Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hope Diamond Grade

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In December of 1988, a team from the Gemological Institute of America visited the Smithsonian to grade the great blue hope diamond using present day techniques. They observed that the gem shows evidence of wear, has a remarkably strong phosphorescence, and that its clarity is slightly affected by a whitish graining which is common to blue hope diamonds. They described the color as a fancy dark grayish-blue. An examination on the same day by another gemologist using a very sensitive colorimeter revealed that there is a very slight violet component to the deep blue color which is imperceptible to the naked eye. Still, one can only wonder that the original 112 3/16-carat stone bought by Tavernier was described as "un beau violet" (a beautiful violet).
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