Dec 20th, 2012
The Ashberg Diamond is a diamond, which was once believed to have been included in the Russian Crown Jewels. It weighs 102.48 carat.
According to Internet Stones, The Ashberg diamond apparently was not part of the Russian crown jewels sold in 1927 to a British-American consortium, or pledged to Ireland around the same period and returned to Russia in 1950. The diamond was undoubtedly among the 3rd part of the crown jewels retained and preserved in the Kremlin Diamond Fund, due to their immense historic and cultural value. However, the diamond was later released for sale in 1934, probably because of its later addition to the crown jewels, after the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in the 1860s, and hence its lower historic and cultural value. The diamond was reported to have been acquired by Olof Aschberg in 1934, when a Russian trade delegation visited Stockholm during that year. The sale of crown jewels by the Soviet Union in its early years was necessitated due to a serious lack of foreign exchange to make essential payments abroad, and Olof Aschberg’s Stockholm-based “Nya Banken” and the Guarantee and Credit Bank for the East, established in Berlin in the 1920’s assisted in no small measure in relieving the situation.
Olof Aschberg, Swedish banker and businessman and Bolveshevik sympathizer, from whom the Aschberg diamond gets its name
The Ashberg diamond is a 102.48-carat, amber-colored, cushion antique modified brilliant cut diamond. The exact color and clarity grades of the diamond are not known. Amber color is a vague term. It’s a variable color which could mean anything between yellow, orange and brown, i. e. a combination of any two of these colors. Thus the term is not suitable to describe a diamond. However going by the photographs of the diamond, the Ashberg appears to be a dark brownish yellow diamond.
The Ashberg diamond is most probably a Type Ib diamond
If the diamond is a dark brownish yellow diamond, it must be a Type Ib diamond, as intense yellow colors are associated with the distribution of nitrogen as single atoms, scattered all over the crystal. These atoms absorb visible light in the blue region of the spectrum, causing the complementary color yellow to manifest itself. If the nitrogen atoms are found as groups of atoms the colors imparted will be pale to medium yellow, as found in Type Ia diamonds. The brown color is possibly caused by plastic distortion of the crystal in certain areas.