You’ve probably heard the news: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged—again! The first time around, in 2002, Affleck popped the question with a ring featuring a 6.1-carat fancy intense pink diamond with white diamond sides stones from Harry Winston.
Those nuptials never happened. The pressures of living as “Bennifer,” the world’s highest-profile couple, led to their break-up just a few days before the wedding. But the impacts of that pink diamond ring reverberated like a giant gong struck by a bolt of lightning in the jewelry market for years.
Prior to J. Lo donning the diamond, the buying public wasn’t really in the know about pinks. And the appearance of the ring on Lopez’s impeccably moisturized finger kickstarted a craze for pink diamonds among bridal and fashion jewelry consumers—one that was easily met by the prolific pink diamond-producing Argyle Diamond Mine, which unearthed fantastic pinks from 1985 to 2020 in western Australia.
Fast forward 20 years. Lopez broke the news of her and Affleck’s second engagement in her newsletter, onthejlo.com, this past weekend. Her new ring also features a colored diamond, but this one isn’t a universally beloved hue, a la soft pink. No. It’s a cushion modified brilliant-cut natural green diamond that weighs in at 8.5 cts. and was sourced by Ilan Portugali of Beverly Hills Diamonds, according to jewelry expert and author Marion Fasel.
And if the hazy photos on Instagram are to be trusted, it’s a very unusual shade of light green. Not a grassy green. Not a minty green. More…a honeydew melon green.
Love it or loathe it, it’s the color that makes this diamond special. Green diamonds are quite rare. Of the roughly 50,000 colored diamonds the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) saw last year, only around 9,000 had a green cast (but few of those were uniformly green throughout).
The best examples of greens are acutely expensive. In May 2016, the Aurora Green became the largest vivid green diamond to ever sell at auction, selling in a pink haloed by pink diamonds for $16.8 million to Hong Kong-based jewelry conglomerate Chow Thai Fook.
Most of the world’s fine natural green diamonds come from South America or Africa. And what makes a green diamond green is usually exposure to radioactive minerals and fluids in the earth’s crust—but can also be the result of complex defects involving nitrogen, hydrogen or nickel impurities, according to GIA.
Will Lopez’s green dream be as trendsetting as her pink diamond was in the early ‘aughts? It’s impossible to predict. But at the very least, Bennifer’s latest acquisition merits a closer look at jewelry with light green stones—your peridots, tourmalines, green turquoises, etc.—when stocking up for the holiday sales season.
(And if you’ve already been asked by clients about a green engagement ring, do let us know in the comments below!)