The Dresden Green Diamond

Updated on May 18, 2016

The Dresden Green Diamond



Arpege Diamonds specializes in the curation and sale of high-end colored diamonds. In this series, we will explore some of the world’s most famous diamonds. It’s the complex and captivating history behind the Dresden Green Diamond that has made this stone famously known around the world.

Natural green colored diamonds are among the most exclusive and rare diamonds ever discovered. Their color intensity ranges in eight different grades from faint green to fancy deep, however the color intensity often includes a secondary hue such as blue, brown, gray or yellow. It is believed that colored diamonds get their green color due to the atomic radiation that traps electrons within the diamond. Green diamonds are so rare that only ten diamonds come to market annually on average.


The Dresden Green Diamond is an extraordinary 40.7-carat pear-shaped diamond of natural green color. Although its place of discovery is unknown, it is believed to have originated from the Kollur Mine in India. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has classified this stone as a Type lla with VS1 clarity, meaning it is nearly free of nitrogen impurities and few microscopic inclusions that can not be seen with the naked eye; even with a microscope it would be difficult to see these impurities. Type lla diamonds account for only about 2% of all natural diamonds unearthed, such as the Lesedi La Rona and the Koh-I-Noor.

The Dresden Green Diamond remains the largest natural green diamond ever discovered.


The first records of the Dresden Green Diamond date back to as early as 1741. An inventory book at one of the Green Vaults in Dresden, Germany states that a merchant sold the diamond to Augustus III, the King of Poland for approximately $43,000 during the Great Annual Easter Fair. The diamond lasted four years as part of the decorations on the Order of the Golden Fleece before the king ordered for a new setting to be created. The new setting incorporated various small colorless diamonds, as well as the Dresden White, another one of the king’s famous diamonds.

After a series of tragic events during the Seven Years War, the Dresden Green Diamond was dismantled from the Golden Fleece and set on a hat clasp along with other colorless diamonds. The diamond remained out for display at the Dresden Castle to the general public up until World War II. During the years of war, the Dresden Green Diamond alongside the rest of the Crown Jewels were transported to Moscow, Russia for safekeeping as the city of Dresden was completely destroyed by its enemies. In 1958 after the war ended and the diamond was returned to its homeland of Dresden, Germany.

Between 2000 and 2001 the Dresden Green Diamond was publically showcased at the Smithsonian Institution in the Harry Winston Gallery, side by side the legendary Hope Blue Diamond.

By 2004 much of the city of Dresden was reestablished along side the Dresden Castle’s restoration where a new Green Vault was created to display the Dresden Green Diamond among other royal jewels. The famous green diamond remains for public display to this day at the Dresden Castle.

Being the most famous green diamond of all time, is honored to share its history with our readers.


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