Colored Diamonds

What Are They And Where Do They Get Their Color From?

Did you know that all diamonds have color? Only the rarest of diamonds are colorless, and they are so valuable that 99 percent of the world’s population could never afford one. The rest of us purchase our diamonds from a pool of colored diamonds that vary considerably, from one stone to another.

What is a colored diamond?

37_937108_Icecream_Pics_800x800_White_002The term “Colored Diamonds” is a tricky one, and here’s why. You may think the term refers to pink, yellow, blue and red diamonds but it doesn’t. When you hear this term used, it refers to white diamonds that have color. The term used to indentify red, blue, yellow, and pink diamonds is “Fancy Colored Diamonds.” Neither of these terms should be confused with color-enhanced diamonds.

What are color-enhanced diamonds?

Diamonds that are labeled as “Color-enhanced” are real diamonds that have been manually-enhanced to a specific color. The process can significantly increase the value of the diamond. There are three methods used to enhance the color of a diamond.

They include, Irradation, a process that exposes a diamond to radiation for a specified amount of time, thus altering the color of the diamond; High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) which mimics the natural environment deep within the earth where diamonds are formed, and a process called “Coating” in which a vacuum film coating (Similar to the magnesium coating found on camera lenses) is applied to the diamond giving it color.

What gives a diamond its color?

The color of a diamond is determined by the presence of certain gases and other components such as nitrogen, boron and hydrogen in the stone as it is being formed into a diamond. The amount of these gases and components naturally determine what color a diamond will be and to what intensity that color will ultimately be.

When diamonds are enhanced, the chemical makeup of the gases found within the diamond are altered which alters the natural color of the diamond. With irradiation, the longer the stone is exposed to the radiation, the darker the color of the diamond will become.

Can the shade of a colored diamond be altered naturally?

Yes it can. It’s worth noting that the color of your diamond can change under natural conditions. This is because ultraviolet radiation can alter the color of diamonds, and ultraviolet radiation is a natural component found in fluorescent lighting and natural day light.

Additionally, colored diamonds are always graded when they are in their loose diamond state. This is because their color can appear different when the diamond is mounted in a setting.

Why are some colored diamonds more valuable than others?

The degree of color a diamond has is graded in the color categories listed below from least rare to most rare.


Very light


Fancy light


Fancy intense

Fancy dark

Fancy deep

Fancy vivid

Yellow colored diamonds are more common, and red colored diamonds are rarer

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May 2024
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