Ellendale Fancy Yellow diamonds are known for their dazzling pure yellow hue. Less than 1 in 100,000 carats is a true Ellendale Fancy Yellow diamond. Ellendale's have long been highly sought after by leading luxury buyers including Tiffany and Co.
Until the closure of the hard rock mines at Ellendale in 2015, Tiffany & Co held exclusive rights to buy 100% of the Ellendale Fancy Yellow diamond production. At one time Ellendale produced around 50 per cent of the world’s entire supply of Fancy Yellow diamonds.
In addition to producing the worlds most exquisite yellow diamonds, it was at Ellendale that scientists first confirmed that a special type of volcano known as Lamproite could also produce diamonds. Until the discovery of diamonds at Ellendale in the 1980's, kimberlite structures (another type of volcanic structure) were thought to be the only source of natural diamonds in the world.
Natural coloured diamonds are extremely rare. Among the rainbow of Fancy colours the shiny and brilliant yellows are the most popular but this does not mean they are common. Approximately 1 out of every 100,000 carats mined is an Ellendale Fancy Yellow.
Fancy yellow diamonds are extremely rare with less than 1 in 10,000 carats being coloured and even less being yellow. Only 1 in 100,000 carats is an "Ellendale Fancy Yellow". Until 2015 the Ellendale field was the largest single producer of gem quality Fancy yellow diamonds in the world. The dazzling hue of Ellendale yellow diamonds is attributed to the presence of nitrogen within the chemical composition of the diamond crystal. Nitrogen atoms arrange in such a way that blue light is absorbed, thus producing a yellow colour.
The Ellendale field has also produced green diamonds. These amazing and exceedingly rare diamonds have been exposed to naturally occurring radiation during their journey to the earths surface which causes them to reflect a green hue by absorbing red and yellow light.
Brown, Red and Pink Diamonds
These diamonds owe their colour to a combination of intense pressure and heat during formation causing distortions in the crystal lattice that causes them to absorb green light, thus reflecting a pink hue.
Grey and Blue Diamonds
Blue diamonds get their colour from the presence of boron. Boron bonds to carbon in the crystal structure, absorbing red, yellow and green light within the colour spectrum.
Violet and Purple Diamonds
The cause of colour for purple and violet diamonds is not well understood and maybe due to crystalline distortion or the presence of hydrogen or both.
The L-Channel contains a few classic Octohedral diamonds. These 8 sided diamonds are in their original form but are less commonly found than other forms.
The most common diamond form is the Tetrahexahedroid (24 sided) and Dodecahedroid (12 sided) models. These shapes are a result of a process known as resorption when the original Octahedral diamond crystal is re-immersed and partly dissolved by magma. The resorption process has dissolved up to 70% of the diamonds original mass.
The resorption process provides the diamond with a glassy highly lustrous appearance. The diamonds also exhibit a range of colours including a very light champagne colour thought to be caused by the same plastic deformation process that produces pink diamonds.
Flat triangular shaped diamonds known as Macle (French for twin) are common in the L-Channel. An intergrowth of two flattened octahedral crystals that are connected along an octahedral plane, Macles are usually cut to a triangular form (eg: Trillion) and used in jewellery pieces along with more conventionally shaped diamonds.
Many frosted diamonds have been recovered from the L-Channel. The "frosting" is caused by rapid cooling of the diamond after immersion in molten magma. This rapid cooling causes the surface of the diamond to take on bubbly or frosted appearance. Some of the most exquisite jewels are cut from frosted stones.
In August of 2020, it was found that the L-Channel contained a previously unknown population of extremely rare diamonds that fluoresce purple and even red under UV light. The cause of this extraordinary phenomena is still unknown and a study into these beautiful diamonds is underway.