Ask just about any gemologist what the most valuable and exciting diamond in the world is; they’re likely to bring up the Dresden Green Diamond.
41 carats. For reference, most engagement rings may feature a stone that is just one carat. Couple the astonishing size with the fact that the stone has a natural green hue and is likely internally flawless - which is the very definition of a perfect diamond.
And those are just the quantifiable facts of the Dresden Green. To go further is to understand why this stone is so astonishing. What makes the Dresden Green so fascinating is the same thing that makes what we do at Premier Gems so great: it’s all in the story's legacy.
In modern times, it has become a practice for larger, rarer, and more valuable stones to go through some type of certification process. Official clearing houses will catalog a stone, grade it, and create a set of paperwork for it. It is easier to insure against loss or theft when a stone has official documentation. While the Green Dresden certainly has its papers in order, its history is still something of a mystery.
While they may call it the “Green Dresden” because it has been on display for the last 200 years - in Dresden, Germany - gemologists have traced the possible origins of this diamond to a mine in India. A great deal of forensic anthropology went into discovering its Indian origins, but the first official report of the stone showed up when the King of Poland purchased it in 1742 from a Dutch merchant.
In 1768, a jeweler from Prague fashioned the Dresden Green diamond into a hat ornament alongside two other large diamonds and 411 smaller diamonds. Throughout the years, the stone has spent time in one vault or another, moving from one castle to the next as wars started and stopped and regimes rose and fell. Through it all, the diamond would always make its way back to the Green Vault in the Dresden Castle - where it is on display today.
However, a fascinating twist to the story: the Dresden Green was nearly stolen during a 2019 heist of the Green Vault. Thieves made off with three diamond sets - valued somewhere around 1.4 billion Canadian dollars - but at the time, the famous diamond was safely on loan Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
It’s not just a pretty, expensive stone; the Dresden Green Diamond is an invaluable part of human history. Its mere presence serves as a benchmark for what was happening, when, and what we considered valuable. Imagine if it was one of the diamond sets that had vanished in the 2019 heist? It would be too noticeable to try to sell on any legal market - it is too valuable to our collective history.
These are the same ideals that we infuse into everything we make at Premier Gems. When we set out to make a custom piece for our clients, we start with designs and stones that speak to you, the history you have experienced, and the memory you wish you create. Because you’re not just celebrating an engagement, anniversary, or wedding, but rather the emotion of the moment and the legacy you want to pass on to your family down the line.