Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fancies – Yes, Diamonds Come in Colors.

Think of diamonds and you think of breathtakingly clear stones, clear as water, pure as ice. But diamonds do come in colors, over 300 different colors in diamonds have been found in nature so far. Diamonds are normally graded from colorless or rare white, to brown. Black is not used in jewelry except as a novelty item. Colors deeper than light yellow are not usually used in jewelry making, although on occasion, champagne diamonds or cognac diamonds appear. These are really, in most cases, white diamonds of an inferior color grade, rather than fancy diamonds.

The colorless is the most expensive of the white diamonds. Diamonds with a faint tint of yellow are less valuable and a yellow color visible to the naked eye are the least valuable.

Fancies are the term used for colored diamonds. Diamonds can be found in every color and intensity: red, blue, yellow, green, and lavender. The intensity of the colors can range from palest pink to red, lightest blue to sky blue and so forth. Fancy diamonds are rarer than white diamonds. The most common fancy colors are yellow ranging from canary yellow to orange. Colors such as pink, lavender and light green occur much more rarely than the yellow colors. Most valuable of all are the deep reds, greens and blues.

One word of caution: colored diamonds can be created artificially by subjecting inexpensive yellowish and brown stones to radiation or heating. Fancy diamonds, other than green, can be tested to see if the color is natural or the color has been induced. Fancy diamonds can also be created synthetically. These artificially colored, or produced diamonds, don't have nearly the same value as fancy diamonds found naturally. It some cases the colors fade, revert back to their natural state, or change color.

The Hope diamond is an example of a fancy blue diamond. The Argyle Mine in Australia produces a small number of red diamonds and is the world's largest producer of pink diamonds. Several of their pink diamonds have sold for over $1,000,000 per carat.

The Dresden diamond is an apple green diamond weighing 40.70 carats. The Tiffany diamond is orange.

Colored diamonds are valued on a different scale than white diamonds. The color's saturation, hue, and darkness determine the value. In other words the more intense the color the more valuable the diamond is. Make sure you take any fancy diamond you plan on purchasing to a certified lab for evaluation.


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