Everything You Wanted to Know About Colored Diamonds
A “proper” engagement ring will usually feature a center stone – a colorless, sparkling diamond, which you can show off to family and friends. Every sparkling diamond is prestigious, but a certain group of diamonds is particularly interesting and highly-sought: natural colored diamonds. Colorless diamonds are indeed rare and the process of their creation is interesting, but natural colored diamonds are even rarer – and are a fascinating phenomenon.
Diamonds come from deep within the Earth. Most are colorless, but sometimes more exotic stones are unearthed – pink, yellow, orange, brown, etc. How do diamonds get their distinct color in nature?
Diamonds’ colors are created as a result of a combination of two elements: The composition of chemical and outside substances found within them as well as the optical characteristics of the rays of light penetrating them.
Natural colored diamonds are not uniform in color. There is usually one prominent color alongside a secondary color, sometimes even two or three secondary colors. Pink diamonds, for example, may have brown, red, purple and orange hues. These produce a special, fascinating stone, and add to its beauty and rarity, as no two diamonds are identical. There are 12 different colors for diamonds, with secondary colors ranging wide. For example, a red diamond may have purple or brown hues (i.e., colors close to red on the color wheel) but no green hue.
How is the color of a diamond determined? Gemological laboratories determine color according to three parameters: hue, tone and saturation. The level of intensity is graded in nine categories; from the lowest level of “Faint” to the Fancy Vivid” level, which is considered the rarest and most expensive. When the secondary color intensifies the diamond’s hue it is considered an advantage, but if the secondary color dilutes the main color it is considered a drawback. In addition, Fancy Diamonds are gauged according to the four criteria for grading diamonds – the Four C’s.
Natural colored diamonds are rarer than colorless diamonds, and therefore more expensive as well. Israeli diamantaires have tapped on the potential of this market long ago, and some have gradually become global specialists in natural colored diamonds. The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has many companies trading in colored diamonds, as well as manufacturers of jewelry set with colored diamonds alongside colorless diamonds.
So, the next time you set your heart on a diamond, think of colored diamonds from Israel – a global hub for colored diamonds.