< BACK TO THE DIAMOND BLOG MAIN PAGE
24
April 2018

Like? Share!

Guide to Fancy Color Diamonds

Following on from our recent Guide to the 4Cs post, we’re going to take a dive into the beautiful world of fancy color diamonds. Diamonds are usually thought of as the crystal clear, white sparkling gemstone so closely associated with love and commitment. But diamonds occur naturally in an entire rainbow of colors. Before we get into that, let’s differentiate between the concept of diamond ‘color’, and fancy colored diamonds.

 

Diamond Color Vs. Fancy Colors

Diamond ‘Color’ is one of the 4Cs that grades a diamond’s rarity and value. But when talking about Color grading (with a big C), we’re not referring to colors, such as pink, blue or green. Diamond Color, as part of the 4Cs, is only used in relation to white (or clear) diamonds. And it actually refers to an absence of color. How’s so?

During the natural formation process of white diamonds, various aspects of the diamond’s structural makeup can affect its hue. Pure, colorless diamonds are very rare. These diamonds have no tinge, just like crystal clear water, and they rate the highest on the Color scale. They are also extremely expensive.

Moving down the Color grading scale from D to Z, diamonds range from colorless, to a very faint yellow tinge, to a dark yellow tinge, which is considered a low quality Color grading. You can see the differences in this image of the Color grading scale.

That’s a quick summation of Color grading of white diamonds. Fancy color diamonds are a different ball game, all together.

 

What Are Fancy Color Diamonds?

Fancy color diamonds are diamonds that have a naturally occurring color. Fancy diamonds come in the whole color spectrum, from blue to pink, red to yellow, green to black. Check out the color wheel here to see the amazing range of fancy colors.

 

 

Image courtesy of http://www.wesecuresolutions.com/whataretherarestdiamondcolorsintheworld.html

 

Some colored diamonds are extremely rare, such as blue, pink and red. Others, such as brown and yellow are more common.

Fancy color diamonds are categorized by the tone and saturation of their color. Tone refers to the darker/lighter character of the hue, whereas saturation denotes the strength of the hue. There are 7 standard categories used to define fancy color:

  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid
  • Fancy Deep
  • Fancy Dark

Vivid and deep hues tend to be rare and more expensive. However, it depends upon the specific fancy color. Some colors do not occur naturally at certain tones or saturations.

Fancy Blue Diamond Sets Record

Fancy color diamonds have increased in popularity in recent years. Due to the incredible rarity of some fancy color diamonds, they often come with extremely high price tags. In fact, a 3.5ct blue diamond recently set a world record as the most expensive blue diamond per carat every sold. The price? $6.7 million, or $1.9 million per carat.

Fancy Pink – The Rare Beauty

Fancy pink diamonds are extremely rare and highly desirable. In fact, only 0.02% of diamonds submitted annually to GIA for testing are pink. In 2017, the 59.6 carat Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink ‘Pink Star’ diamond was sold for $71.2 million, making it the most expensive gemstone ever sold. It even broke the previous world record set by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which sold for $57.5 million the year before at Christie’s auction house in Geneva, Switzerland. When it comes to fancy color diamonds, it’s truly the battle of the blues and pinks.

Understanding the Fancy Color Price Spectrum

According to industry experts, the white diamond market is fairly saturated, and as a result, has opened up to the lower ends of the markets. This led to increased demand for and excitement surrounding fancy color diamonds, which are – after all – much rarer, more mysterious and special. In addition, grading factors for fancy colors diamonds are less defined, which only adds to the mystique surrounding them. Blue and pink diamonds are so rare and valuable, they are consistently performing strongly and are recommended as investment diamonds. At the other end of the spectrum, there are the more common fancy colors, such as brown, champagne and black, which have traditionally been used only for industrial purposes. However, savvy marketing techniques (chocolate anyone?) are leveraged to repackage even the commonest fancy color diamonds as something special – while also being affordable.

Fancy Color Diamonds – The Bottom Line

Let’s do a quick review of what we’ve learned about fancy color diamonds:

  • Don’t mistake Color grading for fancy diamond colors.
  • Fancy yellow is a desirable and popular fancy color diamond – yet a white diamond graded as yellow color is considered low quality.
  • Diamonds come in a full rainbow of diamonds – naturally.
  • Some fancy colors are extremely rare and valuable, such as blues and pinks.
  • Other fancy colors, such as brown and champagne, are common and inexpensive. Yet marketed correctly, they can do well in retail as a more affordable fancy color option.
  • Due to the proliferation of white diamonds across the market, fancy color diamonds are rarer and hold a certain mystique that keeps their prices high.
  • Fancy color diamonds can give retailers a much larger profit margin than white diamonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Diamond Blog

Get the latest technology, grading and retail news straight from the source, straight to your inbox.


MORE FROM THE DIAMOND BLOG

6 Ecommerce Blogs Every Jeweler Should Follow

If you are new to the online retailing scene, then getting your ecommerce jewelry business ahead can involve a lot of dedication, time, and work. Trying to figure out what is best for your ecommerce dream, searching online for the answers, or paying out excessive amounts of cash to professionals may not the ideal path […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #25

Not a month goes by without diamond industry news that involves the new trend of lab grown diamonds. In this month’s SPECTRUM, read an original take on De Beers’ move to lab grown, in an article featured on Quartzy. We’re also going big on the bling with a tweet from CNN about the world’s most […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 4: Boucheron

The Jeweler of Place Vendôme: How Frédéric Boucheron Got His Start Frédéric Boucheron always knew he wanted to be a jeweler. He was born in 1830 to a family of French clothiers, and at a young age he apprenticed himself under jeweler Jules Chaise. By the age of 14, he had completed his apprenticeship and […]

Which Diamond Shape Are You?

Diamonds come in all sizes – and a wide variety of shapes. Although each diamond is unique, different personality types are drawn to particular diamond shapes. In fact, the diamond shape you choose may be a strong reflection of the type of person you are. Which diamond shape is right for you? Read on to […]

Why (and How) to Use #Hashtags for Your Jewelry Business

By now, you’ve seen thousands of  #hashtags hanging around on social media. They have certainly changed their meaning from the sign we are used to seeing at the beginning of a telephone number. When used correctly, jewelry hashtags can really make a difference to the social media marketing for your diamonds and jewelry business. But […]

Why Do Diamonds Sparkle?

If there is one word that everyone associates with diamonds, it is “sparkle.” The bright, sparkling appearance of diamonds is part of what makes them such a highly sought-after prize. Diamonds have been variously described as “sparkling”, “shining” and “flashing”. A sparkling diamond can be thought of as beautiful, or “bling-y”, yet if the diamond […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 3: Faberge

The Man Who Created The Egg In 1885,   Tsar Alexander III commissioned Faberge to create an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna. With this simple gift, the Faberge Imperial Egg Collection was born. The first egg was called the Hen Egg. Inside a white enameled shell rested a solid gold […]

Rough Planning and the Retail Diamond Market: A Changing Relationship

Every rough diamond contains a world of possibilities. There are many ways that a rough diamond can be cut and polished to create saleable, profitable diamonds. Over the past few decades, there has been a revolution in the way that rough diamonds are planned, due to the development of optics technologies that provide accurate internal […]

Sarine Loupe™ Launches New Diamond Imaging View Modes

A diamond is laden with emotional and economic significance, yet more than anything else, it is a visual experience. A diamond’s beauty is not just symbolic – it is very real. It is a result of the diamond’s individual 4Cs features, as well as the way it interacts with light – its ‘light performance’. It […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #24

This edition of Spectrum diamond news and trends is a fascinating roundup that takes us deep into the debate about lab grown and mined diamonds, then 750 kilometers beneath the earth to where blue diamonds form. From there we travel into the minds of millennial consumers, with a recent study about their jewelry buying habits. […]