Fun Facts About Colored Diamonds

Diamonds come in different colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and pink. Natural colored diamonds are extremely rare—this is why the price tag on fancies is so high.

Now, let's get into some fun facts about these rare beauties...

Colored Diamonds:

  • How much a colored diamond retails for depends on its color, lab, or natural origin and if it has undergone any treatment.

  • The most significant characteristic of color diamonds is COLOR (which defines the hue, tone, and saturation), unlike colorless diamonds, where the most important attribute is CUT. Natural color diamonds are often cut into a fancy shape because they display the color better.

  • In all cases, even very slight color differences can significantly impact value. Compared to fancy yellows and browns, diamonds with a noticeable hint of any other hue are rarer.

  • The gradings for colored diamonds range from faint to very light, light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy dark, fancy deep, and fancy vivid. The Gemological Institute of America recognizes 27 hues, which are just primary colors. These hues are further filtered by the tone, how light or dark the color is, and the saturation, the color's intensity.

  • Lab-grown diamonds come in a spectrum of colors. Lab-grown diamonds also sell for significantly less than natural diamonds - sometimes less than 1% of the cost of a similar-quality diamond crystal with natural color.

  • Connoisseurs prize even diamonds with numerous inclusions that result in a low clarity grade if they display attractive face-up color. But, of course, inclusions that threaten the gem's durability can significantly lower a fancy color diamond's value. Natural fancy color diamonds can exhibit color graining, which is considered an inclusion.

  • Though the carat weight of the colored diamond crystal is a crucial factor when assessing the stone's overall value, a color diamond polisher will often sacrifice the size to achieve a better color if possible.

  • The cost of purchasing a colored diamond increases year after year; thus, owning a natural fancy colored diamond is considered a good investment.

  • Fancy white diamonds also exist and have a milky white color. Sometimes fancy white diamonds are cut to display beautiful iridescent flashes of color.

Red Diamonds:

  • Only 1 out of every 10,000 valuable diamonds is a fancy-colored stone. Natural red diamonds, in particular, are the rarest color, according to experts.

  • Natural red diamonds are so rare that 99% of jewelers in the world have never had the pleasure of seeing these gorgeous colored stones.

  • It's hard to believe, but only 30 red diamonds with a natural color have ever been discovered.

Green Diamonds:

  • Green-colored diamonds are the 2nd rarest fancy colored diamonds, coming in behind red ones. The color of these beautiful diamonds stems from atomic radiation that modifies the diamond's crystal structure. When it comes to green-colored diamonds, there are only a few "totally green" gems since most green diamonds are only green on the surface or in patches. Most other green diamonds have shades of gray or yellow.

  • The most valued green diamonds have a rich and uniform color.

  • The green color in green diamonds results from Earth's naturally decaying radioactive materials emitting penetrating radiation that knocks electrons or carbon atoms out of their crystal lattice position, causing the stone to reflect green light.

  • Manufactured irradiated-colored diamonds are not as rare as natural diamonds, but they are still quite scarce. This is because the process of irradiation is expensive, and not all diamonds can withstand it. High-energy particles bombard irradiated-colored diamonds that, change their crystal structure and cause the diamond crystal to change color.

  • Olive-colored diamonds are one of the newest trends in the diamond world. These beautiful stones get their color from the same thing as green diamonds – atomic radiation. This process can be natural or man-induced. Olive-colored diamonds are a mix of yellow and green, giving them their unique color.

  • The 41-carat Dresden green diamond is one of the rarest fancy diamonds in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art says the stone was most likely mined in India but was first referenced in Dresden, Germany, where it is displayed.

Blue Diamonds:

  • As the Natural Color Diamond Association reports, only one natural blue diamond can be found on the market for every 100 Picasso paintings up at auction.

  • Blue diamonds are some of science's rarest and most intriguing fancy colored diamonds as they only form when the natural element of boron gets trapped inside their crystal structure.

  • The boron in blue diamonds absorbs yellow light and thus reflects blue light; subtle differences in the concentration and positioning of these boron atoms result in different hues and shades of the diamond color blue.

  • Lab-created fancy diamonds have the same mineral makeup and the same appearance as natural fancy diamonds. For example, both natural and lab blue diamonds can be vivid or more grey, and they both get their diamond color from boron.

  • Pink and blue diamonds are scarce. These natural fancy colored diamonds usually feature faint color saturation, but deep saturation in these color tones is extremely rare.

  • The Hope Diamond, which is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., is one of the most famous blue diamonds in the world. The Hope Diamond garners 3 million visitors per year.

Pink Diamonds:

  • Around 80% of the world's pink diamonds originate from the Argyle mine in Kimberley, West Australia. Of the mine's 20 million carats annual output, only 0.1% are classified as pink-colored diamonds, attesting to their rarity.

  • Pink diamonds are increasing in value rapidly, and since 2005, pink-colored diamonds have appreciated by more than 600 percent!

  • Unlike other natural diamonds that boast a beautiful color, pink diamonds get their pink color via a phenomenon called plastic deformation. Plastic deformation requires extreme pressure to compress the diamond's crystal structure in such a way that causes them to reflect red light.

  • Pink diamonds come in all different shades. Like other diamonds, they can be graded faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy intense, fancy deep, and fancy vivid—the more intense the color saturation, the more valuable the stones. Hence, fancy vivid pinks (saturated pinks) are exponentially more expensive than a fancy light pink or fancy pink diamond.

  • Pink diamond crystals often come with a secondary hue, such as purple-pink or orange-pink. Because of this, you’ll never find a pink diamond that looks the same.

  • Argyle pink diamonds have a more complicated structure than white diamonds and can take three to four times as long to polish.

  • Though not typical, It is possible if a fancy diamond with a plastic deformation (like, say, a pink diamond) also has enough nitrogen (like a yellow diamond), you get an orange diamond. This color change further proves that no two natural diamonds are alike.

Yellow Diamonds:

  • Only 1 out of 10,000 carats mined is a yellow diamond.

  • While most of the intense fancy yellows come from South Africa, yellow diamonds are found all over the world, typically found in the ground and not in diamond mines.

  • Yellow-colored diamonds are another name for canary diamonds. These gems are yellow colored, but their color is not natural. Yellow diamonds result from nitrogen atoms that have infiltrated the stone at some point.

  • The most common of all non-carbon atoms found in rare colored diamonds is nitrogen. Most natural diamonds we see contain some nitrogen, but only enough to give yellow hints to otherwise colorless diamonds.

  • The larger a fancy yellow diamond is, or the deeper its pavilion, the farther light can travel in it. This can often lead to a richer, more intense color. The style of the fancy diamond's cut can also influence the color. Cutters discovered that certain styles—typically mixed cuts like the radiant—can intensify the yellow color in natural diamonds that are toward the lower end of the D-to-Z color-grading scale.

  • The GIA system for color-grading natural color diamonds acknowledges 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.

  • At more than 118 carats, the Delaire Sunrise yellow diamond's price is more than $42 million!

  • Yellow diamonds are the most popular of the colored diamond family. Still, the prices for yellow diamonds generally remain lower when compared to colorless stones of similar quality until they reach very high color intensities.

Brown Diamonds:

  • The most common naturally colored diamonds are brown and yellow. When the color saturation in brown and yellow diamonds is faint, the diamonds lose value. They are more valuable only when the yellow and brown diamonds have considerable saturation.

  • Brown diamonds are abundant and found in fancy diamond deposits throughout the world. The best-known mine for producing brown diamonds is the Argyle mine in Australia, where over 80% of the gem-quality diamonds produced are brown.

  • The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) tells us that brown diamonds became more popular in the 1980s when the industry began giving them romantic names like "champagne," "cognac" and "chocolate.

Black Diamonds:

  • Black diamonds are not black, but instead are very dark gray to almost black—the color of black diamonds results from large amounts of impurities in the stone.

  • The vast majority of black diamonds on the market today are treated to enhance their color. The treatment process involves heating the diamond to extremely high temperatures, which changes its crystal structure and gives the diamond a more intense black color.

Fancy-colored diamonds are some of the rarest, most beautiful, and valuable diamonds in the world. These gorgeous stones come in a wide range of colors, from red to green to black. If you're lucky enough to own a fancy-colored diamond, you can be sure that you have a genuinely unique gem!