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Most Valuable Object in the World
June 17, 2002 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Most Valuable Object in the World The Supreme Purple Star - as it is being called - is a deep purple diamond, turning to crimson when rotated in the light. Diamonds come in a rainbow of colors and are called "fancies" in the trade. Some are beautiful, others less so. This one is the only one of it's kind, and has been pronounced "priceless". The speculation, of course, is that the owner is looking to sell it.
posted by Irontom (20 comments total)

 
Other colors include green, blue and black. Some even glow. These colors all arise from impurities (scroll down to "fancy colors") in the formation of the diamond, although these can be enhanced by irradiation after the stone is cut.
posted by Irontom at 7:09 AM on June 17, 2002


Yes, but is there a diamond so brilliant, so sharply-faceted that it can shatter a scene into unidentifiable shards as effectively as a DHTML menu?
posted by planetkyoto at 7:19 AM on June 17, 2002


Anyone found a picture of the Supreme Purple Star?
posted by Marquis at 7:35 AM on June 17, 2002


Somebody should make a movie about a colored diamond. That would be neat.
posted by fluxcreative at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2002


Here it is.
posted by Irontom at 7:45 AM on June 17, 2002


I was disappointed it was so small, expecting some huge glittering gem only to find it's actually "weight-for-weight the most valuable object in the world."

The Ananova picture is a bit misleading - here is a picture showing the approximate size of 2 - 5 carat diamond.
posted by Gamecat at 7:53 AM on June 17, 2002


The "Vulcain", the biggest single crystal diamond ever sold by auction is shown in Paris, June 13, 2002. The 178.88 carat diamond which will be sold on June 27 has an estimate of between $756,000 and $1,134,000).
posted by Blake at 8:06 AM on June 17, 2002


I always thought it was funny that the most prized gems were the ones that looked like hunks of glass. Now this one is ultra-valuable because it looks more like a purple garnet than a diamond? I guess gemstone appreciation is beyond my ken.
posted by nikzhowz at 8:22 AM on June 17, 2002


Its value has nothing at all to do wtih how it looks. It has everything to do with supply (one) and demand (more than one).
posted by kindall at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2002


Ooh, shiny...
posted by darukaru at 8:43 AM on June 17, 2002


Yes, but nikzhowz, the garnet has nowhere near the brilliance, fire and scintillation (all industry terms, I swear) that a diamond has. And to get a diamond of this color...well, as the articles say, it is really quite incredible. And color-change diamonds are even rarer than those who have simply a rare color such as purplle or red or green). This diamond has two of the most rare colors, and its color is very deep and vivid. To look at a purple garnet compared to a purple diamond is so different, it really is clear which is the more entrancing gem.
posted by raintea at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2002


No one has determined if this puppy has not been altered. (as far as i can tell) i dont by it (nor would steal it), the most valuable diamond by weight? i'd guess the Hope is the most valuable, as no Blues are known to have that fire and size. Plus, history will always fetch a big price concerning diamonds. Colored diamonds are iffy, though I'd like to see a price tag for the Dresden Green. They sure have kept this one rather quiet.
posted by clavdivs at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2002


I guess gemstone appreciation is beyond my ken.

If you saw a purple garnet and a purple diamond side by side under the sun, you'd see a difference in brilliance. Same with a "hunk of glass" or even a cut glass crystal compared to a cut clear diamond. Apart from that, a garnet is 6.5 - 7.5 on the hardness scale, with a diamond rating a 10. Window glass is 5.5.

My cynical prediction on the purple diamond is that DeBeers will buy it to corner the market. ;-).
posted by girlhacker at 8:48 AM on June 17, 2002


Yes, but nikzhowz, the garnet has nowhere near the brilliance, fire and scintillation (all industry terms, I swear) that a diamond has. And to get a diamond of this color...well, as the articles say, it is really quite incredible. And color-change diamonds are even rarer than those who have simply a rare color such as purplle or red or green). This diamond has two of the most rare colors, and its color is very deep and vivid. To look at a purple garnet compared to a purple diamond is so different, it really is clear which is the more entrancing gem.
posted by raintea at 8:53 AM on June 17, 2002


Thanks, girlhacker. I was hoping someone would post some links about role of the evil DeBeers company in artificially pumping up the value and otherwise completely controlling the market for diamonds.

Also, here's a general debunking of various diamond myths from DirtCheapDiamonds.com.
posted by straight at 9:18 AM on June 17, 2002


Also this great article from the Atlantic: Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?
posted by straight at 9:20 AM on June 17, 2002


I'm curious about the "discovery". The picture on Ananova shows a cut diamond and I'm left with the impression that the owner brought it in for appraisal that way.

If noone had ever seen a diamond like this before, what about the person who cut it in the first place? Why wasn't it publicized then?
posted by joaquim at 9:50 AM on June 17, 2002


From the first linked article:

"There is some mystery about the diamond - its exact size, ownership and precise origins are unknown, although it is reported to have been cut in the Amazon region about 25 years ago."
posted by Irontom at 9:58 AM on June 17, 2002


"The discovery came when the anonymous owner, who had not realised the rarity of the stone, decided to get it valued." Talk about Antique Road Show. yeah, i found this rock, see...
posted by sadie01221975 at 11:06 AM on June 17, 2002


I'd buy that for a dollar!
posted by fuq at 2:23 PM on June 17, 2002


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