The absence of color gives a diamond its value, thus diamonds that are colorless are the rarest and most costly. Fancy-colored diamonds, on the other hand, are hued to various degrees. For example, the rarest and most valuable fancy diamond colors are blues, pinks and greens with the slightest color intensity affecting a diamond’s value.
The most prevalent fancy diamond colors are yellows and browns. All other hues, especially blues, reds and greens are extremely rare thus the color determines the diamond’s value.
GIA System for Color Grading
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a system of color grading that is formulated to take into consideration the color saturation range found in fancy-colored diamonds. To illustrate this, yellow diamonds run the gamut of saturations.
|Fancy Light Yellow
||Fancy Intense Yellow
||Fancy Vivid Yellow
||Value / Rarity / Comment
||Uses / Characteristics
|Red or Reddish
||Highly Valued / Extremely Rare
||Rose-colored, purplish (mauve) colored
||Slight hint of grey, boron determines intensity
||Natural Green Extremely Rare
||Light in tone, yellowish-green hue
||Medium priced jewelry, industrial uses
||Second Most Common
||Marketed as “canary” colored
||Gaining in Popularity
||Used in jewelry, used in pave settings
||Milky White Color
||Opalescent flashes of color
||Contain a high level of hydrogen as an impurity
Fancy colored diamonds can have several flaws (or inclusions) giving them a low clarity grade, however, even with this, they can be desirable to enthusiasts especially if they exhibit good color when viewed straight on.
The size, shape and style of the cut can influence a fancy-colored diamond’s color. The size (bigger is better) of the diamond, the depth of its pavilion (so the light travels farther) and the style of its cut (i.e. radiant, etc.) can improve the intensity of the stone and as a result, increase its price per carat.
As discussed above under “cut,” large fancy-colored diamonds are rarer, hence more valuable.
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