Diamonds are timeless and have been adored for many years. They are both classic and elegant. They are especially invaluable among all precious gems because of their toughness and high optical dispersion (how they diffuse light of different colours). In the diamond realm, value is associated with how rare the stone is. Colourless or ‘white’ diamonds are most valuable because of how scarce or rare they are, whereas fancy coloured diamonds are considered ‘rare’ depending on individual colours. Although colourless diamonds are incredibly popular, fancy colour diamonds are proving to start a new trend. Below, we will guide you through various traits of fancy coloured diamonds and how to choose the one that most suits you.
Natural fancy coloured diamonds owe their colour to natural causes such as rare inclusions, presence of boron elements, nitrogen or even the natural crystal lattice imperfections that are present during formation. Due to these factors, coloured diamonds are rendered less valuable than colourless ones. Interestingly, about one in every 10,000 diamonds is formed with natural colour, making them both rare and expensive. Nevertheless, they are still stunning and represent something unique to all! Fancy coloured diamonds come in many hues such as: yellow, brown, red, purple, pink, blue and green. Below is a description of each individual fancy coloured diamond ranked from most common to most rare.
Champagne or brown diamonds are the most common, appearing browner due to the presence of nitrogen during their development. The Golden Jubilee is brown and the largest diamond in the world. Yellow diamonds are referred to as canary diamonds, second most common and found mostly in South Africa, yet sourced all over the world. Yellows are most prized for their brilliance (the more intense the colour, the more value there is). ‘The Incomparable’ is a striking yellow diamond weighing 407.39 carats, ranked third largest in the world. Green diamonds are formed when radiation displaces carbon atoms within the crystal structure. Orange diamonds, although relatively rare, endure a lower market demand and as such, a lower price. Pink diamonds are rare, the majority mined from Argyle in Western Australia. Interestingly, only about 1 out of 1 million carats mined is fit to sell. Purple diamonds are incredibly rare, only found in Australia and Serbia, exclusively under 5 carats with colours that rarely reach the vivid range. Like pink diamonds, their colour originates from crystal distortion. Blue diamonds are extremely rare and one can never find them in the vivid category. The blue hue is caused by the presence of boron – the more boron, the more blue. They are typically lighter or paler in tone when compared to blue sapphire. Red diamonds are by far the rarest. The ‘Moussaieff Red’ red diamond weighs 5.11 carats, internally flawless diamond sold for USD 8 million in 2008 (USD 1.6 million per carat). Every coloured diamond has unique characteristics, and essentially, the more vivid the colour, the more prized it is.