What is a Blue Diamond?

Diamonds are an exquisite addition to any jewelry collection. While these extraordinary gems come in several shades like pink and yellow, there’s one hue that’s in a class of its own—the blue diamond.

But what is a blue diamond? Blue diamonds are a variety of diamonds made legendary by their vibrant natural blue color.1 These gemstones are exceedingly rare, comprising only 0.02 percent of all mined diamonds.2 

In combination with their stunning azure coloring and high clarity, this scarcity makes blue diamonds extremely valuable. Read on to learn how these rarefied gemstones form, how much a blue diamond is worth, how to obtain one of these stunning stones for your own collection, and a few examples of famed blue diamonds.

How Blue Diamonds Are Created

All diamonds are a crystalline form of pure carbon. These gemstones are created when carbon experiences immense heat and pressure. Under these intense conditions, carbon atoms bond together and grow crystalline structures, resulting in a natural diamond. Diamonds are formed in the Earth’s crust, which is why diamonds are collected from diamond mines.

Because extremely specific conditions are required to form diamonds, there are very few places where these gems can be found. In fact, there are only 50 viable diamond mines in operation. Even fewer mines produce blue diamonds.

Blue diamonds have been found primarily in the following regions:

  • India
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • Botswana

Because of blue diamonds’ rarity, gemologists are still learning more about this precious stone. However, we do know that blue diamonds acquire their coloring from the element boron. But until 2018, we didn’t know precisely how boron becomes imbued in these diamonds.

In 2018, researchers at the Gemological Institute of America discovered one possible source for the boron that gives blue diamonds their breathtaking hue—the oceans of ancient Earth. 

Boron was once part of ocean water that was pushed deep underground by the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates over millions of years. Combined with the intense heat and pressure of the earth’s movements, some of that boron helped bring blue diamonds into the world.

These gorgeous jewels are remnants of ancient oceans, and their price tag reflects that extraordinary trajectory.

How Much Is A Blue Diamond Worth?

Understandably, blue diamonds’ beauty and rarity have resulted in substantial prices. For example, the estimated value of The Hope Diamond—one of the most famous blue diamonds in the world—is between $200 and $250 million. 

For comparison, that price tag could buy you one of the following:4

  • 1 Park Avenue penthouse
  • 11 private jets
  • 4 champion racehorses
  • 5rare luxury sports cars.

However, if your blue diamond jewelry budget isn’t equal to a Park Avenue penthouse, don’t fret. The innovation of treated blue diamonds and laboratory blue diamonds has expanded the market for consumers looking for that irresistible blue hue without the multimillion-dollar price tag.

Natural Blue Diamond Prices

Natural blue diamonds sell for over a million dollars per carat. The most valuable of these diamonds share that iconic blue color uniformly distributed through the gem. Blue diamonds auctioned between 2003 and 2018 ranged in price from $231,203 for an 0.87-carat blue diamond ring to $57,231,903 for a 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond ring.

Often, natural blue diamonds have a secondary hue such as green or gray, creating a greenish-blue or grayish-blue diamond. Additionally, natural blue diamonds sometimes have a fainter blue hue. These variations are still incredibly rare but tend to have slightly lower prices. A 1.62-carat greenish blue diamond ring sold for $350,880 in 2005.1

Famous Blue Diamonds

In addition to their eye-catching color, blue diamonds are an attractive gemstone for many buyers due to their extravagant history. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous blue diamonds in history.1

The Hope Diamond

The most well-known blue diamond isn’t set in an exquisite necklace or carefully watched over in a royal collection. In the storied halls of The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., one of the world’s most famous jewels is on display available for anyone to see—the Hope Diamond.

The mesmerizing Hope Diamond is perhaps the most well-known example of a blue diamond. It was discovered in the Kollur mine in Golconda, India, and then sold to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. Since then, it has passed between history’s most elite monarchs, heiresses, and even a few thieves before finding its home at the Smithsonian. 

The Okavango Blue 

In 2019, the government of Botswana in Southern Africa introduced the 20.46-carat “Okavango Blue” blue diamond. The Gemological Institute of America graded this spectacular gem with the color “Fancy Deep Blue” and the clarity “VVS,” a testament to the rarity and quality of this eye-catching diamond.

The Okavango Blue was cut from an even larger 41.11-carat rough diamond found in the world’s largest open-pit diamond mine, the Orapa Mine in Botswana.

Blue Moon of Josephine 

The Cullinan Mine in South Africa brought us the gorgeous 12.03-carat Blue Moon of Josephine. This blue diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2015 for $48.4 million after being discovered in 2014.

According to David Bennett, head of the international jewelry division at Sotheby’s, the Blue Moon of Josephine was “the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.”5

The Wittelsbach / Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

Like the Hope Diamond, this particular blue stone has an illustrious and long royal history. Found in Indian mines in the 1600s, King Phillip IV of Spain acquired this 35.56-carat stone for his daughter Margarita Teresa in 1664. The stone then became one of the crown jewels of Austria and Bavaria.

In the 20th century, the stone became privately owned before mysteriously disappearing for decades. It reappeared in 2008 when billionaire diamond dealer Laurence Graff purchased it for $23.4 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a diamond at that time.

Own A Little Piece of History With CJ Charles Jewelers

There is perhaps no gemstone with such a distinguished and aristocratic history as the blue diamond. From the $250 million Hope Diamond to the $48.4 million Blue Moon of Josephine, blue diamonds have communicated extraordinary luxury and beauty for centuries. Now, with the advent of treated blue diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds, a piece of this remarkable history is available to today’s collectors.

This blue-blooded gem can make anyone feel like royalty. But finding a trustworthy seller can be as difficult as discovering a blue diamond mine. If you’re looking to add a little piece of history to your own jewelry collection, look no further than CJ Charles Jewelers. 

Whether you have your heart set on a blue stone or are interested in exploring other diamond varieties, we’re here to help. Perhaps you’re wondering, “How much is a pink diamond worth?” Or, maybe you want to determine whether a yellow sapphire vs yellow diamond is right for you. No matter what you’re looking for, our experts can help guide you in the right direction.

CJ Charles is a family-owned and operated premier diamond destination. As purveyors of the exceptional, we seek to exceed the ordinary with our customer service and incredible array of jewelry. Visit one of our jewelry stores in San Diego and let us help you find a piece of jewelry that will be as priceless to you as the Hope Diamond.


Sources: 

  1. Geology. Blue Diamonds. https://geology.com/diamond/blue-diamonds/ 
  2. Reuters. Rare blue diamonds may be Earth's deepest secret. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-diamonds/rare-blue-diamonds-may-be-earths-deepest-secret-idUSKBN1KM3LQ
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica. Carbon. https://www.britannica.com/science/carbon-chemical-element 
  4. The New York Times. What Else Would $240 Million Buy? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/01/realestate/what-else-would-240-million-buy.html 
  5. King, H. M. Blue Diamonds. Geology. https://geology.com/diamond/blue-diamonds/.
  6.   BBC Future.The sparkling rise of the lab grown diamond. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200207-the-sparkling-rise-of-the-lab-grown-diamond  

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