Diamond colours are fascinating. They are both highly avoided and highly desirable, depending on various other factors.
You’ve likely heard of the 4Cs – cut, clarity, carat and colour. When we talk about the colour of a diamond in this sense, we’re actually talking about the amount of colour in a regular diamond. A perfect diamond has no hue, and the less colour a diamond has, the higher the value.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed an international diamond colour scale to measure the colour hue of regular diamonds with consistency and is the global standard for diamond colour grading and diamond colour rating. The scale uses a rating system of D to Z, with D being completely colourless and Z being heavily tinted with yellow.
But that’s not what we’re discussing today on this blog. In addition to regular diamonds, there are also fancy colour diamonds. While there is no scale or guideline for the use of the term, there is a general consensus regarding the accepted diamond colour range for these fancy colour diamonds. They can be yellow or brown with more colour saturation than a regular diamond at a Z on the colour grading scale, or they have another colour altogether.
How do you decide whether to choose a colourless or fancy colour diamond for your Toronto engagement rings and which colour should you choose? We’ll teach you everything you need to know about the different colours of diamonds and how they get their colours. We’ll also walk you through popular and valuable fancy colour options and how to decide what colour, if any, is right for you.
When the topic of fancy colour diamonds comes up, the conversation quickly tends to turn to what the best diamond colour is or what is the rarest colour of diamond.
Diamonds come in every colour of the rainbow – purple, green, red, and orange are the rarest, followed by blue and pink. Brown and yellow diamonds are the most common fancy colour diamonds. They are also typically the least valuable. There are also black, gray, and fancy white diamonds that are considered fancy diamond colours.
Typically, fancy colour diamonds with the most colour saturation are the most desirable.
Only a few in 100,000 diamonds will have one of the rarer colours, and even less will exhibit intense colour. A structurally perfect and chemically pure diamond has absolutely no hue. There are almost no natural diamonds that are 100 per cent perfect. Less than 0.5 per cent of diamonds fall into this category.
Colourless and fancy colour diamonds all start out the same. A diamond’s colour is affected by chemical impurities or structural defects in the crystal lattice. A diamond can gain multiple defects over time as they are formed. Different trace minerals end up resulting in different colours and hues.
The presence of boron leads to blue diamonds, while green diamonds absorb naturally occurring radiation within the soil just before they exit the last layer of the Earth’s crust. Pink and red diamonds experience such intense heat and pressure that their crystal lattice is distorted and absorbs a particular band of green light rays.
With orange and yellow colours, the presence of nitrogen atoms can cause blue light to be absorbed, reflecting yellowish hues. For purple colour diamonds, lattice distortion plays a factor, and it’s believed that the presence of hydrogen is also a contributor to their colour.
Another important thing to note is that a diamond colour’s appearance can change with different diamond shapes and cuts. This is why diamond colour grading is so complex, requiring highly trained laboratory graders to process them. The GIA fancy diamond rating system takes into consideration the fact that all colours of diamonds don’t have the same depth of colour.
As crucial as the 4Cs are to the value of regular diamonds, where fancy diamonds are concerned, the most critical factor is the vibrancy of their colour. Even if a diamond has numerous inclusions with low clarity, they are still valuable as long as they have an attractive face up colour.
When choosing a fancy colour diamond for an engagement ring, one thing to note is that the setting can significantly influence how the diamond colour appears. Because of the high reflectivity of diamonds, the colour of a ring’s prongs and shank can dramatically affect the colour that is seen in the diamond.
The diamond colour grading system for coloured diamonds is based on the presence of colour when viewed in the face up position. Some of the terms used to describe coloured diamonds include Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid.
While the value of regular diamonds on the diamond colour scale decreases as the colour becomes more noticeable, the opposite is true for fancy colour diamonds. The more vivid and intense the colour, the more valuable and rare they become. It’s estimated that only two per cent of total rough diamond production is fancy coloured, making them exceptionally rare. And with diamonds, rarity means value.
If you’re wondering what is the best colour for a diamond, the answer is simple. It’s the one you like! If you’ve always dreamed of a colourless diamond, that’s what you should choose. If you want a little more colour in a piece of jewelry you’ll be wearing almost everyday, perhaps opt for a fancy colour diamond.
Ultimately, there is no best diamond colour. At Made You Look, we don’t believe there is a “right” colour or style for an engagement ring. The only thing that matters is the one that you like best. The best Toronto jewelry stores don’t tell their customers what they should want. We love matching customers with the engagement ring that speaks to them.
Whether you want to discuss diamond colours, get a custom engraving on your engagement ring or are looking to custom make your engagement ring with one of our jewelry designers, we’re happy to help you find the perfect ring for you.