What is it about coloured diamond jewellery that makes it so desirable?
The less colour that’s present in a diamond, the more valuable a diamond is. Given a grade of D, E and F, these diamonds are considered rare and are much more expensive than your average diamond.
Knowing that, it may not make a whole lot of sense that a vibrant, red diamond would be considered one of the rarest and most expensive to those unfamiliar with different categories of diamonds. However, when coloured diamonds are given a class of their own and then rated accordingly, it then takes on its own value.
Coloured diamonds are referred to as Fancy diamonds and rate in a way similar to that of transparent diamonds. They have a ratings scale designed specifically for colour: Faint through Fancy and Fancy through Fancy Vivid. The more effervescent and pure the colour of the diamond is, the more valuable and rarer the stone is. Like transparent diamonds, the value of coloured diamonds also includes the 4 C’s – cut, clarity, colour and carat weight.
To give you a better mental picture, brown Fancy diamonds are on the low spectrum of rarity amongst coloured diamonds. Claret and champagne are the favourite choices of brown diamonds and perhaps the more affordable of all of the colours. Other colours include yellow, green, and orange with blue, pink and red being the most expensive and rarest of all coloured diamonds.
By using radioactive decay schemes, it’s been discovered that all natural diamonds were formed between 990.000,000 and 3.2 billion years ago. Because temperatures need to reach up to 900 – 1300 degrees Celsius to form a diamond, they’re brought up from 100 – 200km beneath the earth when a volcanic eruption occurs.[i] It’s extremely fascinating, isn’t it?
During this process, occasionally trace impurities, irregular growth patterns or exposure of different elements can change the colour of the diamond, thus creating your rare, coloured Fancy diamond.
Here’s a list showing which element creates which hue the diamond becomes:
Yellow – Nitrogen and/or Hydrogen
Brown – Nitrogen and/or Hydrogen
Blue – Boron
Green – Radiation exposure
Pink – Irregular growth patterns within the crystal
Red – Irregular growth patterns within the crystal[ii]
Because of their rarity and value, Fancy diamonds are quite costly. Most people can’t afford coloured diamonds because of the amount of money riding on it. If you’re one of those blessed with the fortune of obtaining such a stone, make sure that a certificate from a respected grading lab is kept securely placed where it can’t be mislaid, stolen or damaged. This is an extremely important document since it verifies the value of the diamond.
Coloured diamonds are not just pricey but because of their intrinsic value and rarity, are also considered to be an investment of sorts. Since so much money goes into purchasing Fancy diamonds, you should be cautious and not make a hasty decision.
The easiest way to identify whether you’re being sold a diamond that’s been coated to appear like a Fancy stone or the real deal is if the salesperson offers a discount or if the stone doesn’t have a certificate of authenticity to go along with it. Fancy diamonds will NEVER be offered for any discount.
I’m sure after understanding a bit more about coloured diamonds, you’ll agree that they’re truly fascinating and perhaps the most exquisite gemstone known to man. If you own a coloured diamond, I would love to hear about it!