Diamond Color Variations Impact Value
Colored diamonds are not fake and they are not gemstones. They are real – structurally and atomically identical to the more commonly seen and worn colorless ones. These colored gems, sometimes referred to as, ‘fancy colored diamonds’, possess the same qualities, as far as extreme hardness and brightness, as those of the more conventional white diamonds.
The color of diamonds is determined by the earth’s natural chemical interactions. All diamonds are formed inside the earth. Colorless diamonds are formed from pure carbon but in more rare instances, other minerals, not usually present, come into contact with the carbon during the formation of the stone, which is what creates the various diamond colors. Different minerals impacting the carbon during its transformation into a diamond will produce different colors. For example, rare blue diamonds like the famous Hope Diamond, are the result of the added mineral boron during the formation process.
When selling your diamond to a buyer, color is always taken into consideration when determining its quality and value. More rare, strongly colored stones are worth a premium as are the gems at the opposite end of the color spectrum; the purely transparent, colorless diamonds. White diamonds are evaluated using colorless diamonds as an industry benchmark and categorized on the GIA diamond grading system, completely separate from how actual fancy colored diamonds are evaluated. At the top of the grading scale would be the letter D, representing colorless diamonds and the scale progresses through the alphabet, as the presence of color increases, all the way to the letter, Z. There are five categories on the diamond color grading scale:
- Colorless diamonds (graded D-F)
- Nearly colorless diamonds (graded G-J)
- Faintly tinted diamonds (graded K-M)
- Lightly tinted diamonds – usually yellow (graded N-R)
- Tinted diamonds – yellow to brownish(graded S-Z)
Color distinctions are generally too subtle to be visible to the untrained eye. A trained gemologist can discern color, as the very fine gradients of color can make a very big difference in a diamond’s quality and price.