The most classic and traditional choice of jewelry for centuries, Colorless diamonds have ruled in terms of popularity among the rich and the famous of the world. Until the 16th century, the most celebrated diamonds – both colorless and colored ones – all came from India. Now, they can be found in various parts of the world.
Some of the largest diamond manufacturing regions for white diamonds include South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada, and Russia.
The term “colorless” for white diamonds means lack of any color. White diamonds possess very subtle hints of yellow or brown, which affect the value of the stone. The color of a diamond is measured on an alphabetical scale starting from D, meaning "colorless". A pure and structurally perfect white diamond has no color, making it higher in value than a diamond with hints of yellow or brown.
White diamonds can be found relatively easily in comparison to fancy colored diamonds. The Cullinan diamond (the largest gem-quality diamond ever found), the Excelsior, and The Taylor-Burton (named after the late Hollywood legends) are just a few of the world’s most-famous colorless diamonds. Timeless appeal and tradition are the biggest benefits of these dazzling clear gems, along with being more affordable than fancy color diamonds like pink, blue, green, or red diamonds.
The rarest diamond on earth, the red diamond is so rare that even if its red color is the modifier or the secondary color, the price of the diamond rises exponentially. No other color has such a dramatic effect as a modifier.
The rarity of a diamond also plays a big part in determining its value, and colored diamonds as a whole beat the colorless ones in this respect. The red and pink colors, for instance, in a diamond are caused by plastic deformation of the crystal lattice owing to temperature and pressure. Of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest kinds.
A red diamond that recently made jewelry auction sale history is a rare 1.05-carat red diamond ring sold in Geneva for a whopping $2.77 million, establishing a Christie's and world record of price per carat for a diamond in that color. The 1.05-carat fancy purplish-red diamond with VS2 clarity was bought by Tiara by Ashish Vijay.
Natural fancy color diamonds have popularly been sourced from India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, South America, Russia, and Indonesia over the years. South Africa is particularly famed for its red, pink, blue, orange as well as yellow natural fancy diamonds
Colored diamonds are more valuable and expensive compared to white diamonds, making them a better choice for investments. Pink diamonds are currently 1,150 times as expensive as the finest white diamond, which is internally flawless and has the highest color rating.
Colored diamonds hide inclusions better. While a white diamond with inclusions loses value, a colored one will not. Due to its permanent color, the inclusions can remain concealed throughout the lifetime of the diamond.
Pink diamonds, which are sourced mostly from Australia have historically been also found in India, South Africa, Canada, Russia, and Brazil. This has amplified both their rarity and their price. The Pink Star, a diamond weighing 59.60 carats, was sold at a 2017 auction in Hong Kong for $71.2 million to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
A factor that affects the value of fancy color diamonds is fashion trends. For example, pink diamonds fetched higher prices after Hollywood actor Jennifer Lopez received a pink diamond engagement ring.
Fancy color diamonds like pink, purple, green, and blue diamonds come under the high price range category, while red ones are classified as ultra-high as far as their prices are concerned.
Two of the most famous diamonds in the world belong to the colored diamonds category. They are the Yellow Tiffany Diamond and the brilliant blue Hope Diamond. Other famous colored diamonds include famous names such as the blue Heart of Eternity and the Golden Jubilee.
Fancy color diamonds such as the deep-blue Hope Diamond are among the most valuable and sought-after diamonds in the world. In 2009, a 7-carat blue diamond fetched the then highest price per carat ever paid for a diamond when it was sold at an auction for 10.5 million Swiss francs ($9.5 million), over $1.3 million per carat its expected amount.
This record was again broken in 2016 when the Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat vivid blue diamond became the most expensive jewel ever sold at an auction. It is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond classified ever sold at an auction and sold at Christie's in Geneva in 2016 for $50.6 million.
The color of a green diamond originates from the exposure to the atomic radiation that the stone has endured over millions of years. Even though the green color is a result of exposure to radioactivity, holding the stone is completely safe. The formation process, however, is incredibly rare, resulting in a colored diamond that is extremely difficult to obtain.
Among fancy color diamonds, naturally green stones are some of the rarest and hence, most-sought-after. Most of the world’s current production of fine natural green diamonds is sourced from Africa or South America. Laboratory irradiation treatments have been used commercially since the late 1940s to create the green color in diamonds that closely mimic the effects of natural radiation exposure.
Green diamonds range from light green to a deeper, richer shade. They are graded on the following scale: Faint Green, Very Light Green, Light Green, Fancy Light Green, Fancy Green, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep.
The Dresden Green Diamond is a 41-carat natural green diamond said to have originated in India's Andhra Pradesh. It is a rare green diamond, with a clarity of VS1 and is said to be potentially internally flawless, if slightly recut. Named after the city of Dresden in Germany, where it has been on display for most of the last two centuries, the Dresden Green Diamond has a historical record dating back to 1722 when it was acquired by Augustus III of Poland from a Dutch merchant in 1742. In 1768, the diamond was incorporated into its current setting of a highly-valuable hat ornament, surrounded by two large and 411 medium-sized and small diamonds.
Yellow diamonds currently possess the highest market demand of all other colored diamonds in the market. One of the most significant trendsetting factors is of several celebrities flaunting their Yellow Diamond jewelry, thus, rapidly increasing their popularity. For instance, after Hollywood celebrity Paris Hilton got engaged with a large canary yellow diamond engagement ring, the demand for colored diamonds saw a dramatic rise.
Though colored diamonds can be quite expensive due to their rarity, yellow diamonds can be quite affordable, and sometimes cost less than a colorless diamond of the same quality. Moreover, its unique characteristics have made yellow diamonds highly-sought-after. Like other natural fancy colored diamonds, the colors are a result of the compound element within the structure of the stone. The stones with a deeper yellow hue are often the result of more Nitrogen in the mix.
Owing to their varying hues, yellow diamonds have come to be known by many nicknames. Many refer to yellow diamonds as Canary, as in a Canary Yellow Diamond, while some use the name Zimmy. A Canary yellow diamond refers to only a yellow stone with a very rich, high-intensity yellow or fancy vivid yellow. The term Zimmy, used often when referring to a vivid yellow with a deeper hue, refers to extraordinary vivid yellow diamonds which originated from the Zimmy mine located in Sierra Leone, Africa.
Yellow diamonds, among all other colored ones, are found less than one-thousandth of the time compared to a white stone. That is, only 0.0001 percent of mined diamonds are found in fancy colors. Yellow diamonds happen to be among the more commonly found colors in this category, produced largely in Australia, Angola, Brazil, Borneo, Congo, and Sierra Leone.
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