Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Colored diamond facts

Though white diamonds are considered to be everlasting classic this doesn't mean that colored diamonds are not as beautiful, or even more beautiful than their white brothers. Through this article I will tell you many interesting facts about colored diamonds, and I'll start the story with the blue diamonds.

Facts about blue diamonds

Natural blue diamonds are extremely rare, and therefore extremely expensive. Most blue diamonds that can be found in the different jewelry stores aren't naturally blue but have been artificially treated to bring out a blue color. Blue diamonds always have high demand because blue is one of the most popular colors of the diamonds, so sometimes it is even difficult to find treated blue diamonds, whether alone the natural blue diamonds.

When it comes down to blue color, it has to be said that the most desirable are sky-blue diamonds, while least popular of all blue diamonds are greenish-blue diamonds. The color is not the only factor that will determine the price of the blue diamond because other members of 4C's will also play their role, namely the cut, carat, and clarity, and in most cases really beautiful blue stones will cost you a real fortune.

Basically, if blue is your desired color for diamond then you have to be prepared to spend big, especially if you're on a lookout for natural blue diamond because natural blue diamonds are extremely rare. In diamond business extremely rare equals to extremely expensive. When it comes to price of a natural blue diamonds then prepare yourself to spend a real fortune because (natural) blue diamond engagement rings cost in average 10 to 50 times more than their white counterparts. It is also very difficult to find natural blue diamond because they are always in high demand. Therefore it is really no surprise that many people choose sapphires as the acceptable alternative to very rare, and very expensive blue diamonds.

Perhaps blue is so popular color because arguably the most famous diamond in the world, the legendary "Blue Hope", has blue color. The beautiful "Blue Hope" diamond is believed to be cursed because certain people that possessed this precious stone throughout the history have had more than fair share of bad luck. If you want to see how this legendary diamond looks like you can currently find it at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. The biggest among the most famous blue diamonds is Regent that weighs 140.50. Among the most prominent people that possessed this diamond were Napoleon and Louis XV. This gorgeous blue diamond now has its residence in Louvre where people can admire its stunning beauty.

Another famous blue diamond is definitely Queen of Holland. This is yet another big blue diamond weighing 135.92-carat. Queen of Holland diamond got its name after Queen Wilhelmina, Dutch queen who reigned from 1890 to 1948. It also has to said that there is an argue between some experts whether Queen of Holland should be included among blue diamonds, and some even suggest that it would be better to include it among white diamonds by claiming this is white diamond that possess a definite blue tint.

Sultan of Morocco is yet another famous blue diamond. It is not as big as Regent or Queen of Holland since it weighs only 35.27 carats but is still the fourth largest blue diamond in the world, just behind Hope diamond. Current state of this diamond is relatively unknown after it was sold to a private American collector back in 1972.

The last diamond I will mention among the most famous blue diamond is the Blue Heart diamond that is also known under the name of "Eugénie Blue" though there are no clear evidences that it was actually owned by the empress. At this date Blue Heart diamond also belongs to very impressive Smithsonian collection.

Some other famous blue diamonds include Wittelsbach, Transvaal Blue, and Blue Empress.

Facts about red diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are not only extremely popular but also extremely expensive, and among the most expensive colored diamonds are certainly red diamonds, which are the rarest of all other colored diamonds. In fact, natural red diamonds are so rare that 99% of jewelers in the world have never had the pleasure to see these gorgeous stones.

In fact, there are less than 20 natural red diamonds in existence today, meaning that buying these diamonds is not only extremely expensive but also extremely difficult because of their rarity.

How expensive are red diamonds? I will give you one very interesting example by using a famous red diamond called the Moussaieff Red which is the largest red diamond graded by GIA. Moussaieff Red's weight was "only" 5,11 carats, I say only because this diamond was sold for an unbelievable $8 million, more than $1,5 million per carat. The Moussaieff Red was displayed as part of the Smithsonian's "The Splendor of Diamonds" exhibit

Even the people who can accept and afford such high price tags will find it difficult to buy one of the 20 remaining red diamonds, because most of these diamonds are in hand of private jewelers or in museums, and it's hard to find any private jeweler who's ready to make part with his most prized asset.

Most of the natural red diamonds were found in the Argyle mine in Australia, and few were discovered in Africa.

Among other famous red diamonds I should also mention the red diamond called Hancock Red" that has weight of only 0,95 carats but was still sold for an huge price of $880,000 at Christie's New York in April, 1987.

Because of limited numbers of red diamonds many people turn to enhanced red diamonds as an alternative, and some turn to rubies as another acceptable alternative.

Facts about green diamonds

Natural green diamonds are second rarest colored diamonds, just behind red diamonds that are the rarest.

Green color of these diamonds is the result of atomic radiation that affects the diamond's crystal structure.

There are only few "totally green" diamonds as most of green diamonds are only green in patches or on the surface of the crystal.

It is possible to create green diamond in the lab by bombarding diamond by beta and gamma rays at certain temperatures in order to create green coloration.

The largest and the most famous natural green diamond is Dresden Green. This diamond weighs 41 carats. The Dresden Green diamond got its name from the capitol of Saxony where it has been on display for more than 200 years.

Cutting green diamond is very difficult because faceting a diamond that is only green on the surface just cuts off the green color.

Sometimes, though this is not common, green color (or to be more precise grayish-green) of the diamond can be caused by hydrogen.

Heating the stone might sometimes improve the color of the diamonds but the temperature must always be below 600°C if we want to improve green color of the diamond, because at this temperature the green color is likely to turn to a light yellow or brown.

Bombardment by beta and gamma rays as well as neutrons will color the stone to a greater depth of green color and in some cases even turn the whole stone's interior green (this can be done in lab).

Facts about pink diamonds

Pink diamonds are one of the most desirable colored diamonds, and also one of the rarest colored diamonds.

Very few jewelry stores have pink diamonds available for you to buy, and finding one can sometimes be a real art.

Pink diamonds because of their popularity and high demand are also among the most expensive colored diamonds so don't go for them unless you're really prepared to splash the cash.

The biggest source of pink diamonds is Australian Argyle Diamond Mine that produces almost 90% of total pink diamonds in the world.

Two most famous pink diamonds in the world are Darya-I-Nur and Steinmetz Pink. Darya-I-Nur (meaning "Sea of light") is the largest pink diamond of all time weighing an estimated 182 carats (36 g). It has very rare pale pink color and is currently the priceless part of the Iranian Crown Jewels. Some diamond experts believe that Darya-I-Nur was originally part of the much bigger pink diamond but this still hasn't been proved.Steinmetz pink is also very unique pink diamond. This beautiful pink stone has weight of 59.60 carats (11.92 g) and has very rare vivid pink color, and is the largest known diamond having been rated Vivid Pink by GIA. Steinmetz pink was unveiled in Monaco on May 29, 2003, in a public ceremony, and was discovered in the South Africa. The fact that team of eight professional jewelers took 20 months to create this beautiful pink diamond tells you how special this diamond really is.

Facts about black diamonds

Black diamonds are recently becoming very fashionable pieces of jewelry that often cost significantly less than their white counterparts.

Natural black diamonds are very rarely found in nature, meaning that majority of black diamonds in the market are treated black diamonds.

Among most popular pieces of black diamond jewelry are black diamond rings and black diamond bracelets.

Hip hop and rap scene have made black diamond rings very popular among men.

Black diamonds do not shine like white diamonds do but they do have some other advantages that make them appealing, most notably strong mysticism and symbolism.

Lately, there has been increased demand for high quality black diamonds because many celebrities find them to be "very cool".

Artificially treated black diamonds when closely looked at often look more like dark green diamonds than black diamonds.

In India, traditional diamond country black diamonds symbolize the snake's eyes, the symbol that was used for many sacred statues.

Many jewelers consider black diamonds as the least attractive of all colored diamonds, mostly because their lack of luster.

Many diamond experts believe that investing in black diamonds is not a wise thing because this is very likely short-lived fashion.

Much of black diamonds available on market are actually more gray or dark gray rather than black because totally black diamonds are extremely rare.

Some latest studies have shown that black diamonds formed in stellar supernovae explosions. It is also possible that these black diamonds were once the size of asteroids before they landed on Earth.

Facts about yellow diamonds

Up to recently yellow diamonds were not popular choice like some other colored diamonds but lately many celebrities have opted for yellow diamonds which has significantly increases popularity of these colored diamonds.

Intensely colored yellow diamonds are pretty expensive and much sough after unlike faintly colored yellow diamonds that are less expensive and less wanted merchandise.

The largest number of yellow diamonds were found in South Africa, including some very famous diamonds such as "Kimberley Octahedron", that weighed 616 carats in its original rough state.

Among other places in the world, the Australian Argyle mine is also know for its fair share of yellow diamonds.

Intensely colored yellow diamonds are very expensive so many people in the end opt for alternatives in form of topaz or yellow sapphires.

Tiffany Diamond is one of the famous yellow diamonds that in its original state weighed 287.42, and was also found in South Africa like Kimberley Octahedron.

Yellow diamond that has color graded beyond the Z category in a white diamond grading scale is automatically classified as fancy colored.

One carat yellow diamond with a good cut and clarity can cost more than $50,000, meaning they can be sometimes much more expensive than white diamonds.

Yellow diamonds are graded face up while white diamonds are graded face down.

Facts about orange diamonds

Natural orange diamonds are very rare, and therefore very expensive, and the most expensive natural orange diamonds are the ones blessed with the intense and vivid orange color.

Most natural orange diamonds that can be found at global diamond market have their origin from South Africa and Australia.

Most orange diamonds available at the market have hues, and finding natural orange diamond with pure orange color isn't easy because demand for such diamonds is large, even despite the huge price tag.

Pure orange diamonds are usually sold at extremely high prices. For instance, 8.93 carat Fancy Intense Orange diamond was sold at Sotheby's for $1.9 million, while 5.54 carat Pumpkin Diamond was sold for $1.3 million.

Orange diamonds, as well as other fancy colored diamonds are becoming increasingly popular among celebrities. Halle Berry, for instance, prefers orange diamonds.

Orange diamonds can be also artificially produced in lab, these diamonds do not have such high price tag like natural orange diamonds do but they often have properties even better than their natural brothers.

Fancy intense orange diamond add special fashion statement for person wearing them. Unlike classic white diamonds orange diamonds add more courageous statement, showing high confidence and self belief of their proud owners.

Facts about brown diamonds

Brown diamonds are also often referred to as "champagne" diamonds, which gives them more exotic and desirable appeal than the ordinary name brown. Brown diamonds are usually less expensive than other fancy colored diamonds, but brown diamonds with lighter and darker shades are not that cheap as many people think, and are quite attractive, especially when combined with white diamonds.

Though brown isn't that popular diamond color as many other colors are, brown diamonds are becoming more popular than ever before following the current colored diamonds trend. Brown diamonds are most popular when in combination with white diamonds and fancy colored diamonds where its difference offers great beauty to entire combination.

Argyle diamond mine in Australia is producing a significant quantity of brown diamonds, and they are responsible for coining their more appealing names such as "champagne diamonds" and "cognac" diamonds. Color of these diamonds in divided can be in range from very light brown to dark brown and there is special scale devised in Argyle diamond mine (C1 to C7 grading scale) which separates the tone or depth of color progressively.

Among famous brown diamond special place belongs to the Golden Jubilee, dark rich champagne diamond, which is the world’s largest cut natural diamond weighing 545 carats, that was offered to the King of Thailand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne. It took full three years to complete its polishing.

Though brown diamonds are still not popular as some other fancy colored diamonds their popularity grows, especially of dark brown ("cognac") diamonds. However they are still mostly used in different combinations with white and other colored diamonds than only brown combinations. And being usually less expensive than other fancy colored diamonds these diamonds are definitely worth to consider.


Anonymous,  July 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

As one who is just learning about diamonds and wants to start investing with limited funds, can you suggest what color I should start with and how can I be sure that the color has not artificially been made? Also, I live in Canada and does Canada produce any rare colored diamonds? Thank you for your fine column.
Calgary, AB

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