< 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

All the Duchess’s Bling: Royal Wedding Jewelry Roundup

Who doesn’t love a royal wedding? Amid all the tradition, the pomp and ceremony, the patriotic flag waving, royal coaches and cucumber sandwiches, there’s one aspect of any royal wedding that stands out for diamond and jewelry fans everywhere – the royal wedding jewelry. Which jewels will the bride wear? Which jewelry will be lent […]

Mother’s Day Wrap Up – Do Moms Really Want Diamond Jewelry?

This week, most countries around the world celebrated Mother’s Day, the traditional day of appreciation for moms (and mums). Like many holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Mother’s Day has turned into a highly commercialized celebration, a busy time for retailers of flowers, chocolates, and of course, jewelry. In fact, this year, the forecast […]

New Software Version Release: Advisor® 7.5, the Leader in Rough Planning

Last year, we announced the release of Advisor® 7.0, the latest version of the world’s leading Advisor rough planning software. Advisor is used globally by diamond planners and manufacturers to achieve the best possible polished yield from rough diamonds. Advisor 7.0 included some groundbreaking new features, such as CAP, Customized Automated Planning, which enables planners […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #22

If you’re new to our SPECTRUM series, welcome aboard! Every now and again, we bring you a roundup of the latest diamond industry news, and we publish it here at The Diamond Blog. Whether it’s a diamond retail trend making waves, a scientific discovery about diamonds, or an insider view of the industry, we scour […]

Which Diamond? How the Diamond Buyer Decides

There are millions of polished diamonds in the world. Yet at the end of the day, each diamond buyer will eventually find the diamond that is just right for them. If you think about it for a moment, it’s almost like choosing a romantic partner. Given the sentimental association between love and diamonds, it’s a […]

How Diamonds Can Change the World – and Not Just Your Marital Status

Recently, diamonds have been a hot topic in science news. Every week, it seems that there is yet another scientific breakthrough showing how diamonds are much more than just a beautiful gemstone. From medicine to deep space and deep earth, diamonds are proving their worth as a powerful agent for change in civilization. From the […]

4 Diamond Engagement Ring Trends that Will Surprise You

Diamonds have long been associated with engagement and marriage – but perhaps not as long as you think. The diamond engagement ring is in fact a modern, specifically western phenomenon. Diamond rings were first linked to marriage only in the late 1930s, when De Beers hired the NW Ayer advertising agency to convince young women […]

artificial intelligence diamonds

How Artificial Intelligence Leads to Smarter Diamond Grading

Are you using artificial intelligence based technology? The chances are strong. According to one survey, 33% of consumers think they are using AI technology, but in fact 77% are. Whether you know it or not, artificial intelligence is the latest technological revolution sweeping through modern life. AI, or machine learning, is now being implemented in […]

Advanced 3D Modeling: A New Edge in Rough Planning

The first step in automated planning of rough diamonds is accurate 3D modelling of the rough diamond surface. Rough diamonds have a complex texture that includes convex and concave surfaces, and are difficult to model accurately. Current technologies for modeling the rough diamond surface are limited in terms of accuracy. They do not necessarily pick […]

Rough diamond planning

Cloud Planning: Make Your Rough Planning Up to 10 Times Faster

Planning rough diamonds with Advisor™ software is a complex process that uses loads of computer processing power. Today, with Galaxy™ inclusion mapping technology, the number of rough polishing plans created by Advisor is essentially infinite. With various advanced options to choose from, such as triple planning, Best Value™, CAP and more, the rough planning software […]