Clear or colored, diamonds are used to give a flair to a piece of jewelry. Colored diamonds are mistakenly perceived as synthetic colored stones. However, diamonds colored diamonds are produced naturally under the earth’s crust. These are available in incredible rainbow colors, ranging from crystal clear to finest pink, yellow and bright orange to royal colors like fancy red, blue, green, violet, and even black. Unlike clear diamonds, the higher the color saturation, the more valuable the colored diamond is.
How Rare Are Colored Diamonds?
The large proportion of diamonds mined throughout the world are colorless. There are only a few diamond mines that produce colored diamonds. Statistically, fancy colored diamonds represent less than 1% of the clear or colorless diamonds. This means, for every 10,000 carats mined, there will be only one carat of a true colored diamond.
Some of the rarest diamonds are often sold at major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Even with these companies, colored diamonds rarely pass through their inventory. Several fancy color diamonds can also, sometimes, be sourced from diamond dealers.
This rarity is what makes colored diamonds exquisitely beautiful and valuable. Each stone is highly sought after by diamond enthusiasts and expensively sold, even before arriving in the market.
HOW ARE COLORED DIAMONDS FORMED?
Colored Diamonds are used in making the most expensive fine jewelry. A naturally occurring diamond takes up to 3 billion years to form, which makes them extremely precious.
The geological process and chemical composition of colored diamonds are very similar to that of white diamonds. All diamonds are transformed into a rigid crystalline structure under extremely high temperatures (up to 2000° C) and pressure (70 ton/cm²), 150 kilometers deep in the earth’s mantle.
Colored or colorless, both are the most rigid natural materials on earth; rank on number 10 on the Mohs scale. While all colored diamonds are rare, red diamonds are the rarest of them all.
Although these diamonds share some common physical or chemical features, both are formed in the same period and geological region; there is a critical difference between them.
This is the inclusion of a foreign particulate that integrates into the carbon structure during the crystallization process. This can be any chemical elements such as boron or nitrogen (that result in red or pink diamonds), or other factors such as radiation (green diamonds) or unusually higher concentrations of carbon (black diamonds).
Where do Colored diamonds come from?
Colored diamonds come from a few places around the world. The best-known sources of fancy diamonds include India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, and Indonesia. The geological composition of the earth plays a role in contributing to the chemical impurities that impart diamond their beautiful color!
HOW MANY RARE COLORS DO DIAMONDS COME IN?
Over 230 color combinations have been produced from 12 different colored diamonds, varying intensities and modifying hues. The clarity, cut, and shapes of colored diamonds also play a role in increasing the value of the diamond.
Gemologists grade diamonds by evaluating four properties, known as the Four Cs of a diamond. These are carat, color, clarity, and cut. After carat weight, only diamond color can impact its pricing—particularly fancy colored diamonds.
Of all fancy colored diamonds, yellow and brown diamonds are relatively more common than red, green, or blue diamonds throughout the world.
The demand for a rare commodity rises dramatically if influential individuals obtain those things. The rising trend for pink diamonds was seen when Jennifer Lopez was proposed to with a pink diamond ring.
As a result of the abundance of Yellow diamonds, they are a lot less expensive per carat than other colored stones. Furthermore, depending on the color intensity, these are also less costly than their colorless counterparts.
Rarest Colored Diamond in the World
Depending on how the factors that influence the geological process of diamond formation, the rare diamonds colors produced are yellow, orange, blue, green, pink, and red.
Yellow diamonds are formed when traces of nitrogen are present in the crystal lattice. Yellow diamonds vary in color from dusky brown or faint yellow to an intense, vibrant yellow. Canary diamonds are the most sought-after yellow diamonds for their bright hue. With as low as 10% nitrogen, the brilliant yellow diamonds are more valuable than the duskier shades of yellow.
Faint and feminine, pink diamonds are trendy for their rosy hues. Over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds are produced by the Argyle Diamond Mine, Australia, close to red diamonds.
Pink diamonds compete with the fancy yellow diamonds in the market with the second-highest demand. These are also popular for their investment potential. This diamond is produced mainly in Western Australia (Argyle Mine), Brazil, Russia, Siberia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Canada.
Two of the most famous Pink Diamonds that exist are;
- The Graff Pink: A 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond, with potentially flawless clarity grade, is extremely rare. The elusive diamond holds the record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction, selling approximately USD 46 million.
- One of the most popular pink diamonds is a vivid pink-colored 59.60-carat IF grade Pink Star, formerly known as the Steinmetz Pink.
- Other notable diamonds like the Daria-i-Noor and Noor-ul-Ain, both Iranian crown jewels, are just priceless.
The position for the second rarest diamond has been a conflict between pink and blue diamonds. Pink diamonds have been more popular than blue diamonds.
A blue diamond gets its color from boron impurities in the diamond’s crystal lattice structure and its shade from either hydrogen (gray-violet) or radiation exposure (green-blue).
Blue diamonds are also known as the “deepest” diamond globally, mined at depths of over 600 km, making the blue diamond rare and expensive. Blue diamonds are primarily produced in India, Australia, South Africa, and Botswana.
Two of the most popular Blue diamonds that exist are;
- The Hope Diamond: a 45.52-carat Fancy Deep Grayish-Blue diamond with a VS1 clarity grade. For its historical significance, it’s worth more than $300 million.
- The Wittelsbach Graff: a 31.06-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond with an IF (internally flawless) clarity grade. This incredible blue diamond was sold for an astonishing USD 24.3 million in 2008.
Like yellow diamonds, orange diamonds also get their color from nitrogen. It’s the alignment of the atoms that produce an incredibly rare orange diamond. Yellowish orange diamonds are relatively common. They range from faint yellowish orange to fancy orange. It is mined only in Australia and Africa
The 5.54-carat Fancy Vivid Orange diamond, known as Pumpkin orange, is one of the most well-known orange diamonds. It was sold for approximately USD 1.3 million in 1997 at a Sotheby’s auction.
Natural Green diamonds are so rare that most diamond experts will examine them meticulously to determine their value to make sure they’re not fabricated in a lab to enhance their color! Most of the green diamonds get their color from natural irradiation in the rocks. The surface area of the diamond is green; the color rarely makes it to the center of the diamond. For differentiation purposes, most cutters leave an untouched ‘natural’ along the stone’s Girdle, which does not reduce the clarity grade of the diamond.
A 5.51-carat Fancy Deep blue-green Dresden Green and a 40.70 carat natural Green Ocean Dream Diamonds are two of the most popular green diamonds in the world. Green diamonds are produced mainly in Borneo, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the Central African Republic, and India.
Red diamonds that exclusively exist as Fancy are the rarest and most expensive colored diamonds. Red diamonds come in Fancy red, purple-red, or brown-red shades. However, pure red diamonds almost don’t exist.
The formation is still mysterious to gemologists of the Gemological Institute of America, who are not sure what produces red diamonds. Other fancy colored diamonds such as blue and yellow diamonds get their color from impurities incorporated during their crystallization process. As for red diamonds, gemologists speculate that their color comes from changes in the diamond’s molecular structure. This association is based on the fact that red diamonds are found in the same places as pink diamonds.
Red-colored diamonds are mined mainly in Australia, Africa, and Brazil. About 90% of the global supply of red diamonds comes from the Argyle mine, Australia, which produces 14 million carats of diamonds a year. Less than 20 carats of red diamonds have been sold from the Argyle mine.
Two of the most popular red diamonds are;
- The Moussaieff Red: While most red diamonds weigh less than 0.5 carats, except the world’s largest red-colored diamond, the Moussaieff diamond weighs 5.11 carat, a stark contrast to the Cullinan I diamond, which is the world’s largest cut weighing 530 carats. This Fancy red diamond comes with an Internally Flawless clarity grade. Though small in carat weight, the brilliant red-colored stone is known as the world’s largest internally flawless colored diamond. The Moussaieff Red, which was sold for approximately $8 million U.S. dollars in 2001.
- The Hancock Red Diamond: A 0.95-carat, Fancy purple-red Diamond. Although it weighs less than a carat, this stone is one of the most famous red diamonds of all time due to its color. The Hancock Red was sold for approximately $880,000 in 1987.
Hence, carat weight doesn’t affect the popularity of colored diamonds. The prices of red diamonds are hard to compare since there are certain differences between them. Even two purple-red diamonds with the same certificate can vary in prices; based on how red the diamond is.
The prices for red diamonds can reach sky heights even if the red color is due to the modifier. At the 2013 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, a 1.56-carat red diamond, the Argyle Phoenix, was sold for over 1.25 Million Dollars per carat!
To conclude, when it comes to the rare colored diamond color, red diamonds stand above all. Red diamonds are incredibly rare. As red diamonds have color modifiers such as purple, orange, and brown, pure red diamonds are the rarest among all!