The Dresden Green Diamond
The Dresden Green Diamond, also known as “Dresden Green”, is a 41 carat (8.2 g) natural green diamond, which probably originated in the Kollur mine in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.
The pear-shaped, 40.70 carats, Dresden Green is the largest and finest natural green diamond ever discovered. The GIA examined the stone in 1988, and found it to be of exceptional quality, and assigned a clarity grade of VS1 and it is said to be potentially internally flawless if slightly recut.
It is named after Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, where it has been on display for most of the last two centuries. Today, the diamond is shown in the New Green Vault at Dresden Castle.
The Dresden Green Diamond has a historical record dating back to 1722 when a London news-sheet carried an article about it in its 25 October-27th edition. It was acquired by Augustus III of Poland from a Dutch merchant in 1742 at the Leipzig Fair.
In 1768, the diamond was incorporated into an extremely valuable hat ornament, surrounded by two large and 411 medium-sized and small diamonds. This is the setting that the Dresden Green still appears in today.
In 2000, American jewelry firm Harry Winston arranged to display the Dresden Green at the New York flagship store and then at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, where it was displayed in the Harry Winston pavilion next to the largest blue diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond.
The stone’s unique apple green color is due to natural exposure to radioactive materials, as the irradiation of diamonds can produce changes in color. The Dresden Green Diamond has been used to compare natural versus lab-produced green diamonds — it is hoped that it can be used to devise a test to differentiate between naturally green diamonds, which are quite rare, and lab-produced ones.