A Guide to Colored Diamonds
When someone says “diamond,” you immediately picture a clear, sparkling stone in a variety of cuts. While this is certainly the most common type of diamond you see, there are so many more options.
With an increase in demand for something unique to each bride or customer purchasing diamond jewelry, colored diamonds have seen a surge in popularity. Blues, pinks, browns, greens… there is a unique option for all!
Below is a guide to the history of colored diamonds, and how they get their unique hues:
History of Colored Diamonds
The first documented use of colored diamonds can be found in India in the 6th century.
With the exception of the king, who could own any color of diamond, different social classes were only allowed to own certain colors. For example, priests could own diamonds the color of “the whitest of the conch.” Warriors and landowners could purchase brown diamonds, or “the color of the eye of a hare,” and Lower classes could own black or gray diamonds “the sheen of a burnished sword.”
Today, colored or “fancy” diamonds are purchased more based on personal taste and budget.
How Do Fancy Diamonds Get Their Colors?
Diamonds are formed when intense heat and pressure are applied to carbon atoms, causing them to crystallize. During the formation, distortion or other elements may come into play, resulting in beautiful colors.
Brown: The most commonly occurring of the natural-colored diamond. Distortion in the lattice of the diamond determines how the diamond absorbs light, reflecting a brown color. Shades vary between champagne, latte, and cognac hues.The LeVian Chocolate Diamonds are the most recently popular variation.
Orange: One of the rarest diamond colors, it is typically found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They come in variations such as tangerine, pumpkin, and amber, and can include undertones such as brown, pink, or yellow. The deeper the shade, the more expensive the orange diamond.
Green: One of the rarest colors of diamond, the green color comes from its proximity to radiation during formation. The diamond itself is not radioactive, but the exposure to radiation causes it to absorb yellow and red aspects of the color spectrum, reflecting beautiful shades of green. Shades of green include mint, grass, and forest varieties. The more vivid the color, the higher the price.
Yellow: One of the more common varieties of colored diamonds. The amount of nitrogen involved in the formation process results in a beautiful yellow color. You can find various yellows such as lemon, dandelion, and canary, which can also have hints of brown, green, or orange.
Pink: Colors range from a light bubblegum to a medium raspberry and a dark merlot. While nearly all pink diamonds are found in Australia’s Argyle Diamond Mine, pink diamonds are incredibly rare. They are formed by heat and pressure in a way that causes them to absorb green aspects of the color spectrum, resulting in a lovely pink shade.
Red: A pure, naturally red diamond, without a hint of any other color is the rarest diamond of all. It is so rare that the reasons for the hue are not yet understood. Many times, jewelers will have to treat other diamonds to give them a red color, as a natural one is hard to come by.
Blue: Mostly found in South Asia, the gorgeous variations of blue are caused by the presence of boron. Boron reacts with the carbon in the diamond, resulting in shades ranging from pale blue to deep azure.
Purple/Violet: Found mostly in Northern Asia, especially Siberia, purple diamonds are extremely rare. Of those that are found, it is uncommon for them to be over 5 carats in rough form. Distortion in the structure is likely the cause of the purple coloring.
Olive/Chameleon: While olive is a shade of green, it is set apart by its hints of yellow, brown, or gray. They get their color from a high level of hydrogen mixed with nickel and nitrogen. Also called chameleon diamonds, olive diamonds can change color when exposed to different levels of light or heat. This color change is temporary, and the chameleon diamond will always return to it’s natural olive tone.
Colored Diamonds & More in Frederick, MD
Are you looking for a diamond gift as unique as the person you are purchasing it for? If you are in the Frederick, Maryland, area, look no farther than Gold Thumb Jewelry Creations!
We carry a large variety of diamond jewelry in many different colors, cuts, clarities, and settings. Don’t see anything quite right? Perhaps you would like us to create a custom piece based on your original design! From statement necklaces to engagement rings, we’ve got what you need. Come see us today!