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Diamond Value

Out of every 10,000 diamonds, just one will have natural color, which is known as a fancy color diamond. The value of a fancy color diamond therefore lies in the intensity and distribution of its color. Other factors that normally matter a great deal with white diamonds, like cut grade and clarity, are not top priority in fancy color diamonds.



Color is the most important aspect of any fancy color diamond. Fancy color diamonds can have one or more colors. When only one color exists in the diamond, the price will be much higher than if it were to have multiple colors. So it goes without saying that a fancy blue will cost more than a fancy grayish blue and a fancy pink will command a higher price than a fancy orangey pink. Aside from primary and secondary colors, also referred to as overtones, in fancy color diamonds, color is based on the level of intensity. Whereas white diamonds are graded on a D-Z scale, fancy color diamonds are evaluated on an intensity scale that runs as follows: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep. Understandably, the higher the intensity, the higher the price.  


To get a better understanding of how fancy color diamonds acquire their color, a bit of scientific discussion is in order. Firstly, natural color in natural fancy color diamonds is formed when trace amounts of other elements combine with the standard quantity of carbon during the crystallization process. Mutations in the basic crystalline structure of the diamond also contribute to the formation of natural color. If any secondary elements fuse with the carbon as it crystallizes, the color in the resulting composition can change. Other factors that can affect the natural color of a fancy color diamond are radiation and additional pressure applied to the crystalline structure.


Visit our diamond colors page to learn more about each fancy color.



Next to color grade, carat weight has the greatest effect on price. Smaller diamonds are typically mined much more often than large ones, which of course makes large diamonds much more rare and valuable. Because natural color diamonds are already rare, imagine how much rarer – and more expensive – a large natural fancy color diamond will be! So the larger the fancy color diamond, the higher the price will climb.



Clarity is the amount, size and type of imperfections, referred to in the diamond industry as “inclusions,” that naturally exist within a diamond but cannot be easily seen, for the most part, by the naked eye. It is generally agreed that due to the microscopic nature of the inclusions, clarity does not negatively affect how a diamond looks (unless, of course, the inclusions are of the I3 variety and are accordingly so massive even the unaided human eye can see it).


A glaring difference between the importance of clarity in white diamonds and fancy color diamonds is that clarity amounts to nothing more than a mere afterthought in fancy color diamonds. Whereas clarity matters much more when it comes to premier white diamonds, in fancy color diamonds, the clarities are frequently in the SI-I range but, luckily, the inclusions often blend in with the color of the diamond, rendering them less invisible to the naked eye. The probability of fancy color diamonds having VS or better clarity is statistically small. When it does happen, such diamonds will of course carry a hefty price tag. The most important thing to look for in a fancy color diamond with respect to clarity is that it’s eye-clean.



Fancy color diamonds are cut and polished differently from white diamonds in an effort to maximize their color. On the other hand, white diamonds are cut in a way that will produce the most brilliance, commonly referred to as sparkle. Excessive brilliance in a fancy color diamond can occasionally take away from the focus on its color, which is not what you want in these types of stones. Although fancy color diamonds can and do have brilliance, color trumps every other characteristic and is the one quality in these types of diamonds that carries the most weight (figuratively speaking).