Though colorless or white diamonds are most common, presence of various impurities give diamonds variety of colors. Traditionally people associated only the white color with diamonds. However, the trend is changing and colored diamonds are increasingly in demand.
Only one out of approximately 10,000 carats of mined diamonds is a colored one. Diamonds in single color are very uncommon, since multiple kind of impurities result in shades or combinations of color. Basic colors for diamonds apart from white (colorless) are Pink, Yellow, Brown, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple and Gray.
Color mention in Lab certificates
A grading certificate would mention the color of diamond. In case of multiple colors, the description of the colors is indicative. If a diamond is pink with traces of brown, description would be brownish pink diamond whereas a diamond with strong brown shade but still mainly pink would have description of brown pink diamond. The last color mentioned in GIA certificate is considered the dominant color. In addition to the color, GIA also mentions the intensity of color on their certificate where as diamond can range from faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy deep to fancy vivid.
Pricing of Colored diamonds
Pricing of a colored diamond depends on the intensity of the color. Typically prices would rise exponentially as color intensity increases. The basic colors are priced according to rarity. Pink diamonds are rare than brown, hence would be priced higher. A pink with brownish shade due to its mix with inferior color is priced lower than pure pink. Now consider a pinkish brown and a reddish brown. Since red diamonds are rare than pink, reddish brown would fetch a higher price compared to pinkish brown. However factors like personal preference might push prices up at open buying events like auctions.
Among the 4Cs of diamond grading, experts believe that Cut is most important since it provides brilliance to the diamonds. Colored diamonds are cut not for brilliance but to bring out the best color.
Within the niche of colored diamonds, yellow color is most common. Yellow diamonds are actually on the same color grading scale as white diamonds.
An interesting way to enhance the look of a colored diamond is to use colored settings like rose gold or yellow gold instead of white gold.
Since colored diamonds are rare and demand for them is high, artificially treated colored diamonds are also available on the market. To be sure of the quality and genuineness of the diamond, certificate from a reputed lab should be insisted.
Argyle Diamond mine in Australia is reputed for producing Pink diamonds – the most sought after among colored diamonds. Retailers like Zale and online jewelry store like Blue Nile deal in various colored diamonds. The popularity (and pricing too) of colored diamonds have grown significantly in recent times and indicate a shift from conventional buying attitude.