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The Guide For Buyers & Investors


Fancy grey diamonds (some may spell it ‘gray’ diamond) may be an unconventional diamond color but they hold a pronounced advantage over mainstream fancy colors because they are generally affordable for being more widely available. Unlike other popular fancy colored diamonds such as pink or orange, natural fancy grey diamonds consist of a neutral color whose iterations are so diverse that the range of grey hues is indeed sizeable. Other fancy colors can also couple with grey to form either a grey diamond with overtones, or secondary color modifiers. Blue is usually the most common overtone found in grey diamonds.


At Diamond Envy, our colored diamond knowledge can be credited to a hands-on approach. Experience with all diamond colors gives us the best reference for evaluating the natural colored diamonds selected for our collection.  Our in house diamond graders assess each stone for cut, color and clarity and ensure we feature only the best conflict-free, natural colored diamonds.  Our variety of grey diamonds comprises all tones from very light to deep and dark. To learn more about these interesting diamonds, read below for information regarding grey diamond color, value and history.





Natural grey diamonds derive their color from a hydrogen defect that makes the stones absorb equal quantities of all light wavelengths. Some fancy grey diamonds that are type IIb get their color from boron, which is well- known for giving blue diamonds their distinct coloration. (To learn more about diamond types, visit the GIA.) At present, it is not known how boron can produce both grey and blue diamonds as it is not apparent how these two diamond colors differ from each other structurally.


Unlike the majority of other kinds of fancy colored diamonds, grey diamonds have little or no saturation – their color is a function of their tones. Fancy grey diamonds occupy a wide scope of tones, ranging from lighter-hued pewter to deeper-hued graphite. A grey diamond can lean either cool or warm depending on the kind of secondary color it is found with – those that are paired with blue or green are usually cool-toned and those that are paired with browns or yellows will be warm-toned.


 gray diamond




Fancy grey diamonds are assessed according to intensity of color, or a combination of saturation and tone.  The following describe grey diamond intensities:


Light Grey, Fancy Light Grey, Fancy Grey, Fancy Dark Grey, and Fancy Deep Grey



 grey diamonds color intensity


The further along this spectrum you go, the richer and more intense the grey is to be seen in the diamond. From an anecdotal perspective, because grey diamonds are generally seen as possessing limited value compared to other types of natural fancy colored diamonds, in a marketing push to popularize their appeal to consumers, it is accepted among certain dealers in the trade that the more silvery the grey diamond, the more it will be worth. That said, stones that are a split grade or which have secondary color modifiers containing a much rarer color, such as a Fancy Blue-Grey diamond or a Fancy Dark Violetish Grey diamond, are among the most desirable and valuable.

 gray diamond colors

Secondary Color Modifiers


A colored diamond is generally rare when it exists as one color without any modifying colors. Grey diamonds can be found paired with blue, green, violet, pink, purple, brown and yellow. A grey diamond that is modified by a much rarer color, such as blue or violet, resulting in Fancy Blue-Grey or Fancy Dark Violet-Grey, will be much more rare and valuable than a Fancy Grey or Fancy Dark Grey diamond.


grey diamonds 




Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of a grey diamond, and the continuum in between. GIA grading does not make a distinction in tones, but to the eye a stone with darker tones may appear more intense in color. For someone looking for the appearance of a Fancy Dark Grey, a viable alternative may be a Fancy Grey diamond with a darker tone.


grey diamond colors 




Grey diamonds do not have a marked tendency to exhibit fluorescence to UV light. On those occasions when they do show fluorescence, the result is usually faint and seldom medium blue. In the final analysis, the enhancement to a stone’s aesthetics that fluorescence offers is entirely subjective.






Routine clarities for fancy grey diamonds tend to fall within the VS1 to I1 range, with SI1 to I1 being the most common. The greater majority of grey diamonds will be able to aptly conceal major inclusions. So even when a grey diamond has a clarity grade of I1 and beyond, its natural color is usually sufficient to help any internal flaws blend in seamlessly.





Natural grey diamonds can be found in virtually all shapes, including pear, radiant, cushion, heart, oval, emerald, marquise and the classic round brilliant cut. In the case of grey diamonds, a round brilliant cut does not necessarily desaturate color as they usually have darker tones than other color diamonds. Take note of uneven color distributions as well (these will be noted on your GIA certificate), as they can certainly affect a diamond’s appearance and value.


 grey diamond shapes




Similar to natural fancy brown diamonds, fancy grey diamonds are generally considered to rank among the most affordable colored diamonds. They have not been favored by many consumers as the diamond of choice but a recent push by jewelers to cast these stones in a more aesthetically appealing light as part of fashion-forward jewelry designs has gained momentum. Those grey diamonds with exceptionally rare secondary color modifiers or which share a split grade with an exceptionally rare color, such as blue or violet, will command very high prices.

 grey diamond price and value



Dark diamonds, such as grey and black, were the first historical diamonds because the necessary technology for cutting diamond rough did not materialize until the 15th century. It is therefore fact that for much of antiquity, diamonds had a black, or graphite grey, appearance. Before the Renaissance, painters portrayed diamonds as having dark color in their renderings.


Natural fancy grey diamonds claim provenance in Australia, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. Two percent of the overall yield from the famed Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, which produces more natural pink diamonds than any other mine in the world, consists of grey diamonds.




Famous Grey Diamonds


Sultan of Morocco: at 35.27 carats, the Sultan of Morocco is actually a cushion cut greyish blue diamond. It is the fourth largest blue diamond in history and originated from Southern India. The Sultans of Morocco were purportedly one-time owners of the diamond although their ownership has not been proven. A confirmed owner of the Sultan of Morocco diamond was the Yousupov family, a Russian family of noble status. Cartier purchased the diamond from Prince Felix Yousupov II in 1922. The company loaned the diamond to the New York State Museum for the World of Gems Exposition in 1969. Three years later, the Sultan of Morocco diamond was sold to a private collector in the US for $250,000.


famous grey diamonds 


Wittelsbach Diamond: another diamond that was blue with grey as a secondary color modifier, the Wittelsbach diamond originally weighed 35.56 carats and was Fancy Deep Greyish Blue VS2. It was a member of the Austrian, as well as the Bavarian, Crown Jewels.


 famous grey diamond


At Diamond Envy, we offer an impressive selection of natural fancy grey diamonds. Whether you’re interested in a loose diamond to add to a collection or custom jewelry to give as a unique gift for someone special, shop our grey diamond collection today.