A fancy diamond is a natural colored diamond, found in a wide range of hues, including red, green, purple, violet, orange blue and pink. These diamonds are amongst the most rare and beautiful diamonds that nature has to offer. In fact, out of the approximately 80,000 carats of rough diamonds mined every year, only 0.001% are regarded as fancy colors.
These beautiful colors are the result of the differing processes experience in their formation, for example:
- YELLOW DIAMONDS are the result of the presence of nitrogen in the diamond's creation
- GREEN DIAMONDS are created though the diamond's exposure to irradiation
- PINK and RED DIAMONDS are considered to be the result of manganese inclusions within the diamond.
Unlike clear diamonds, the grading of fancy diamonds improves in relation to a greater presence of strong colors. Fancy colored diamond grading differs from clear diamond grading and a few simple descriptions will be useful in analyzing fancy colored diamonds:
Where there is a predominant color the diamond is named in this color, for example "pink". If there is a secondary color it is described with an "ish" as in "greenish pink". This is described as difying color. Where a colored diamond has two colors that are equally present they are both named, for example "purple pink". Fancy colors vary from "faint" to "intense". These ranges in intensity are graded, with higher intensities of colour increasing the value of the diamond.
Where a colored diamond has two colors that are equally present they are both named, for example "purple pink". Fancy colors vary from "faint" to "intense". These ranges in intensity are graded, with higher intensities of colour increasing the value of the diamond.
Yellow is one of the most familiar names known aside from white "colorless" diamonds. Canary is a term commonly used to describe intense yellow diamonds. Some of the yellows with higher intensity of color (Fancy Vivid Yellow) are as rare as the pinks and blues and command unusually high prices.
Pink diamonds are rare and highly desired. Pink diamonds of higher intensity are the most rare and command very high prices. Most pink diamonds mined are faint to light colored (pastel colored). Many of the deep colored pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine in Australia.
Natural blue color is one of the rarest of fancy color diamonds. These diamonds are amongst the most sought after by collectors. Color can range from faint to a very deep blue, and blue diamonds can command even higher prices than pink diamonds.
Red is by far the rarest of all colored diamonds. Fewer than 20 stones have so far been certified as red diamonds. Some of these have fetched over a million dollars per carat, although most other colored diamonds fetch between five to six figures per carat.
Green diamonds with no other secondary hues or modifiers are some of the rarest, and depending on intensity and purity of color, can command astronomical prices. Most green diamonds have either grey, brown or yellow modifiers.
Purple diamonds with no secondary hues are very rare. Most of these diamonds are less than one carat in size and are very seldom found in dark to vivid lilac colors. Most purple diamonds exhibit needle-like color zones.
Orange diamonds are not as rare as the red or green daimonds. Most orange colored diamonds have strong yellow or brown modifiers. Pastel colored orange diamonds are of similar value as pastel pinks and some blues.
Diamonds with grey as the primary dominant color are also unique. These diamonds are comparitively reasonably priced (in the high four to low five figures per carat).
Black diamonds are not transparent, and do not show fire (flashes of color) as other diamonds, but can be extremely expensive where they are in the dark to vivid color ranges. Black diamonds may give off secondary color hues of grey or white.
These are the most widely available and surprisingly affordable colored diamonds. They provide a beautiful low cost alternative to pink, blue, grey, green or yellow diamonds. Common names used to describe brown color are: champagne, chocolate, coffee, golden, honey, bronze, cognac, etc.