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What colors do diamonds come in

Fancy Colored Diamonds

what colors do diamonds come in

Naturally Colored diamonds are not only rare and stunning they have been sought after by the Pharoahs, Kings and Queens throughout History.  These rare little colorful treasures appear once out of every 10,000 diamond carats that are mined. Although extremely rare, they are not just found in one special location, they are found all over the world. Like all things colored whether it be rainbows or flowers, we humans have a facination with color.

Colored or known as ‘Fancy’ diamonds come in a variety of solid and variations of blends of colors. These colors include blue’s, purples, oranges, yellows, pinks, reds, black, greens, violets, champagne browns, grays, and chameleon, which are diamonds that change colorswith either light or heat changes . Some colored diamonds are known by other fancy names, thanks to some clever marketing slogans like Canary Yellow, Champagne, Chocolate, Cognac Diamonds.  The more common colors are yellow’s and brown’s while pinks, reds, and blue diamonds are considered extremely rare, but the variations of colors dictates that also.  A bright RED diamond would be described as extremely rare. 

Many diamond dealers accross the globe delve into Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds, but most only have a few on offer and their reputations aren’t quite up there with trust and longevity.  Lets face it, fancy colored natural diamonds are rare, not as much as a T-Rex walking through Central Park, but they are extremely rare.  One retailer in US has developed into a Global Leader in fancy natural diamonds, Leibish & Co. I often find myself looking through their inventory at the amazing diamonds they have. But don’t be scared off that they are all Diamonds for Movie Stars or Celebrities. One can find gorgeous colored natural diamonds for no more than $500.

Yellow or Canary Diamonds are probably the most common found color in natural diamonds.

We are not talking about Diamonds that are on the lower end of the 4C’s color spectrum, but fancier and more vibrant stones. Yellow Diamonds are found primarily in Africa, including Angola, Central Africa, Congo, and Sierra Leone, but has also been discovered in Brazil, Australia, and Borneo.  Australia is well know for their vibrant colored diamonds which includes the Yellow.  Most of this was fancy yellow was from the previously closed ‘Ellendale’ mine in Western Australia. In Dec 2019, Gibb River Diamonds won their mining rights battle with the Western Australian State Government to reopen the mine and once again started mining.  They are also reaching out further into nearby valleys for alluvial deposits (old river beds) with a good find of a 8.43ct fancy yellow rough stone.  I’ll keep my ears out and post it on buyingdiamonds.online if these guys start to prosper.

Natural green diamonds are another rarity from mother nature, the green tinge/coloring in diamonds is created thanks to radioactivity and/or atomic radiation that was an influencing factor when the diamond was being formed all those millions of years ago. The phenomena was obviously extremely rare and unusual, otherwise  green diamonds wouldn’t be as rare as they are.  When buying a naturally colored diamond it is vital to verify the authenticity of  the diamonds green colour. Many green diamonds seen in the market are color treated or enhanced by artificial means. Usually by heat treatment or radioactivity. Like most fancy colored diamonds, green diamonds can be a pure bright green, or they can have secondary blending colors. Diamonds can be classified as green diamonds by their diamond reports and may have cominations of  yellow, yellowish, yellowish greenish, brown, brownish, gray yellowish, gray, grayish, blue, bluish, or grayish yellowish colors.

The term ‘Champagne’ was originally introduced as a marketing strategy to entice and sell off-color or brownish diamonds.  The word or association we have of “Champagne” is of a ‘celebration’, ‘enjoyment’ even ‘Love’.  This marketing strategy has really paid off, with many millions of carats being sold that perhaps would not have been, just because of the name.  Most jewellers and dealers refer to light brown colors as champagne. Unfortunately there is no real definition of colour grades with champagne colored diamonds.  Champagne diamonds will therefore often display faint, light, fancy light, or fancy color intensity levels. Stones with a deep or dark Color intensity level will more likely fit into the “Chocolate” diamond category or ‘Cognac’ , a title reserved for brown diamonds with a rich brown coloring.

The color Purple in diamonds is a rare form on it’s own, with most fancy color pinks, have a purplish tinge to them.  When we look at the Argyle mine from Australia Colour Grading Chart, they have a grading range from 1PP (1Purlish-Pink) to 9PP, with 1PP being the most color dense. We all know the Argyle mine supplys some amazing Pink diamonds but it also supplys a large amount of brown diamonds, as well blue, red, and even purple diamonds. However, the winner of the “main purple diamond producer” title goes to Siberia. Every diamond color has different possibilities when it comes to secondary colors. Some of the options for pink diamonds include purplish and purple. Secondary colors do not just consist of standard colors such as red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple, brown, etc., but rather, they include shades of each color that are classified by “ish” or “y.” For this reason, one of the possible secondary colors for a pink diamond is purplish. 

Once again the Argyle mine in Australia produces some amazing natural blue diamonds even though it’s more famous for their pinks.  Some blue diamonds have also been located in Borneo, Brazil and Central Africa also but don’t generally produce blue diamonds, but when they find one they are usually amazing colored blue stones. India is another country that isn’t well known for its blue diamonds  however this country was responsible for two of the most famous diamonds in the world: the Hope Diamond and the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond. South Africa is home to the Culinan mine (owned by Petra Diamonds), previously the Premier mine, the most important producer of high quality natural blue diamonds in the world. Known for its diamond production in general, South Africa is now almost synonymous with fancy blue diamonds.

Pink diamonds do not need any introduction, as they are extremely popular and loved by all due to their unique soft hue. It is believed that roughly 90% of the world’s pink diamonds are found in Australia, in the famous Argyle mine. That mine, however, produces other diamonds as well and yet is mainly known for its pink stones. Borneo, Brazil, and sometimes Central Africa are also known to produce the beloved pink gemstone. Borneo mainly produces brown and yellow diamonds but can also occasionally produce green, pink, and blue diamonds. Brazil also mainly produces brown and yellow diamonds, but their stones are known to have a florescence that gives the diamonds a greenish color. In addition to the more commonly found brown and yellow diamonds, Brazil sometimes produces very rare red, green, blue, and intense pink diamonds. The main types of diamonds found in Central Africa are yellow and black diamonds. However, sometimes there are rare pink, blue, and green diamond finds.

Natural fancy orange diamonds are completely natural and caused by the presence of nitrogen in the diamond’s carbon lattice structure when the diamond was forming thousands of miles deep under the Earth’s surface in the Earth’s mantle.

These unique orange colored diamonds are found in Congo, which is mostly known for producing low-grade diamonds, but can also produce deep yellows, oranges, browns, and combinations of the three colors, here and there.

One of the most famous Orange diamonds is the “Pumpkin Orange”. The Pumpkin Orange is a 5.54-carat, Fancy Vivid Orange, Cushion-shaped diamond. The 11.00-carat, Brownish Orange colored rough was mined in South Africa in 1997, but the mine of origin is unknown. Its original owner was a farmer and it is therefore assumed to have been found in alluvial deposits.  


Another famous orange diamond recently set a world record for highest price paid per carat. This rare orange diamond weighs 14.82 carats. It was auctioned at Christie’s on November 12, 2013 and fetched a record $35,540,612 (the highest amount paid for an orange diamond.) It set the record for “highest price paid per carat” at $2.4 million/carat.

Chameleon diamonds like the name suggests are diamonds that change colors depending on the environment. There are two types of Chameleon colored diamonds.
• ‘Classic’
• ‘Reverse’Classic

Chameleon colored diamonds possesses two very distinct natural capabilities. Thermochromic and Photochromic behavior patterns.
Its thermochromic behavior enables the stone to temporarily change to a darker color when heated from 150° Celsius to 250° Celsius, for a short period of time. As the stone cools off, its color gradually changes back to the lighter original color. Its photochromic behavior enables the stone to temporarily change to a darker color when stored in a dark place for a longer period of time. When the stone is exposed to light, the lighter color is gradually restored.
Reverse Chameleon colored diamonds, as the name suggests, act almost exactly opposite to Classic Chameleon stones. Reverse Chameleon colored stones have a darker stable color. Its photochromic behavior enables the stone to temporarily change to a lighter color when stored in a dark place for a longer period of time. When the stone is exposed to light, the darker color is gradually restored. Reverse Chameleon colored stones do not have any reaction to temperature changes.  Whats even more amazing is that we still cannot determine exactly how these rarities occur.  Even artifical treatments on diamonds are not able to replicate these characteristics.  There are of course synthetic materials that are color changing but they are not in the realm of Diamonds.

Black diamonds are bascially opaque diamonds that you can’t see through. These diamonds only come in one color, Black!.

Unlike many other fancy colored diamonds they are graded on their intensity and vibrancy in color.  Unlike other color diamonds that receive their color from geological impurities such as nitrogen, hydrogen, and boron, black diamonds owe their color to the inclusion of graphite and random clustering throughout the diamond. Over the years, black diamonds have grown greatly in terms of popularity due to celebrities who have been seen sporting black diamond jewelry. Enhanced black diamonds have flooded the market, with millions of carats being sold every year. Since natural fancy black diamonds are quite rare you must request a GIA or other reputable Certificate indicating the origin of your diamond, Black or Not.

I hope this brief article has help enlighten you on ‘what colors do diamonds come in’ .  I have no doubt that variations of some colors will one day be also given new pet names, like ‘Champagne’ , ‘Cognac’ or  ‘Chocolate’.

Want to learn more?, then drop me an email or head over to Leibish & Co.com who have dozens of guides on Fancy Colored Diamonds.

Click here to see their Diamond Color – Archives

Mark

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