.
2.26-carat, fancy vivid yellow, heart-shaped Lady Zahira Diamond
The 2.26-carat, fancy vivid yellow, heart-shaped, Lady Zahira Diamond, is bezel set as the centerpiece of a heart-shaped pendant, surrounded by a single row of pave-set, round brilliant-cut, white diamonds. This combination is uniquely embeded in a rose-gold casing, which is also heart-shaped, and in turn surrounded by an outer row of pave-set, round brilliant-cut, white diamonds.
Lady Zahira heart-shaped pendant set with the Lady Zahira heart-shaped diamond as centerpiece
The Lady Zahira Diamond is a Type 1 diamond as it contains detectable quantities of nitrogen. Being a diamond with the highest color grading of fancy vivid yellow, the Lady Zahira Diamond is undoubtedly a Type 1b diamond, in which the intense yellow colors are produced by single nitrogen atoms scattered in the crystal structure. The single nitrogen atoms absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum causing the complementary color, an intense yellow color to manifest itself. Such diamonds with intense yellow colors, sometimes referred to as "canary yellow" diamonds are very scarce and constitute only about 0.1% of all natural diamonds. These diamonds also show fluorescence.
The Lady Heart Diamond Collection custom designed by Bernard Bachoura of Sophia Fiori for a temporary exhibition to be held from February 1 to June 30, 2013, in the Gem and Mineral Hall - The Gem Vault - of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum is indeed a unique and valuable collection, with unparalled significance. Bachoura has used his skills as a master cutter and creative jewelry designer to bring home to the general public and particularly jewelry enthusiasts and wearers, the great opportunities available in creative jewelry designing employing the extremely rare but varied fancy colored diamonds mother nature has gifted us with. He picked the most rarest of colors among the fancy colored diamonds such as red, orange, pink, blue and canary yellow diamonds, to drive home his message. The existence of all these diamonds in nature is less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds.
Bernard Bachoura - Fourth Generation Jewelry Designer of Sophia Fiori
To match this rarity he also picked one of rarest shapes for processing and presenting his diamonds, viz. the Heart Shape. Commenting on the selection of the heart-shape for his diamond collection, Bernard Bachoura said, "While the diamond is in the rough, the final shape of the stone is determined by the diamond cutter based on which shape will best maximize carat weight, symmetry, and value. The unusual heart shape requires the cutter to sacrifice significant carat weight in order to achieve the desired result. It makes the heart shape, a risk, the cutter must be certain he or she is willing to take. Bernard Bachoura had undoubtedly taken the risk, and the results he had produced, viz. five perfectly cut heart-shaped fancy colored diamonds, more than compensates for the risk taken, and had produced a unique and historic collection, whose temporary exposition at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, had drawn an overwhelming public response, forcing the museum authorities to extend the exhibition until November 30, 2013.
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1) Lady Heart Collection - Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County.www.nhm.org/site
2) Lady Heart Diamond Collection Display Extended - Daniel Ford, JCK News - www.jckonline.com
3) LA museum readies for diamond exhibit - National Jeweler - www.nationaljeweler.com
4) Color in Diamonds - MinBlog - www.nhminsci.blogspot.com
Dr Shihaan Larif
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