1872C.A. PaytonDiamond Diggings 57The vast majority of our large diamonds, i.e. of stones over 10 carats, are ‘off-colour’, being instead of pure ‘white’ — or rather transparent — tinged, apparently throughout, with a yellowish tint, varying from the palest straw-colour to that of the topaz, or pale sherry colour.
1873F. BoyleTo Cape for Diamonds 356When..one talks of ‘yellow stones,’ one means ‘coloured’ of that tint, not ‘fancy;’ on the fields we incorrectly call them ‘off-colour.’ The true ‘off-colour’ has no distinct tinge at all.
1876F. BoyleSavage Life 21In every digging known, large stones are apt to be ‘coloured’ or ‘off-colour’.
1894Daily News 7 July 6Purchasing ‘off-colour diamonds’ and substituting them for others of the first quality.
1911L. CohenReminisc. of Kimberley 36Same old kopje walloping gabble from him. ‘Cracked, spots, smoky, off-colour, etc.’ At last I sold it to him for two hundred and ten pounds.
1933W. MacdonaldRomance of Golden Rand 24A few days after I had found my diamond it was declared to be off-colour, and, consequently, dropped greatly in value.
1968J.T. McNishRd to El Dorado 144Many South African diamonds..are off-colour and instead of being pure coloured are tinged throughout in colours varying from pale straw and light sherry to those as dark as very old acorns.
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