Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Coloured Fancy Diamonds

Diamonds come in a wide array of colors. Of course, the most valuable and highly desired diamonds are generally white diamonds, with “colorless” being the most desirable. 

But many diamonds that come in colors other than white. These colored diamonds are also called “fancy” diamonds. Take the famous Hope Diamond for instance: this massive 45.52-karat fancy diamond is a rich steel blue in color. Deep blue diamonds are extremely rare and while the Hope Diamond is not the largest diamond in existence, it is the largest dark blue diamond known to exist.

Diamonds are formed when carbon is exposed to intense pressure and heat. The presence of trace minerals can alter the diamond’s color if they interact with the carbon during the formation process. Other factors, such as radiation, can also impact color.

Diamonds come in an array of different colors, including red, orange, brown, yellow, olive, green, blue, white, grey, black, purple and pink. Colored diamonds can be created synthetically, but the natural diamonds are the most valuable due to the rarity.

Naturally-formed pink diamonds are considered the rarest among fancy diamonds. The extreme rarity means the prices are incredibly high and they’re so uncommon that many jewelers may go their entire career without ever seeing a naturally-formed pink diamond. Similarly, red diamonds are also very rare -- so rare that it’s believed they’re actually created due to imperfections in the lattice of crystals that comprise the gemstone.

Naturally-formed blue diamonds are the second runner up in terms of rarity, but the discovery of blue diamonds in new mining regions has resulted in a greater supply of blue diamonds.

Natural yellow diamonds are also quite rare, though there has been a relatively new discovery of yellow diamonds in Arkansas. It’s important to note that truly yellow diamonds, which are formed when trace levels of nitrogen are present, are desirable and valuable. Many confuse yellow diamonds with white diamonds that have a yellow tinge; these are considered to be less desirable, but they are not true yellow diamonds. They‘re white diamonds with a yellow tone.

Another factor impacting the value of colored fancy diamonds is the intensity of the color. A fainter, lighter color is considered less valuable; a deep, rich and vivid color is more valuable.

Synthetic colored diamonds are created in a laboratory from cultures. They are exposed to trace elements to create specific colorations. Radiation tends to cause green colors. Nitrogen causes yellows and browns, while boron causes shades of grey and blue.

These diamonds are created on-demand in a lab; they are not mined and therefore, they are not rare; the price is much lower as a result. 


  1. Some of the colors give a warm feeling, I think, that set them apart from colorless diamonds. I also like the uniqueness of having a colored diamond in a piece of jewelry--it creates something distinctive. When I wear or buy jewelry, I always want a one-of-a-kind piece.

    I'll be keeping an eye on your blog to continue to learn about pink diamonds and other natural diamonds available today. I like the educational component of your posts.

  2. I knew that diamonds were made because of intense pressure and heat being placed on carbon atoms; however, I did not realize just how many colours diamonds actually come in.

    I think that it is interesting that pink diamonds are the rarest, then red, and then blue and so on and so forth. I am wondering as to why rarity is measured in this way, is it simply because it is harder to find one colour over another, or does it have to do with something within the diamond's make up that makes the colour more rare?

    My Mom actually had a bad experience with a jeweller who tried to sell her Fiancée a diamond that was supposed to be colourless, but it had a yellow tinge or tone to it. Needless to say the ring was sent back and they waited until they got a true white diamond, as they wanted what they paid for.

    Now I can understand that if the intensity of the colour within the diamond is more vivid it then becomes rarer, but I am curious as to why colour has been the aspect that denotes the value of a diamond.

    I went on-line and looked up a picture of the Hope Diamond that you mentioned, it is absolutely gorgeous! I can see why it was valued highly.

    Thank you for providing some educational information on why diamonds are valued the way they are.

  3. I have always been curious as to why diamonds were valued the way they were as well. From my knowledge,the reason why naturally coloured pink diamonds are more valuable than any other colour, is because it takes them a lot longer to form then any other colour. Now because each coloured diamond requires a certain element in order to come out in a certain colour, a diamond will be marked more valuable if it has more trace elements as an increased amount of that specific element will create the diamond to be more vivid in colour.

    Diamonds are also marked based on their clarity, shape, and weight. The higher it weighs, the clearer it is, and the smoother the shape... the higher the value.

    Humans like perfection, and I guess these are the criteria that fit a valuable diamond. It is quite interesting to think that the imperfections in the, "lattice of the crystals that make up the gemstone," are what make the prices for red gemstones sky rocket.

    In diamonds we can see that even the imperfections can come out stunningly beautiful; perhaps a lesson humans should take another look at.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I knew about colored diamonds, but didn't know they were called fancy diamonds. I will be sure to avoid the yellow ones until I'm confident I can spot the "fakes", but the red, pink and blue ones sound like "gems!" :) Is there any special occasion where you would want to buy a certain color diamond? Just curious if trading colored diamonds is a somewhat new thing or if you could only buy them in rare dealers...

  5. These colored fancy diamonds are really awesome. I may buy these very soon. I will keep an eye on these.