THE BLUE DIAMOND
by Bert and Coby Bouwens
Almost everybody, who keeps and/or breeds chinchillas, has heard about the colour ‘Blue Diamond’.
There are also a lot of rumours about how to create this colour on websites and chat-boxes.
Anyhow, this colour became more and more popular and many people have asked us to tell them how they can breed this colour as well.
This article is also meant for those, who think it’s very easy to breed a Blue Diamond.
If that is the case: Where are they?
Our first Blue Diamond, which is still alive, was born at the breeding farm of Ivan Ongley in South England in 2001.
Ivan and we are friends for more than 15 years and during this period we have exchanged many chinchillas.
The parents of this Blue Diamond were standard carrier for Afr. Violet. The ancestors of these parents have been imported from the U.S.A. many years before. With these animals we bred for 12 till 15 generations without anything unusual occurred. The only exception was that we saw some very beautiful Afr. Violets youngsters being born.
Ivan had a breeding group of four breeding females, all of them carrier for Violet together with an Afr. Violet male. He lost this male trough illness and the only animal he had left to put together with these females was a brother. This was a normal Standard carrier for Violet. Ivan gave this animal the name: Diamond, this because his fur did have the sparkle of cut diamonds. All four females became pregnant and youngsters were born with a very strange though beautiful colour . Also German Violet and recessive Beige were born.
The same year (2001), at our breeding farm a very light in colour ‘Afr. Violet’ was born. The father was a Beige Ultra Violet and the mother a Beige Violet.
A few weeks after the birth of our youngster, Ivan came over to bring us a visit and he saw our ‘light Afr. Violet’. He was very surprised and told us, that we have bred the same colour as he did with the four females and Diamond.
We started to look back into the pedigrees and we came to the conclusion, that both of our animals did have the same ancestors.
That same year Ivan got a disease at his breeding-stock and a large part of his herd died. He was very afraid to loose his ‘special animal’ and all the carriers so he decided to bring over to our farm a part of this breeding line and also this ‘special animal’.
WERE DOES THE NAME “BLUE DIAMOND” COME FROM?
Although we knew you only can speak about a new colour if you have bred several animals in the same colour, the three of us decided to give it a name.
It was not thát difficult.
The colour of the animals was so ice blue and as the father was called Diamond. So Coby devised the name : “Blue Diamond”. Both Bert and Ivan agreed.
The Blue Diamond Ivan brought over from England did get the name Diamond as well.
HOW WE BRED MORE BLUE DIAMONDS
Unfortunately the first Blue Diamond which was born at our breeding-stock didn’t make it, but we still had some animals, which were related to this bloodline.
So at that moment we only had 1 Blue Diamond and a few animals of which we hoped/expected to be carriers for this colour.
The first year we put the best females, which were possible carriers, in breeding with the Blue Diamond male.
Out of these animals were born: Standards, Sapphires, Afr.Violets, 2 Blue Diamonds ( males) and an animal, which was very dark Violet. We assumed it was a Deutsch Violet ( German Violet).
At the same time youngsters were born out of a Sapphire male, that came from the same line as the Blue Diamond . The females coming out of this father we put in breeding with one of the Blue Diamonds, coming out of Diamond, when they were at the age of 10 months.
The other young Blue Diamond went back to England.
Ivan and we still exchange animals. We try to keep the original bloodline as pure as possible. Only in the beginning we used some strong, big and of a good quality Afr. Violet females to get some new blood in the Blue Diamond line.
We do know that people in America have tried to breed a new colour. Perhaps they tried to breed Violet Sapphires. But after 15 years of trying, they stopped because the animals died at an age of a few years. We think, the course was teeth problems.
The herd we have built up is free of teeth problems until now.
The animals are very fruitful and bring up their youngsters very well.
The Sapphires born out of these bloodlines do have a normal character and are of a much better quality, than normal Sapphires.
Also the very dark Violets, born out of it are healthy.
Bert has asked a German breeder, if he knew where the Deutsch Violett (German Violet) does come from original. This breeder told him, that the roots of this colour are in England. So perhaps there is some kind of relationship between these colours.
In 2003 Nils Sörig from Denmark started to breed the Blue Diamond as well.
He got from us Sapphires, Afr. Violets and carriers for Blue Diamond. Only he did not keep the herd pure.
All we can say is that we didn’t want to create a new colour on purpose. It was a coincidence, that the ‘Blue Diamond’ was born.
Probably it all started with the experiments of the American breeders. And after they had stopped trying to get strong Violet Sapphires, they sold the carriers to Europe.
Ivan Ongley bought several of those and after 15 generations of breeding and only selecting the best Violets and Beige Violets, this colour was the ultimate result. He was only trying to get the best Afr. Violets. Also by exchanging animals with us, both of our breeding-stocks got the carriers for this new colour.
At the moment we do have 8 Blue Diamond breeding males. Most of them do have 9 females, a few do have 5 females. Also we do have 5 Sapphire Blue Diamond carrier breeding males, which already have proved to produce 100% Blue Diamond carriers.
We always make a careful selection of quality and vitality.
Already we have sold several Blue Diamonds and carriers all over Europe and Russia.
Only the Blue Diamond coming out of our lines can be called ‘Blue Diamond’.
Mixtures of Violets with Sapphires are called: Violet Sapphires.