A Beginner's Guide to Coloured Diamonds

27 Jun 2014

Coloured diamonds have been hugely popular amongst gemstone enthusiasts, gemologists and jewellers for many years. In recent years the popularity of coloured diamonds has increased amongst the wider population too. With their incredible natural beauty, it is no surprise that their star is rising! 
So what makes coloured diamonds demand such high prices?
Simply put, their incredible natural beauty is extremely rare. One amazing comparison that helps us to gain perspective is that each year approximately 110 million carats of diamonds are mined but of that approximately only 2000 carats are fancy-coloured. It is no wonder then that fancy-coloured diamonds are considered a safe investment. 
How do diamonds get their colour?
Whether they are white or coloured; diamonds take millions of years to form. How a coloured diamond is formed depends on very specific conditions. In some cases, such as pink and red diamonds, the process is still relatively unknown. It is the presence of impurities and the way they are distributed into the structure of a diamond that gives is colour. For example, diamonds that are blue in colour will possibly contain Hydrogen or Boran, whereas a yellow diamond gets its colour from the presence of Nitrogen during formation.
What is the most popular coloured diamond?
All coloured diamonds are stunning. Champagne and Cognac diamonds are the most common and therefore the most affordable. They are generally priced lower than an equivalent white diamond. Yellow diamonds having increased in popularity and so has their price tag. Sitting at the top of the pyramid are the very rare green, blue and, arguably the most popular, pink and red diamonds.
How are coloured diamonds graded?
Unlike white diamonds, that are graded according to the lack of colour present, coloured diamonds are graded on the intensity of their colour. The GIA grading system for coloured diamonds uses nine different categories. They range from ‘Faintly Coloured’ to ‘Fancy Vivid Colour’. The higher the colour grade – the more desirable the diamond is considered. 
What is the world’s most expensive coloured diamond?
In 2013 the Pink Star, a 59.5 carat oval cut, pink diamond, set a world record for the highest price at an auction of over US$84 million. However, only recently, a 122.5 carat blue diamond has been unearthed, causing a stir in the industry. It is believed that when it is cut it will surpass any current records.
Are Fancy-Coloured diamonds only for the rich?
Fancy-coloured diamonds are certainly a luxury and demand a high price tag. For most of us we can only dream of owning an engagement ring with a huge fancy-pink diamond! However, this does not mean that fancy-coloured diamonds are only for the rich and famous! Champagne or cognac diamonds are stunning and certainly affordable in comparison to other options. But if it is the pinks, blues or yellows that you have your heart set on you may want to consider incorporating them into your design by adding that perfect hint of colour. Small coloured diamonds can be set into your halo, down the shoulders or subtly into the side of your band.
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