Gruosi Green Diamond

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Origin of name

The extremely rare green diamond is the proud possession of Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of the Swiss Jewelry house de Grisogono, who purchased it in 1998 from an unidentified diamond dealer. The diamond has hitherto been unnamed and since the diamond is still in Fawaz Gruosi's possession, and is highly unlikely that he would part with it in the near future,  we may appropriately christen this diamond as the Gruosi Green diamond, to reflect both his name and the rare green color of the diamond.

Characteristics of the diamond

The Gruosi Green diamond is a nearly flawless (exact clarity unknown), cushion-cut, green diamond, having a weight of 25 carats. Fawaz Gruosi describes the gem as the finest modern specimen of a  natural green diamond, eclipsed only by the 40.70-carat Dresden Green, which dates to at least the early 18th century. The Gruosi Green diamond is indeed the second largest green diamond in the world. Another important feature of the diamond is that the green color appears to be evenly distributed in the crystal and not confined to the outer layers as a skin, which would have been easily removed during the cutting and polishing process, or restricted to certain areas as patches. Such green diamonds are extremely rare, and the Dresden Green is another example of such a stone.

Being a green diamond the Gruosi Green is a rare Type IIa diamond, free of nitrogen impurities. They are also free of other impurities such as boron and hydrogen. However, Type IIa diamonds can belong to three different categories :- 1) Structurally perfect. 2) Structurally imperfect. 3) Naturally irradiated.

1) Structurally perfect :- These diamonds are chemically pure and structurally perfect, without any plastic deformations. In the absence of chemical impurities and plastic deformations, two factors that can cause color in diamonds, these diamonds are absolutely colorless. However they constitute only about 1 - 2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

2) Structurally imperfect :- These diamonds are chemically pure, but structurally imperfect, with certain areas of the crystal plastically deformed, due to the twisting and bending of the tetrahedral crystal units, as they rose to the earth's surface from deep inside the mantle. The deformed areas in the crystal change the absorption spectrum of the stone, giving it rare fancy colors, such as red, pink, purple and sometimes brown. There occurrence however is less than 0.1 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

3) Naturally irradiated :- These diamonds have been exposed to long periods of natural irradiation after their formation deep inside the earth's crust. Such exposure alters the crystal structure imparting the green color. The depth and distribution of the green color depends on the type of radiation. If the radiation was mainly alpha radiation that only penetrates superficially, the green color will be restricted only to a superficial skin, which may be easily removed during the cutting and polishing operations. However if the radiation was beta or gamma radiation that can penetrate deeper into the crystal, the green color will be formed to a greater depth, and the entire crystal may appear green, as in the case of the Dresden Green and the Gruosi Green diamonds. Their occurrence however is  much less than 0.1 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

The Gruosi Green diamond therefore is a naturally irradiated Type IIa diamond. The only other green diamonds we have come across in our long list of famous diamonds are the Dresden Green and the Ocean Dream diamonds. This gives an indication as to the rarity of these diamonds.



The Gruosi Green diamond is of South African origin, but other details of the early history of the diamond such as the mine of origin, date of discovery etc. are not known. Fawaz Gruosi purchased the diamond in 1998, and the rough diamond weighed 100 carats. Almost three-quarters of the weight of the rough stone was sacrificed, in transforming the stone into a near flawless, cushion-cut green diamond, weighing 25 carats, the second largest natural green diamond in the world after the Dresden Green.

Fawaz Gruosi described the diamond  as the finest modern specimen of a green diamond. He said that, "looking at this stone is like looking into the sea, it's an unusual green that is sparkling and alive." Green diamonds are extremely rare, and a green diamond of this size and delicate shade of green comes along once in a lifetime. Not many people had known about this diamond, even though it had been in Fawaz Gruosi's possession for the last nine years. In fact during this long period he had shown the diamond to fewer than a dozen people. Fawaz further says "I am not anxious to part with this stone, as I may never again own another like it. I need to find the right person, someone who understands the gemological importance of this diamond. It's like a piece of rare art that can never be repeated."

Fawaz Gruosi in his characteristic style of doing something different and unconventional, set the green diamond in a gold ring, surrounded by 382 smaller black diamonds, weighing 7 carats. "The principal of creativity to do something different is my credo," said Fawaz in an interview given to CNN's Monita Rajpal in February 2006. It is in the actualization of this principle that he created the unconventional black diamond jewelry which he launched in the late 1990s under the de Grisogono brand name, which became an instant success. The popularity of black diamond jewelry around the world today is solely credited to Fawaz Gruosi.


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Dr Shihaan Larif
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