Colored Diamond Value - Ultimate Guide
Out of every 10,000 diamonds, just one will have natural color, which is known as a fancy color diamond. The value of a fancy color diamond therefore lies in the intensity and distribution of its color. Other factors that normally matter a great deal with colorless diamonds, like cut grade and clarity, are not top priority in fancy color diamonds.
As mentioned, colored diamonds are known in the jewellery trade as "fancy diamonds". They are available in an array of colors, tones and saturations, some are certainly more rare than others, but overall colored diamonds are far more rare than their colorless counterparts.
Unlike colorless diamonds and their GIA certificates, it is ideal to view a video of a colored diamond before you choose so you can see how it looks while it moves because colors and their saturation can vary so greatly. colored diamonds tend to rely on a more intuitive response, rather than a technical diamond grading report.
While round diamonds are a classic and traditional choice for engagement rings , this shape does not lend itself best to colored diamonds as they don't display the color tones as well as a radiant or cushion cut diamond, for example. While colored diamonds carry a price premium, a great way to feature them in your design is to use them on the band or in the halo.
Color is the most important aspect of any fancy color diamond. Fancy color diamonds can have one or more colors. When only one color exists in the diamond, the price will be much higher than if it were to have multiple colors. So it goes without saying that a Fancy Blue will cost more than a Fancy Grayish Blue and a Fancy Pink will command a higher price than a Fancy Orangey Pink. Aside from primary and secondary colors, also referred to as overtones, in fancy color diamonds, color is based on the level of intensity. Whereas colorless diamonds are graded on a D-Z scale, fancy color diamonds are evaluated on an intensity scale that runs as follows. Understandably, the higher the intensity, the higher the price:
|Colored Dimaonds Intensity Scale|
Colored Dimaonds Intensity Scale.
To get a better understanding of how fancy color diamonds acquire their color, a bit of scientific discussion is in order. Firstly, natural color in natural fancy color diamonds is formed when trace amounts of other elements combine with the standard quantity of carbon during the crystallization process. Mutations in the basic crystalline structure of the diamond also contribute to the formation of natural color. If any secondary elements fuse with the carbon as it crystallizes, the color in the resulting composition can change. Other factors that can affect the natural color of a fancy color diamond are radiation and additional pressure applied to the crystalline structure.
Diamonds exist in practically all colors of the rainbow:
Pink - Since pink diamonds are so rare, they have become very collectible as both an investment opportunity and a luxury fashion statement. Argyle pink diamonds are especially coveted.
Purple - The most expensive of all purple diamonds are those that are uniformly pure purple without any secondary color modifiers. Known to represent creativity, femininity, love and romance.
Red - Natural red diamonds are indeed so hard to come by that up to a mere thirty are known to exist. Symbolising passion and intense love, red diamonds are thought to inspire a magic that lasts a lifetime. As well as bringing good luck, red is known to channel power, energy and self-awareness.
Orange - Fancy orange diamonds are commonly found with modifying colors of brown and yellow and such diamonds are typically less expensive. Believed to inspired boldness, creativity, and productivity, orange diamonds are exotic and evocative. Orange is an emotional stimulant and is often linked to energy, self-respect and success within relationships.
Yellow - Thanks to a large celebrity following, yellow diamonds have become a very fashionable diamond color. Known for increasing self-confidence, yellow diamonds boost creativity and clarity of thought. Yellow promotes joy, happiness and prosperity.
Green - Natural green diamonds owe their color to radiation exposure that unfolded over millions of years during their formation. Believed to embody the essence of life, green diamonds promote youth, vitality and balance. Green is also the color of faith and truth and is often associated with loving and healthy relationships.
Blue - Most years, only one natural blue diamond rough is mined, emphasizing how truly rare they are. Often associated with elegance and sophistication, blue diamonds promote calmness and serenity, truth and purpose.
Champagne (Brown) - Although a champagne diamond may look luxurious, its price is often quite affordable since the color is more abundant in nature. Often connected with the earth and nature, brown diamonds represent harmony and tradition. Brown diamonds fit in with all aspects of life and express subtle elegance, whilst signalling harmony within a relationship.
Black - Black diamonds are opaque instead of translucent and owe their color to evenly distributed, dark inclusions. Symbolising strength and inner power, black diamonds are thought to bring the wearer the ability to face any adversities. Signifies belief in a relationship and the ability for the relationship to overcome all obstacles.
Gray - fancy gray diamonds are generally considered to rank among the most affordable color diamonds.
Chameleon - Chameleon diamonds got their name because they are the only diamond that can change color (often from green to yellow.)
Among these main colors of diamonds, secondary color modifiers, and occasionally secondary base colors are often present to transform the overall hue, resulting in the creation of a unique colored diamond hybrid.
As mentioned, natural fancy colored diamonds are an entirely separate group that exists and is graded independently of colorless diamonds. The colorless (often called "white") diamonds are graded on a D-Z scale. This is because even colorless diamonds can have slight hints of color in the form of yellow or brown. However, colorless diamonds are prized for their lack of color, so these hints of yellow or brown negatively affect a diamond's value. The exact opposite is true for colored diamonds, where the color is the most important factor of value. All diamond colors, including a yellow or brown color diamond with color that is stronger than the D-Z scale, will be graded based on intensity of color. Intensity refers to the combination of tone and saturation. Tone is how much lightness or darkness exists in the diamond and saturation refers to the depth of color.
Also as mentioned, diamond color grading proceeds in the following ascending order of intensity: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep, and Fancy Dark. The more intense the color of diamonds, the more rare, and rarity determines overall value. For example: A Fancy Vivid Pink is rarer and more valuable than a Fancy Brown Yellow. Also:
• A diamond with a light tone and light saturation is either Light or Fancy Light.
• A diamond with a medium tone and deep saturation is Fancy Intense.
• A diamond with a dark tone and deep saturation is Fancy Dark.
The most desired intensities are usually Fancy Vivid and Fancy Intense, the perfect marriage of tone and saturation.
We mentioned earlier that diamonds can have one or two base colors as well as color modifiers. The first color in a description is the modifier and the last is a base color. This means that a colored diamond can have:
• One dominant (base) color - Example: Fancy Intense Yellow.
• Two base colors - Example: Fancy Light Brown Pink.
• One modifier two base colors - Example: Fancy Greenish Yellow Grey.
• Two modifiers and one base color - Example: Fancy Dark Grayish Greenish Yellow.
Because of this amazing phenomenon, virtually all colors of diamonds exist to suit our uniquely individual tastes.
More On Color
Colored diamond grading terminology uses a combination of fancy grades and color descriptions to define a diamond's characteristic color:
Hue is the dominant color of the diamond. It can be affected by the presence of 'modifiers' or 'tints', which are additional hues within a stone. A diamond can be a single color, such as pink, or it can have a secondary color, for example if a pink diamond had a purple tint, it would be described as a 'Purplish Pink diamond'.
A single color can potentially have multiple modifiers which are listed ahead of the primary color in the color description.
The Fancy Diamond Color Hue Chart
The color wheel illustrates each of the 27 hues used in the GIA standard to describe fancy colored diamonds.
The diamonds shown below as examples for each hue all have strong saturation levels. colors reach their strongest saturation at different tones, as you can see, the yellow diamond is lighter than the blue.
Saturation refers to the strength or intensity of the hue of main color exhibited from the diamond. Saturation of diamonds with a lighter tone can range from 'light' to 'intense' to 'vivid'. For darker diamonds, descriptions can range from 'deep' to 'dark'.
The GIA system for color-grading fancy color diamonds is designed to accommodate the fact that not all colored diamonds have the same depth of color. For example, yellow diamonds occur in a wide range of saturations, while blue diamonds do not.
GIA Colored Diamond Scale.
A good way to understand this is imagining a glass of red food coloring next to a glass with 2/3 water and 1/3 food coloring. The hue itself (red) has not changed, but the saturation would be more diluted, and lighter in tone.
Tone refers to how light or dark the diamond appears. This is typically determined by how much brown, black, grey or white is present in the stone.
Imagine the glass of food coloring. If you were to mix a little black food coloring with the red, its hue would still be red, the saturation would still remain the same, but it would be darker in tone.
Tone Hue Chart
Lighter Tone Hue
Select Tone Hue
Darker Tone Hue
Select Tone Hue