Around 3,000 years ago the first diamonds were discovered in India. Since then, diamonds have captured our hearts and attention. While the colorless diamond reigns still in popularity, color diamonds also called Fancy Colored Diamonds have received a high amount of praise and wear from top celebrities and royalty. In this guide, we are giving you all the info you need to know about colored diamonds.
What is a colored diamond?
A colored diamond is a natural diamond made of carbon that receives a color due to exposure to elements such as boron, nitrogen, or crystal lattice. One in every 10,000 diamonds is formed with color, making these beauties rare and expensive.
Most people know the 4 C’s of diamonds, but fancy colored diamonds’ grading has some differences. Specifically, the color grade which describes the colors’ strength, as well as hue, tone, and saturation.
- Hue – the color of a diamond (green, pink, blue, and yellow)
- Tone – light or dark the color is. Rated on a scaled of 0-100
- Saturation – the intensity of the color within the diamond
- Fancy Light
- Fancy Dark
- Fancy Deep
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Vivid
Intense and vivid are the rarest. Some famous fancy diamonds are the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, The Dresden Green, and the Pink Star.
Types of Colored Diamonds
Black – usually getting their dark color through flaws, known as inclusion, these are a dramatic choice for jewelry. Naturally occurring black diamonds have a higher value than those that are color-treated.
Blue – Found mostly in South Asia, the blue diamond can range in shade from a pale blue to deep azure. Blue diamonds are created when boron bonds to the diamond’s carbon. The Hope Diamond is the most famous blue diamond in the world. Donated to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., this blue beauty originally weighed in at 112 carats!
Brown – These tend to be the most common as their color is created by a crystal lattice. These are usually found in Australia, Brazil, as well as different areas in Africa. These are ranked on a different scale as well, C1 to C7 which is a range from light to dark brown.
Yellow – more common but incredibly popular the yellow diamond comes in lemon, dandelion, and famous canary. The Oppenheimer diamond remains an uncut 253.7 carats and is sitting safely at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Who can forget Heidi Klum’s amazing 10 carat-Canary yellow engagement ring from former husband Seal?
Green – One of the rarest occurring colors, green diamonds are formed from a stone’s proximity to radiation. Don’t worry these are not radioactive, but they are incredibly alluring. They are usually classified into three color descriptor: mint, grass, and forest.
Orange – These incredibly rare diamonds are often found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They get their color from nitrogen exposure and come in different shades, such as tangerine, pumpkin, and amber.
Pink – from bright pink to deep rose, pink diamonds are so fun. Perhaps, that is why they are classified with names like bubblegum, raspberry, and merlot. Pink diamonds found almost exclusively in Australia, only .1% of the Argyle Diamond Mine.
Purple and Violet – Found in Australia and occasionally in Siberia, these rare beauties are typically only 5 carats or less.
Red – The rarest of them all, these dramatic fancy diamonds are found in Brazil. The largest one ever found is the Moussaieff Red Diamond, a whopping 13.9 carats bought for $8 million!
Mix It Up
Can’t choose just one color. Many colored diamonds look beautiful when set together in a halo style. Asteria Diamonds, for example, has an impressive collection of various combinations. Some of their most popular pieces include a yellow-green diamond surrounded by white and colored diamonds. At 1.84 carats this ring is a show-stopper. Other colors that are often shown together are yellow and white, brownish purple-pink surrounded by white diamonds, and yellow and pink. Colored diamonds are not only for engagements. They make exquisite bracelets, earrings, and necklaces as well. Queen Elizabeth has a famous yellow diamond brooch that she received in 1954. It has 150 diamonds and features tea tree blossoms.
Colored or fancy diamonds are unique, sometimes dramatic, and follow their own unique grading system. Be sure to check the “C’s” that matter the most for colored diamonds, which are color and cut. Buying a colored diamond doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you take the time to learn about the colored diamond of your choice.