Aug 12, 2015
Fancy Colored Diamonds 411
Want a Fancy Colored Diamond? Then R
Jenny McCarthy. Carrie Underwood. Jennifer Lopez. Kelly Clarkson. The list of celebrities who have rocked fancy colored diamond engagement rings is long—and it’s easy to see why. These rare, tinted stones add an exotic touch to a treasured piece of jewelry, and since each one is unique, you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind creation. What woman doesn’t want that?
Luckily, you don’t have to have an A-lister’s bank to buy a fancy colored diamond (FCD). Though natural, untreated ones are pricey—especially in ultra-rare blue—there are plenty of lower-cost options that are just as beautiful. Here’s what to know before you shop for one of these colorful sparklers.
A Stone for Every Budget
There are three types of FCDs: natural, lab-created and color-treated. As with white diamonds, natural fancy colored diamonds carry the highest price tag. Hues are muted and faint, and run the gamut from rare light blues and pinks to more common yellows, cognacs and blacks. Like a snowflake, each shade is totally unique, which makes matching stones a bit of a challenge.
If uniformity is what you’re after—or you simply want the look of natural for much less—consider a lab-created FCD. You’ll still have your choice of the same pastel blues, pinks and yellows but for a fraction of the cost. For example, a 3/4 ct. natural blue diamond will set you back around $49,000 while a similar lab-created one costs roughly $4,600.
Want a more color-rich look? Check out color-enhanced diamonds. These natural stones may start out with an unappealing color, but after a high-pressure irradiation treatment, they turn an eye-popping, highly saturated shade, like vivid blue. Besides being far more vibrant, these FCDs are also very affordable. You’d pay around $1,800 for a 3/4 ct. blue diamond.
Word to the wise when shopping: Always buy a color-treated diamond from a reputable dealer—they’ll fully disclose any treatments the stone underwent.
How to Buy
Speaking of, when browsing stones, you’ll still want to keep the 4 C’s in mind. Cost will probably be a top priority, as it is when you’re buying a white diamond. But a close second, in my opinion, should be color. An FCD is evaluated by its overtone, or secondary color, and its saturation, which is categorized as as light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense or fancy vivid. Best advice? Choose whatever shade appeals to you.
I suggest making cut the third consideration, since the shape you choose will determine the amount of light bouncing off the stone. Since inclusions are fairly common with fancy colored diamonds, I’d put clarity last on the checklist. Obviously you don’t want a stone that’s cloudy or totally included—unless that’s what you’re looking for, of course—but it’s okay if the sparkler you choose isn't completely eye clean. That gorgeous color is really what you’re after!
Krikawa. Where Your Dream Ring Comes True.Look Around