February 24, 2011

“˜Sun Drop’ Diamond On Display At London Museum

A yellow diamond weighing over 110 carats is now on display in London's Natural History Museum.

The Sun Drop is one of the biggest of its type in the world and is roughly the size of a woman's thumb.

The diamond is on loan from diamond manufacturer Cora International.

Color in diamonds is caused by the presence of other substances or structural defects.

Tiny amounts of boron create a blue stone, while exposure to radiation at some point during formation will result in a green tint.

Pink diamonds are created by structural defects, and yellow diamonds are the result of exposure to nitrogen in the carbon, which helps form a diamond.

Strong colors are unusual, and a larger stone with high levels of color are very rare.

Alan Hart, the Natural History Museum's minerals curator, told BBC: "I've never seen a stone such as this."

"A one carat diamond is what most people are familiar with, and are really pleased to own. You can see how exceptional this diamond is."

Cora International chief executive Suzette Gomes told BBC that the cut was vital in bringing out a diamond's beauty.

"If the color is weaker you would cut a square to keep the color and make it stronger. If your color's very strong, you would cut a pear shape," she said.

A diamond can take six months of work after finding it in the rough to bring it to completion.

The stone is analyzed before cutting because imperfections and inclusions can cause it to shatter.

Gomes told BBC that the process is "like art, it takes a lot of courage and experience."

The price of the diamond has yet to be announced.

Gomes told BBC that pricing stones was "not something we normally talk about," adding that "the value at the moment is undetermined."

Hart added that, to the Museum, "the real value with these gems is that they're exceptional, they're one-offs."


Image Caption: The Cora Sun-Drop is the world's largest yellow pear-shaped diamond. It is on display in the Natural History Museum's Vault gallery from 25 February 2011 for up to 6 months. © Tom Tragale for M Patric of Creative Group


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