All About Fancy Colored Diamonds

May 23, 2012

If you’ve done your research when it comes to diamond buying, then you’ll know all about the 4 C’s – color, clarity, cut, and carat. All of these factor into a diamond’s quality and value and most brides-to-be are in pursuit of the notoriously rare, totally colorless diamond. However, of the four C’s color is probably the most flexible of all the diamond attributes.

If you’ve got a taste for the unique, then color diamonds are the choice for you. The colorless diamonds are the most famous, but diamonds can come in a whole range of colors that are equally striking. Known as “fancy” colored, these diamonds contain impurities that give them their color and possess an allure all of their own. Just ask Carrie Underwood, Kristen Bell, or Heidi Klum who all sport fancy colored diamond engagement rings. In order of rarity the yellow diamond is the most common, followed by brown, colorless, blue, green, black, pink, orange, purple, and red. For every 10,000 diamond mined in the world, only one can be called a fancy colored diamond.

Yellow & Brown Diamonds

Nitrogen is the most common impurity found in diamonds and is responsible for giving yellow and brown diamonds their hue. Close to 98% of diamonds will have some degree of nitrogen in them. The added benefit of using a yellow diamond for an engagement ring, is that the yellow color of the diamond can be enhanced by using a yellow gold mounting. Most yellow diamonds come from South Africa. Living up to its name, the Incomparable Diamond is the largest yellow diamond at 407.8 carats.

Orange Diamonds

Orange diamonds also get their color from the notorious Nitrogen. The structure of the carbon lattice is what turns the diamond orange rather than yellow. Orange diamonds are the only diamond in which synthetically enhancing the color can add to the value of the diamond. The Pumpkin Diamond is the most famous orange diamond at 5.1 carats and is currently owned by Harry Winston.

Red Diamonds

The rarest of all colored diamonds, the red diamond can be worth as much as $1,000,000 per carat. Nitrogen and extreme pressure during development give these diamonds a red cast and so far they’ve only been mined in Australia. Due to the rarity, it is estimated that in all likelihood only 50 red diamonds are left. One of the coveted red diamonds is the 5.1 carat Moussaieff diamond.

Green Diamonds

Anyone thinking of Kryptonite? Well, you’re not far off base as green diamonds actually get their color from being exposed to natural radiation, like from uranium ore, while developing. The color of a green diamond can change depending on how it has been cut or if it’s exposed to heat. The most famous green diamond is the Dreseden Green Diamond, at 41 carats.

Blue Diamonds

Blue diamonds get their color from trace amounts of Boron and most of them are mined in Australia and South Africa. With the presence of Boron, some of these diamonds can even conduct electricity. The Hope Diamond is naturally the most famous example of a blue diamond to date.

Pink Diamonds

Next to yellow diamonds, pink diamonds are easily one of the most popular colored diamonds for engagement rings. They’re not as common as yellow diamonds, but are still accessible and affordable. Pink diamonds are mined in Brazil, Australia, and South Africa. The Darya e Noor is the largest pink diamond in the world at 186 carats and belongs to the Iranian Treasury.

Black Diamonds

Black diamonds are not truly black. It’s due to a high presence of dark inclusions that give them their black appearance and they are currently only found in Brazil and Africa. One of the more famous black diamonds is the Black Orlov, a 67.5 carat cushion-cut, that is said to be cursed.

Established in 1912, the King family has owned and operated King Jewelers for five generations while building an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value, and first-class service. Today, King Jewelers has brick-and-mortar stores located in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN, both of which have won numerous regional and national awards of distinction. Offering a magnificent selection of fine jewelry collections including the hottest Italian designs, estate jewelry, colored gemstones and fancy-colored diamonds, as well as luxury European timepieces, King Jewelers prides itself in being one step ahead of the trend. In addition, King Jewelers offers on-site jewelry and watch repairs, custom design services, appraisals, estate buying, and corporate gift programs.


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