Imagine a diamond, light glinting off its surface, an inner fire casting brilliance from its core. But you also imagine the diamond as clear as glass, and that is a common misconception. Diamonds come in a wide variety of colors, from white to black, as well as their famous colorless variety. In reality the most common diamond has a yellow coloration, rather than colorless!
While technically colorless diamonds generally have the highest value, there are some rarer colors that have immense value, much more so than a higher quality clear diamond. The Hope Diamond for instance is an incredibly valuable stone thanks to its beautiful dark blue hue. It is worth more per carat than any other diamond because it is so impure (but so rare!).
Sometimes value isn’t just to do with the quality or color of the stone though, the diamond clarity and cut is hugely important too. Sometimes the value of the diamond is not even down to the stone itself, but it’s scarcity at the time. This has been highlighted by celebrity trends, when a celebrity wearing a particular diamond drives up the demand significantly!
You can find colored diamonds in nearly any color, although some hues are much more common than others. Yellow and brown stones are pretty common for colored diamonds, however some of the more illustrious colors such as deep blues are hardly ever found.
These colorations come from impurities in the carbon that made up the diamond when it was created deep in the Earth’s crust (Although you can also get colored artificial diamonds). Various different impurities and their level of occurrence can have a huge impact on the color of a diamond. For instance, all Type I diamonds contain a tiny amount of nitrogen. Diamonds that have larger concentrations of nitrogen however, begin to develop a yellow hue.
Unlike Type I diamonds, Type II diamonds rarely contain nitrogen, often contain a pink coloring. A Small number if Type II diamonds also develop a light blue coloring because of boron impurities (The same impurity that in a higher strength created the Hope Diamond).
When diamonds pass a certain level of color in the stone, they often garner the name ‘Fancy Diamond’. Technically this occurs when they no longer fit on the standard color grading scales. Often though a Fancy diamond is obvious because its color no longer highlights the diamond, but becomes the highlight of the diamond.
Some of the world’s most famous diamonds are ‘Fancy Diamonds’ because of both their rarity and their beauty.
If you want to see all the diamond colors, you can do no better than looking at the Aurora Pyramid of Hope. The Aurora Pyramid of Hope displays two hundred and ninety six diamonds of various colors, and displays them under natural, artificial and UV lighting.
But what should I look for in a diamonds color?
Because the color of a diamond can vary so greatly, it can often come down to personal taste. Most people love to have a clear diamond in a ring, but with more exquisite jewelry the huge variety of colors can provide a much more intricate design!
For the most part you want a diamonds color to accentuate the diamond, the hint of color is more desirable than a color that defines the diamond.
Are there any diamond colors I should avoid?
There isn’t really a ‘bad’ diamond color, although brown diamonds are the least in demand, and have the least value because of this. Some jewelers rebrand brown diamonds as champagne, coffee or chocolate diamonds.
In most cases the choice of a diamond color comes down to personal preferences, choosing a diamond that suits your own tastes is more important than anything else. Even a brown diamond can look amazing in the right setting!
Is there a grading system of diamond colors?
Different colored diamonds have different grading systems, which seem a little confusing at first, but don’t worry, it’s relatively simple!
Colorless to light yellow diamonds have the most detailed scale. D to F are colorless, G to J are near colorless, and as you go further down the intensity of the yellow increases. If a color becomes more yellow than Z, it becomes a fancy diamond. In more generic terms, diamonds that are in the G – M range are considered ‘low color’ whilst diamonds that fit in to categories M and above are called ‘High Color’.
For colors other than yellow, they are often referred to using a descriptive term. It could be orange-red, faint blue, reddish brown, white, or even black.
These grading terms seem very vague, and very inexact. In reality though, diamond graders follow strict guidelines on naming conventions (even if the resulting description is ‘fancy light green-blue’).
Are colored diamonds weaker?
Whilst there are some minor differences of the strength of colored differences, the change is unbelievably miniscule, even under heavy stress testing. Even if you want to choose a stone that will last forever, the color of the diamond doesn’t really matter.
I Love Colored Diamonds!
When it comes to buying a diamond, people too often thing ‘clear’ is better. The truth is that you are buying a diamond that will last for your lifetime, and generations beyond. Buying the diamond you want is an infinitely better idea than buying the diamond everyone tells you that you should buy!
Let’s face it, a mobile phone lasts a year or two, your laptop, maybe a few years, you might buy a house that lasts fifty years, but a diamond will last for centuries!