Mixed-Type Cape Diamond
September 18, 2014
The New York laboratory recently examined a 2.16 ct Fancy orangy yellow diamond (figure 1) with unusual features for a cape stone. When analyzed with a UV-Vis spectrometer, it exhibited an unexpected 480 nm band in addition to a cape spectrum, a defect usually associated with orange color (figure 2). Infrared spectrometry revealed a well-defined IaAB diamond, as opposed to the saturated Ia spectrum typically associated with cape diamonds. These abnormal features prompted further testing, and the DiamondView revealed zoned blue and yellow fluorescence (figure 3). Raman spectroscopy of the transparent, elongate crystal within the diamond, visible in the DiamondView, identified it as a colorless garnet, a common inclusion in cape diamonds.
While the specific structure of the 480 nm optical defect is not yet understood, it is known to be associated with yellow fluorescence (Y. Luo and C.M. Breeding, “Fluorescence produced by optical defects in diamond: Measurement, characterization, and challenges,” Summer 2013 G&G, pp. 82–97). The defect is also sometimes attributed to substitutional oxygen in type I diamonds. From our data and test results showing no evidence of laboratory-produced alteration, we can conclude that this stone is a natural and very rare example of a cape diamond mixed with a 480 nm band causing the orange component.
About the Authors
Martha Altobelli and Paul Johnson are researchers at GIA’s New York laboratory.