Diamonds in the colorless (D-Z) range usually decrease in value as the color becomes more apparent. The opposite is true with fancy-colored diamonds. In fact, the single most important value factor that affects the rarity of a fancy colored diamond is color. Fancy-colored diamonds are found in nearly every color of the rainbow. Red, green, purple, and orange are the rarest colors, followed by pink and blue. Yellow and brown are the most common fancy colors; therefore, they are the most affordable. Aside from the spectral hue, the purity and strength of the color also affect rarity.
refers to the dominant color of the stone, such as pink, blue, or yellow. There can also be modifiers, or tints, which impart more than one color to a stone. For instance, a purplish-pink diamond indicates a stone with a principal pink hue and a slight purple tint. If no modifiers or tints exist in a stone, then the hue is said to be pure.
refers to how much lightness or darkness a stone appears to retain. The range of tones goes from light to dark.
describes the strength or intensity of the hue. The saturation of light diamonds can very from pastel to vivid and intense. Dark diamonds can range from dark to deep.
Fancy Yellow Diamonds
Light to vivid yellow
diamonds are found in different countries. The saturation of color is dependent upon the amount
of nitrogen present. The largest and most saturated yellows have been discovered primarily in South Africa. These
include the largest known yellow
diamond, the Red Cross, which weighs 205.07 carats, and features a Maltese
Cross visible from the top facet.
Fancy Pink Diamonds
diamonds come in a variety of colors, including bubblegum and coral. There are also brownish and purplish pink diamonds. The Argyle mine in Australia is the only mine in the world that produces a consistent volume. A whole year of
Argyle's intense pink diamond production can be held in
the palm of one hand. To put the true
rarity of these stones in perspective, of every million carats of rough
diamond production at Argyle, only one carat is suitable for sale in its
Fancy Blue Diamonds
Fancy blues range from very light shades through to a steel blue hue, and derive their color from boron impurities. Due to
the presence of boron, some blue diamonds are able to conduct
electricity! The Cullinan mine near Pretoria,
South Africa is the world's only notable blue diamond producing mine. The Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous diamond in the world,
is a natural fancy blue, weighing 45 carats. This deep blue diamond is now at the Smithsonian
Institute in Washington DC.
Fancy Green Diamonds
Only a handful of green diamonds are introduced into the
market each year. Pure green diamonds are valued more than those which are yellowish-green or gray-green. Fancy green diamonds are sourced from South Africa and other parts of
the continent. The green color comes from being near radioactive
sources during formation. This process takes at least a million years to occur, hence their rarity! The most famous green diamond is the 41 carat
Dresden Green Diamond, currently housed at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden.