A Tour Through the World of Fancy Color Diamonds
Fancy Color Diamond Terminology
Start the Tour
The diamond pros at AMGAD specialize in
natural fancy color diamonds and other fine gemstones. I'm so
excited that they said yes when I asked them to
participate in this tutorial about colored diamonds.
Visit every page if you want to learn pricing
details, read facts about the Four C's for color diamonds, find
out all about popular pink diamonds, and view photos that will
make you decide to add a fancy color diamond to your wish list.
Let's get started.
What colors do fancy color diamonds exist in?
colored diamonds come in all shades, hues and colors of the
rainbow, with some of the most popular colors being shades and
combinations of pink, blue, brown, yellow, orange, green and
They are generally smaller than other diamonds
and are used primarily in fashion jewelry. Yellow is the most
commonly-occurring fancy color, while red, blue and green
diamonds are extremely rare.
How can we interpret color names for fancy
predominant hue is always expressed as a noun, such as "pink."
Any secondary colors will precede the primary hue and are
usually expressed with an "ish" at the end, such as purplish
pink. This means that the primary hue is pink with some
hints of purple throughout.
If the grade is stated as two nouns--like
"brown pink," it means that the two colors are virtually even
throughout the stone.
Fancy Color Four C's
The price of fancy color diamonds depends in
part on the Four C's--color, cut, clarity and carat weight--but
the factors used to judge those qualities differ somewhat from
the Four C's of colorless diamonds.
How are colors graded?
colors are graded in two ways. The first factor is the basic
hue, such as pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. The second is the
intensity. Both color characteristics form the basis for
determining a fancy colored diamond's worth.
Usually, the more intense the color, the rarer
and more expensive the diamond will be. For example, a fancy
light pink diamond costs less than a fancy vivid pink diamond of
equal size, shape and clarity.
Is there a scale of color saturation that we
can refer to?
AMGAD: The GIA
uses nine categories for color grades.
- Very Light
- Fancy Light
- Fancy Dark
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Deep
- Fancy Vivid
What about undertones? How do they fit in?
secondary undertone that enhances the color of a stone is a
plus, a secondary that detracts is a negative.
- a purplish pink diamond can be worth more
than a pink diamond, depending on the amount and intensity
- a brownish tint in a pink diamond usually
decreases its value (but is a more affordable gemstone)
Fancy Color Diamond Cut & Shape
Are cutting considerations different for
fancy color diamonds?
AMGAD: Like other
diamonds, fancy colored diamonds achieve maximum brilliance when
cut to the most ideal and accurate proportions. A good cut gives
a fancy diamond its sparkle and helps to bring out the most
intense color possible.
When cutting color diamonds, the cutter
usually considers its inclusions, which can enhance the
diamond's color. Facets and angles also give color to a diamond,
so the cutter must think about what shape would bring out the
gemstone's best color.
What shapes are most popular for color
Round/brilliant, oval, princess and radiant shapes are in high
demand. You'll also see color diamonds cut into fancy shapes
such as hearts, trapezoids, asschers and others.
The scarcity of the fancy cuts helps those
diamonds command a premium price.
pink diamonds difficult to find?
fancy pink diamonds are rare, and account for only a fraction of
one percent of the Argyle Diamond Mine's entire production of
pink diamonds. Pink diamonds mined in India, Brazil and Africa
are usually lighter in color than the intensely pink Argyle
So there are many shades of pink diamonds.
How are they classified?
AMGAD: Pink diamonds
are primarily divided into five color categories:
- Purplish pink
- Brownish pink
- Orangey pink
- Pink champagne
The richness of the pink diamond color is
categorized by GIAís nine-tiered color intensity rating system.
Of the pinks, which ones are most difficult
diamonds with no secondary coloring are the rarest and most
expensive of all pink diamonds.
This color of pink diamond ranges from a faint
pink, resembling a white diamond with just a slight pink hue, to
very sweet colored fancy pink, to an vivid pink, also referred
to as a "raspberry pink," and finally a deep, almost reddish
pink. The closer to red a pink diamondís coloration is, the more
rare it is and thus the more expensive.
What's a desirable clarity for a pink
available pink diamonds will be I1-SI clarity, but VS, VVS and
internally flawless pink diamonds are available from some
wholesalers and usually command a premium price.