Naturally colored diamonds are found in twelve main colors, but has over 230 color and hue variations. The criteria when purchasing a natural colored diamond is slightly different to colorless or black diamonds. Although it still includes the 4 C’s, cut carat and clarity are less important. The color is the key factor when considering a natural colored diamond and all natural colored diamonds are cut in a way that enhances their color and brilliance. The extra C is for certification. With such a rare diamond in your possession, you must always make sure that it comes with the proper certification.
Color is the most important when grading a natural colored diamond because of the rarity of naturally occurring color. There is a list of criteria that is desired in the color of your gem including: a uniform color tone throughout, even hue, all over purity and sparkle. How rare the color is also influences the value of the stone. The ‘fancier’ the color, the more valuable. We have provided the GIA color guide for you to better understand color when it comes to grading colored diamonds.
In colored stones, the cut is incredibly important to enhance and have as even a colored stone as possible while taking as little weight as possible from the raw stone. If weight does need to be taken off to enhance the color of the stone, it is done willingly. Often, you will see naturally colored stone cut in a more unique shape then colorless stones to work around any impurities in the color to get the most uniform color possible.
Impurities in clarity are tolerated in natural colored diamonds. Although it is not desirable to have impurities that can be spotted by the naked eye, often clarity will be accepted if the color is even and exceptional.
Carat is the weight or unit of measurement of a diamond. When cutting a diamond, as much carat as possible is always tried to be saved to make the stone as large as possible. Although for colored diamonds, if some carat has to be sacrificed to get an even colored stone, it will be done.
Natural yellow diamonds are the most common and affordable natural colored diamond. It is still one of the most sought after diamonds due to its radiance and vibrant color and has seen a steady increase in the last decades. Yellow diamonds are a great introduction into the world of natural colored diamonds. In recent years, their popularity has found these beauties at the center of stunning engagement rings. More unique then their clear diamond counterparts, intensely colored true yellow diamonds, referred to as canary diamonds, are very attractive, scarce and desirable.
There have been many famous stunning natural yellow diamonds, the most famous fancy yellow diamonds being the Incomparable, and the Tiffany Yellow. More recently the Sun-drop Diamond, a stunning fancy vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond weighing 110.03 carats sold for almost $12.4 million in November, 2011 at Sotheby’s Geneva.
A small amount of nitrogen is responsible for these stunning and warm diamonds. Prized by collectors for centuries, yellow diamonds were introduced into the marketplace in the 1860’s when they were discovered in the Kimberly and Dutoitspan mines in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Natural pink diamonds are among the most popular natural colored diamond as they symbolize luxury, status and high glamour. They rarity and beauty translate into their price, ranging anywhere from 5 to 100 times of their colorless diamond sibling.
The largest pink diamond in the world is the175 carat Darya-i-Nur or Sea of Light. Discovered in 1642, it is part of the crown jewels of India.
Pink diamonds have been mined for centuries from sources such as India and Africa. In 1979 pink diamonds were discovered in Western Australia at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine, which has since become renowned as a reliable consistent source of top quality pink diamonds. To understand how truly rare these pink diamonds are, of every million carats of rough diamonds produced at the mine, only one carat is suitable for sale in one of Argyle’s annual tenders. Pink Diamonds are literally one in a million! The Argyle mine currently produces over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. Unfortunatley they are expected to have completely depleted their supply of pink diamonds by 2018. This has made these gems even more valuable as this has been the main source of pink diamonds around the world! Natural pink diamonds are different from other natural colored diamonds because there are no trace elements found in their structure, which is how other colored diamonds get their color. Pink diamonds gain their beautiful color as they make their way to the surface due to changes in their electron structure.
Natural colored blue diamonds are rare and valued very high. Fancy blue colored diamonds are considered extremely rare and extremely valuable. In fact less than a tenth of 1% of all graded natural colored diamonds is blue. Blue Diamonds are connected with royalty and power, attracting the wealthy and powerful.
Natural blue diamonds are found mostly in South Africa, the most known is the Pretoria mine. The Argyle mine in Australia is also known for natural blue diamonds, specifically the violet hues and magnificent blues.
There are many factors that influence the natural blue colored diamond value including the intensity and saturation of color, carat size, and cut. Scarcity is also the main driving factor in this high valued gem as there is an extremely short supply of natural blue diamonds entering the market every year. Natural blue diamonds derive their color or hue from the presence of the element boron. Hue is a characteristic that is evaluated by the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA colored Grading Scale rates the diamond’s color on two other primary characteristics: Tone and Saturation. Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue. Saturation is the measure of how strong and intense the primary color of the diamond actually is, such as light, deep, intense or vivid. The darker and more intense the tone and saturation, the more valuable the gem is worth.
The world’s most famous natural colored blue diamond is the 45.52 carat Hope diamond, which can be viewed in Washington D.C’s Smithsonian Institute. It is among one of the most rarest diamonds in the world, and has a colorful history, having had many owners including many members of royalty. Natural blue diamonds have set records at auction houses over the years. Most recently, the worlds largest flawless 13.22 carat blue diamond was sold at Christie’s for $24.2 million, breaking records at $2 million per carat.
Natural red diamonds are the rarest of all natural colored diamonds. This makes them extremely sought after by diamond enthusiasts and collectors.
The most famous red diamond is the the Moussaieff Red, a 5.11-carat, fancy red diamond. Known as the largest internally flawless red diamond in the world, this stone is one of the most magnificent stones in existence. It sold for nearly $8 million back in 2001, placing its value at $1.6 million per carat.
The majority of natural colored red diamonds in particular, originate from the Argyle mine in Australia, which is known for its production of some of the world’s finest pink diamonds. Naturally colored diamonds that are more abundant are generally also found in larger sizes whereas red diamonds, due to their rarity and the cause for their color are usually on the smaller side when discovered. red diamonds are similar to pink diamonds in terms of the cause for the color. It is not completely understood what causes the color, but it is believed that deformities in the crystal lattice is what creates the pink color, and in this case, red hue. A very intense level of this deformity results in the bright red color. Red diamonds are a rare specimen. This results in high prices. It is unclear how much remains from red diamond sources around the world, therefore the value of the red diamond is constantly rising. The figures are high, but whatever the numbers are presently, they will grow significantly in the near future.
Unlike other color diamonds such as Yellow and Pink diamonds, which may be purchased by consumers, investors, and collectors, Red diamonds are mainly bought by collectors and investors for the purpose of investment and completing a collection. A pure Red diamond, which is mostly desired, is very difficult to obtain, and when available, demands premium prices. Nevertheless, for those serious about investing in a Red diamond or adding one to their growing color diamond collection, the red gemstone will not disappoint.