Fancy Colored Diamonds

When it comes to diamonds (and most things in the world) rarity=value. With white diamonds, the less yellow or brown undertone, the more rare the diamond is. Diamonds in the D-Z color range decrease in value as the color becomes more obvious.  However, with fancy color diamonds, the opposite happens, the more color in the diamond the more rare and valuable it becomes. The most common fancy colored diamonds are browns and yellows (stay tuned for a deeper look into yellows). The rarest and most valuable fancy colored diamonds are red, pinks, blues and greens. All fancy colored diamonds range in intensity of color and saturation. The diamond’s color and saturation combination determines how desirable and how valuable the stone is.

Fancy colored diamonds are truly a great wonder of the world. As you know, diamonds form over billions of years below the Earth’s surface under extreme pressure and temperature. Sometimes during their formation things don’t always go according to plan. For instance, trace elements or radiation might get in the way and… TADA! you get a fancy colored diamond.

A fancy blue diamond’s color is caused by the presence of boron impurities. The more boron that sneaks into the diamond, the deeper the blue color. (Bring on the boron!)

The most famous blue diamond is the Hope Diamond. It is a 45.52 carat Fancy Deep Grayish Blue and is displayed in the National Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. There is a myth that the Hope Diamond has long believed to be cursed and causes tragedy to those who own it or wear it.

  My Daddy examining The Hope Diamond back in the day

My Daddy examining The Hope Diamond back in the day

Fancy green diamonds get their color from radiation in the earth. The radiation shakes up the atoms in a diamond and alters its crystal structure. The tricky thing about  fancy green diamonds is that they can be artificially irradiated. Just be aware because even with extensive gemological testing it can be very hard to determine if a fancy green diamond’s color is natural or treated.

Fancy pink diamonds are more or less still a mystery. Scientists believe that the color is produced by some sort of distortion that occurs during the formation process. Australia’s Argyle mine is the most famous for producing fancy pink diamonds. The 24.78 carat Graff Pink Diamond is the most expensive gem ever auctioned for $46 million.

Brown diamonds were not considered valuable or even gem quality until the 1980’s. Now brown diamonds are marketed as “cognac” “champagne” or “chocolate” diamonds and are very popular and used in a lot of modern jewelry. However, there is not the same value in a brown diamond as there is in white, yellow, or other fancy colored diamonds.