While diamonds are 99.95% simple carbon in composition, the presence of certain trace elements will create color in a diamond. The presence of nitrogen will create yellow in a diamond. Boron causes a diamond to be blue. The Hope Diamond is the number one most visited exhibit in the Smithsonian. Its mysterious legend and rich blue color make this 45.52 cushion cut diamond an object that people have admired for many years. The rarest of the fancy diamonds is red of which only 10 are known to exist in the world. Blue is the next most rare. Pink is also very rare and the recent highly publicized celebrity engagements with pink diamonds have created more awareness and desire for pink stones.
The best way to think of colorless is to imagine a drop of pure, distilled water; of course, true colorless diamonds are very rare, and therefore, very expensive. D color represents 1% of all diamonds. D-E-F color is considered colorless, G-H-I near colorless, J-K-L slightly tinted. Diamond is the only gemstone where “no color” is the preferred color. Virtually every other gemstone is valued for intensity and saturation of color.
GIA is the most widely accepted system; it is also the most stringent, with a smaller classification at the upper end. View a diamond through the pavilion to see body color (how much yellow or brown).
Differences between D-H in a mounted stone are very difficult to discern.
|D||Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.|
|E||Colorless. Only minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.|
|F||Colorless. Slight color detected by an expert gemologit, but still considered a “colorless” grade. A high quality diamond.|
|G-H||Near olorless. Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.|
|I-J||Near colorless. Color slightly detectable. An excellent value.|
|N-Z||Very light to light yellow|
A physical property that a diamond may or may not possess. Causes a diamond to appear a different color than it actually is when viewed in certain lights. Actually is a radioactive property.
It can produce a yellowish, bluish, or whitish glow in Sun-light or fluorescent light. Blue is the most common, and it can mask yellow; viewed in incandescent light (normal candle or regular lamp), the diamond will appear yellow, if indeed it is.
Doesn’t add or take away from value. Actually, it makes a diamond look bluish, which enhances color.
Diamonds that exhibit strong yellow florescence, however, will be lower in price, since it detracts from the beauty of the stone.
Red, pink and blue are extremely rare. Fancy color diamonds are valued for hue, tone, saturation, and intensity. The grading ranges from fancy, fancy light, to vivid. The least valuable but still expensive is black. On 4/28/87, Christies sold a 0.95 purplish red stone with 2 large flaws for $800,000. There are 10 known reds in the world!
Color is artificially enhanced through bombardment in a cyclotron field. Irradiated diamonds are much less expensive. Tests can be done to determine if color was enhanced artificially.