Study of the Blue Moon Diamond

Abstract : The Blue Moon diamond, discovered in January 2014 at the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, is of significance from both trade and scientific perspectives. The 29.62 ct rough yielded a 12.03 ct Fancy Vivid blue, Internally Flawless gem. The authors were provided the opportunity to study this rare diamond at the Smithsonian Institution before it went on exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Infrared spectroscopy revealed that the amount of uncompensated boron in the diamond was 0.26 ± 0.04 ppm, consistent with measurements of several large type IIb blue diamonds previously studied. After exposure to short-wave ultraviolet light, the Blue Moon displayed orange-red phosphorescence that remained visible for up to 20 seconds. This observation was surprising, as orange- red phosphorescence is typically associated with diamonds of Indian origin, such as the Hope and the Wittelsbach-Graff. Time-resolved phosphorescence spectra exhibited peaks at 660 and 500 nm, typical for natural type II blue diamonds. As with most natural diamonds, the Blue Moon showed strain-induced birefringence.
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Eloise Gaillou, Jeffrey E. Post, Keal S. Byrne, James E. Butler. Study of the Blue Moon Diamond. Gems & Gemology : the quarterly journal of the Gemological Institute of America, GIA - Gemological Institute of America, 2014, 50 (4), ⟨10.5741/GEMS.50.4.280⟩. ⟨hal-01495135⟩

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