The Ultimate Guide to Fancy Colored Diamonds: Rarity, Beauty, and Value

June 20, 2023

Fancy colored diamonds are some of the most beautiful gemstones in the world. Unlike their colorless counterparts, colored diamonds exhibit stunning hues that span the colors of the rainbow and beyond. Their rarity and exquisite colors make them highly sought after by jewelry enthusiasts, investors, and jewelers alike.

Understanding Colored Diamonds & Their Value

Fancy diamonds are defined as diamonds that have a color that falls outside the D-Z range on the GIA color scale. This means that they are not colorless or near-colorless but have a distinct hue caused by particular conditions and elements present during their formation deep within the Earth's crust.

When determining the value of a diamond, several aspects come into play. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a grading system that assesses the color, cut, clarity, and carat weight of each diamond. The more vivid and intense the color, the greater its desirability and value. Rarity, scarcity, and market demand also heavily influence carat prices.

For perspective, only 0.01% of the diamonds mined are considered fancy diamonds, and one in 25,000 earn a rating of intense color.

Fancy Diamonds: The Most Wanted Colors

Colored diamonds come in a breathtaking array of hues, each with unique characteristics. 

Radiant Red Diamonds 

Red diamonds are possibly the rarest of all colors and command some of the highest prices. The presence of nitrogen causes their intense and bold hue. The 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red Diamond, which sold for $8 million, and the 0.95-carat Hancock Red Diamond are among the most famous red diamonds in the world.

Gorgeous Green Diamonds

Green diamonds, ranging from earthy greens to vibrant grassy shades, are also rare and owe their color to natural radiation exposure over millions of years. The 40.70-carat Dresden Green Diamond and the 5.51-carat Ocean Dream Diamond are notable green diamonds.

Captivating Blue Diamonds  

Blue diamonds get their color from the presence of boron and are renowned for their ethereal beauty and mystical aura. The 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, with its deep grayish-blue color, is one of the most iconic fancy blue diamonds known.

Brilliant Yellow Diamonds 

Yellow diamonds exude a warm and vibrant radiance due to nitrogen. They are one of the most popular choices for buyers and one of the most commonly mined colors, leading to more affordable prices. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond and the Incomparable Diamond are extraordinary examples of yellow diamonds.

Enchanting Pink Diamonds 

Pink diamonds, which are rare but in high demand, are adored for their romantic and delicate charm. Their rosy pink hues result from a rare lattice distortion during the diamond's formation. The Pink Star Diamond and the Graff Pink Diamond are renowned for their mesmerizing pink colors.

Striking Orange Diamonds

Orange diamonds emanate a fiery and vivid glow that stems from a combination of nitrogen and structural defects. The 5.54-carat fancy vivid orange Pumpkin Diamond, which sold for $1.3 million in 1997, exemplifies the quality of this rare color.

Magical Purple Diamonds 

Extremely scarce purple diamonds showcase a regal elegance and exhibit a spectrum of shades, from soft lavender to deep grape, thanks to the presence of hydrogen during their formation. The Supreme Purple Star Diamond and the Royal Purple Heart Diamond exemplify the beauty of purple diamonds.

Unique Brown Diamonds

Brown diamonds, also known as champagne, chocolate, or cognac diamonds, get their warm, earthy hues from nitrogen and structural imperfections. The 545.67-carat Golden Jubilee Diamond is the world's largest cut and faceted diamond and a stunning example of a brown diamond.

Mystical Gray Diamonds

Gray diamonds possess a unique charm that feels other-worldly and range from light gray to dark charcoal, with some appearing as though they've been sprinkled with salt and pepper. They are highly valued for their understated elegance and magical charm.

Color-Changing Chameleon Diamonds

Chameleon diamonds are truly remarkable. They are typically grayish yellowish green to grayish greenish yellow. However, when heated to 150° C or exposed to light after being stored in the dark, they magically turn an intense brownish or orangy yellow to yellow color. This unique phenomenon makes them highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts.

Shapes and Cuts of Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are available in various shapes and cuts, each accentuating their unique colors and brilliance. Round, princess, cushion, and marquise diamond cuts are frequently chosen to enhance the beauty of colored diamonds. These shapes maximize the diamond's reflection and refraction of light, resulting in a dazzling display of color.

Additionally, unique pear, emerald, asscher, radiant, and heart shapes offer distinct and eye-catching alternatives for those seeking a more unconventional look. The cut significantly impacts how light interacts with the diamond, affecting its brilliance and color dispersion. Still, the shape someone chooses often comes down to personal preference.

Caring for Colored Diamonds

Colored diamonds are just as durable as colorless diamonds, but diamonds do require some special care. It is essential to clean these stones regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or heat. If you aren't going to be wearing your fancy diamonds for an extended period, it is a good idea to store them in a safe place.

Fancy colored diamonds are a unique addition to any jewelry collection. They can be a great investment for those who appreciate beauty and or want a piece of jewelry that stands out from the typical pieces. 

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