The classic diamond that comes to mind when we think of a diamond is one that is perfectly colorless. The truth is you can find diamonds in an incredible variety of colors, from perfectly clear to nearly black, with every color of the rainbow in between. Colored – or fancy – diamonds can be used to make a statement or to give a piece of jewelry some added flair. And unlike white diamonds, the higher the saturation, the more valuable the diamond is.
How Rare Are Colored Diamonds?
The vast majority of diamonds mined throughout the world are considered colorless, even if they contain a bit of yellow. Because it’s so common to find yellow in colorless diamonds, yellow and brown diamonds make up the majority of colored diamonds.
Naturally colored diamonds are often lighter in tone or saturation. Typically, for every 10,000 carats mined, only one will be a true colored diamond. Finding a naturally occurring colored diamond with medium to dark tones are even rarer – which is what often drives costs higher!
Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From?
The best known sources of fancy diamonds have been India, South Africa, and Australia. However they have been found in Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, and Indonesia. Different mines around the world may produce more colored diamonds, due to the makeup of the rocks and soil nearby.
Fun fact: the composition of the earth nearby plays a role in contributing to the chemical impurities that are often responsible for giving diamonds their color!
What Are the Most Popular Colors for Fancy Diamonds?
The color of a yellow diamond can vary from dusky brown to an intense vibrant yellow. The most sought after yellow diamonds are known as canary diamonds, due to their bright hue like the bird that shares its name. The brighter yellows can often command a higher value than duskier shades of yellow. Yellow diamonds are formed when traces of nitrogen are present in a diamond and can contain as little as .10% nitrogen to display that memorable hue!
A blue diamond owes its color to boron impurities and its shade to either hydrogen or radiation exposure. Green-blue diamonds are due to radiation, while hydrogen creates gray-violet or gray-blue diamonds. One of the most famous blue diamonds of all time is the Hope Diamond, with an estimated value of around $300 million. However, most of the value comes from the fact that it’s a famous diamond with a storied history!
Red & Pink Diamonds
Naturally sourced red and pink diamonds are the rarest of any colored diamond. As of right now, gemologists have not yet discovered what causes red diamonds, and their best guess is that there is a defect in the atomic structure that is responsible. They’re so rare that only 20 or 30 truly red diamonds have ever been discovered!
Just like yellow diamonds, orange diamonds get their color from nitrogen. However, the atoms must be aligned in a specific way to produce an orange diamond, which makes them incredibly rare. In fact, only mines in Australia and Africa have ever produced an orange diamond to date!
Green diamonds are so rare that most experts will examine them meticulously to make sure they’re genuinely from the earth, and not fabricated in a lab! Most green diamonds get their color from natural radiation in the rocks around it. Usually, only the outside or surface area of the diamond is green with the color rarely making it to the center of the diamond. If you’re lucky enough to have a natural green diamond, be careful when you get it polished so you don’t risk losing the color!
Just like any stone, the rarer it is and the larger it is, the higher a price it can command. That’s why larger colored diamonds like the Pink Star Diamond can sell for so much. If you’re interested in buying or selling colored diamonds, look no further than Samuelson’s. We have nearly 100 years of buying and selling gems behind us – and we make sure they all are of guaranteed origin. Call us today or contact us online to request an appointment with one of our certified experts today.
To quote from Rihanna, “Shine bright like a diamond” – especially a colored diamond!
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