A news article on the BBC website (click here to read it) caught my eye yesterday.

It was about the largest pink diamond ever mined. Without wanting to get into the nitty gritty of how much it is worth, how many carats it is, etc,  I thought I would focus today’s posting on diamonds and what it is that makes them pink (and other colours).

Unfortunately, from the chemical point of view, pink diamonds (and red, purple or brown diamonds) are quite unexciting – high pressures (very high pressures) have caused them to form – they are rare (and very expensive).

Chemically, yellow, orange, blue or violet diamonds are far more interesting.

Yellow and orange diamonds are caused by nitrogen mixing in with the carbon.

Blue diamonds come from boron impurities and violet diamonds are formed from hydrogen impurities.

Green diamonds (my favourite) are again, chemically disappointing – the green color comes from exposure to radiation.

More can be read about the colour of diamonds by clicking here.