- What are type IIa diamonds?
- Does buying type IIa diamonds offer a good investment opportunity?
What are type IIa diamonds?
Diamonds with a pure carbon crystal lattice are supposedly completely colorless. However, in reality all diamond crystals contain atomic impurities and structural defects. These defects or so-called color centres are what causes the colour in a diamond. The most common atomic impurity found in a diamond is nitrogen. Based on its presence in the diamond lattice, diamonds can be divided into two main categories: type I diamonds, including higher levels of nitrogen and type II diamonds, containing hardly any nitrogen.
As nitrogen is the most prominent impurity, type II diamonds are considered the purest amongst diamonds. Within this category there is a distinction between type IIa and IIb diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are very pure and completely colorless. These precious stones are extremely rare (approximately 2% of all worldwide diamonds). The most legendary stones of this type are the Cullinan and the Koh-I-Noor. Type IIa diamonds are also called Goloconda diamonds, named after the famous Indian mines where for instance the Koh-I-Noor has been brought to light.
For determining the diamond type an infrared spectrometer is used. During the examination the diamond gets wrapped, preventing the process from being disturbed by outer light. At the bottom of the packaging a small hole is left open to make the broken light visible. Afterwards the diamond is placed on the infrared spectrometer and covered with a special lens. This way the diamond expert can examine the stone without looking directly into the damaging UV light caused by the spectrometer.
Does buying type IIa diamonds offer a good investment opportunity?
Type IIa diamonds have various exceptional characteristics, also geologically, making them very desirable. Every stone has its own unique story. For these reasons these types of diamonds have more value than other types. Investing in type IIa diamonds is thus a very interesting investing opportunity. Moreover, most type IIa diamonds have a weight of more than 1.00 carat. A higher weight means a higher price hence a higher value. Type IIa certified diamonds have an estimated value which is more than 2 to 3% higher compared to diamonds not classified within this type. At GIA these stones receive a separate certificate guarantying type IIa classification.
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