Diamonds Education Jewelry Style

Fancy Colored Diamonds: A Brief Buying Guide

colored diamonds

The French mineralogist RJ Hauy once said that colored diamonds are the “orchids” among gems. One look at a red or blue diamond and you’ll understand his sentiments. These diamonds are delicate, beautiful, and rare. From playful pink to beguiling black; the world of diamonds is not a colorless one. In fact, there’s a whole spectrum to explore.

Perhaps because of their vibrant hues, there is a common belief that colored diamonds are more expensive than the colorless stones. However, this isn’t always the case. There are specific factors that determine the price of a colored diamond – and while some are indeed expensive, there are reasonably priced stones available as well.

Fancy colored diamonds are considered to be a good investment. Despite price fluctuations and the financial crisis, the market price for colored diamonds has remained stable with price increases of 10 to 15 percent per year. If you wish to invest in colored diamonds or simply appreciate their undeniable splendor, below are a few pointers to keep in mind when purchasing colored diamonds.

Color and Saturation

While clarity and carat play an integral part in the grading of a colorless diamond, colored diamonds’ quality and price depend significantly on the strength of their color. Stones that exhibit a strong, singular color fetch higher prices than those with faint color or a secondary hue. When buying colored diamonds, check for visible inclusions, and consider the shape and intended setting since certain shapes and settings can emphasize the color. (Check out our article What is the best color for a diamond? to learn more about fancy diamonds and color grades).

The Shape

To stress the depth of its shade, fancy colored diamonds are usually in Cushion or Radiant shapes. Other shapes that might detract from the color are less common, making them more expensive.

Be Wary of Treated Diamonds

The majority of black diamonds in the market are treated to appear black. Although treated diamonds are cheaper, the color will fade over time. Natural colored diamonds, on the other hand, retain their sparkle and intensity. Color and clarity enhancements also weaken stones, increasing the chances of chips, cracks, or breaks.

Check for Certification

Asking for a diamond certification is a standard rule for all diamonds. There are a number of grading laboratories but the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the foremost authority. A GIA colored diamond certificate should give a complete assessment of the diamond. This includes color grade, color origin, carat weight, and clarity, among other characteristics.

Plan Your Budget

Be prepared to spend a sizeable amount for a colored diamond. As stated earlier, a stone with a deep color is more expensive. However, less vibrant diamonds are more afforadable, fantastic options. Diamond connoisseurs treasure fancy colored diamonds of varying color intensity, viewing them as assets in their collections.