Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Black Diamond Spotlight: The Amsterdam Diamond

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 7/7/17 8:29 AM

For many years colored diamond heavyweights such as reds, blues, pinks and greens have often overshadowed black diamonds. In recent years however, more and more diamond enthusiasts and investors have been turning their attention towards these captivating black stones and have begun showing them the love that they deserve.

amsterdam black diamond

We thought we would celebrate by sharing some insight on one of our favorite black diamonds of all time, The Amsterdam.

Its Early History

As a community of diamond enthusiasts, we owe the existence of one of the most unique and beautiful stones to sheer luck.

Discovered during the early 1970s in South Africa, the 55.85 carat rough was initially part of mine bort, destined to be crushed. Fortunately, shortly before being destroyed, the stone caught the attention of an employee. Intrigued by its color and toughness, he reported the discovery to his supervisor and from there the rough was salvaged and added to the collection of roughs deemed worthy of being cut and polished into finished diamonds.

The stone would later be shown to an agent of D. Drukker & Sons (Amsterdam based diamond cutters and merchants) who happened to be visiting South Africa at the time. Needless to say, he too was fascinated by the rough’s attributes and decided to purchase the stone for the company at an undisclosed amount (1972).

Why Is It So Special?

Black diamonds are generally considered to be conglomerate crystals, meaning they are comprised of millions of tiny crystals tightly held together. This however is not the case for the Amsterdam Diamond. When examining it, the Gem Tech Lab of Geneva concluded that the stone is monocrystalline, bearing greater resemblance to conventional diamonds.

This finding does not only make the Amsterdam Diamond an extremely rare discovery, it also deems it the largest monocrystalline naturally black diamond in the world.

Its Beauty

As some of you may already know, only 3 Cs are relevant when evaluating a black diamond (color, cut, carats). Their opaque nature makes clarity irrelevant; however instead of refracting light, these stones possess a unique adamantine luster, which in the case of the Amsterdam Diamond is truly magnificent (and seldom seen in larger naturally black stones). To truly make this characteristic stand out, the master cutters of D. Drukker & Sons deliberately increased the number of facets to more than double the amount of standard pear cut diamonds, and paid extra attention when processing the stone. The resulting product was a 145 faceted, pear cut, 33.74 carat, fancy black diamond.

It should be noted that another factor that contributes to this stone’s breathtaking beauty is the existence of small graphite grains located in its feathers.

Its First Appearance

In order to further accentuate the stones beauty, D. Drukker & Sons set it in a pendant surrounded by 15 cushion cut colorless diamonds producing a remarkable contrast. Once the piece was complete, the diamond was christened by its owners to honor of the 700th anniversary of the City of Amsterdam, and the Amsterdam Diamond made its first appearance in February 1973 at their jewelry store D. Drukker & Zn in Amsterdam city. Since then, the diamond has been loaned to numerous charitable events across the globe, further enhancing its reputation as one of the highest quality naturally black stones.

How Much Is It Worth?

The stone eventually found its way to Christies’ 2001 Geneva Auction were it was sold for a staggering $352,000, setting the record for most expensive naturally black diamond to that date and would remain so for the next 5 years. The Amsterdam would eventually be dethroned by the magnificent Black Orlov Diamond which fetched a $360,000 price tag in Christies’ 2006 New York Auction.

Nevertheless, this beautiful stone still remains one of our favorites of all time. Which is your favorite black diamond? Let us know! Also feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


For more reading on colored diamonds, check out the link below. 

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Topics: History

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