Coya Campbell - August 15, 2022

FANCY COLORED DIAMONDS 101

Typically, when determining the quality of a diamond, stones with little to no color are more valuable. However, fancy colored diamonds are the total opposite. Categorized as diamonds that have color beyond the D-Z scale, fancy colored diamonds are incredibly rare. Consequently, vivid color is the most coveted attribute of fancy colored diamonds. Ranking a 10 on the hardness scale, fancy colored diamonds are also just as durable as their colorless counterparts.


COLOR GRADING

Fancy Hues

Color is the primary factor used to determine the value of fancy colored diamonds.

Diamond color is graded using three criteria: hue, tone, and saturation. Hue is the actual color present within the stone i.e., pink, yellow, etc. Tone is the lightness or darkness displayed in the stone's hue. Lastly, saturation is the strength or weakness of the perceived color. Using these factors, fancy colored diamonds are then categorized in order of increasing color strength, from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep.

Fancy colored diamonds frequently used here at Shahla Karimi Jewelry are salt and pepper diamonds, pink diamonds, yellow diamonds, black diamonds, and champagne diamonds.

FANCY DIAMOND COLORS

Stone Luster

PINK DIAMONDS 

Desired by many, pink diamonds have a unique color synonymous with romance and femininity. These stones range in color from faint to fancy vivid and increase in value as the depth of color increases. Despite the increased value associated with deeper color many of our customers prefer stones with lighter saturations. 


Gemstone Treatments

YELLOW DIAMONDS

Fueled by popular culture, yellow diamonds have the highest market demand.

Furthermore, their extreme rarities and unique characteristics have made them all the more desirable. Contrary to their colorless counterparts, detectable yellow hue is the most coveted characteristic of this diamond type. Like other colored diamonds these stones range in color from faint to fancy vivid and increase in value as the depth of color increases. Despite the increased value associated with deeper color many of our customers prefer stones with lighter saturations.

CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

Champagne diamonds are fancy colored diamonds that are categorized by their predominant brown hues with hints of secondary yellow hues. Depending on their depth of color these diamonds are sometimes fittingly referred to as cognac or chocolate colored. Contrary to the popularized marketing of chocolate diamonds our customers still tend to prefer stones with lighter saturations.

Champagne fancy colored diamonds are also graded on a scale from faint to fancy vivid and tend to increase in value with depth of color.

SALT AND PEPPER DIAMONDS

For these fancy colored diamonds inclusions are welcome with open arms. The inclusions are what cause the stone to appear black and white. The placement and type of the inclusion within each salt and pepper diamond are unique and determine how dark or light a stone appears. Some stones have dark inclusions and therefore appear darker, others have light inclusions and are brighter, and some have a perfect combination of the two resulting in a stone that appears gray. Inclusions are necessary in order to create salt and pepper diamonds and as a result clarity is not a priority when grading these stones.

Emerald GIA Certificate

BLACK DIAMONDS

Fancy colored black diamonds are also referred to as carbonado, the Portuguese term for dark, rich, opaque diamonds. This is a nod to Brazil, one of the few locations where fancy colored black diamonds are mined. Black diamonds are graded on a color scale from AAAA to B. AAAA stones are flawless and the most rare, they account for less than 1% of available stones on the market. B colored stones are the least rare and make up 50% of available black diamonds worldwide. Black diamonds get their unique opaque color from being heavily included therefore the diamond clarity scale does not apply.

Due to their opaque color characteristics, black diamonds do not have the same sparkle and brilliance we see in typical colorless diamonds or other fancy colored dark diamonds. Instead, black diamonds display adamantine luster which is responsible for their shiny appearance.

CLARITY GRADING

Shahla Karimi Sapphire Gap Band w/ Pave

Graded on a scale from flawless to included, clarity gradings measure the size, placement, type, and number of inclusions (internal) or blemishes (external) a stone may have. Most inclusions and blemishes are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye and can only be detected by a skilled diamond grader. Although clarity is taken into account when grading fancy colored diamonds a stone's true value depends more on color and intensity.

Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance 

CUT GRADING

Like standard diamonds, cut is not a reference to the shape of fancy colored diamonds. Instead it is a reference to the proportion and arrangement of its facets and the quality of workmanship. The cut is what determines the amount of brilliance, sparkle, and fire a stone has. Cut grades range on a scale from ‘Excellent' to ‘poor.’

Brightness: Internal and external white light reflected from a diamond.

Fire: The scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow.

Scintillation: The amount of sparkle a diamond produces, and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond.

CARAT

Refers to a diamond’s weight. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three Cs are considered. Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams.

Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’

No matter how beautiful a diamond may look, you simply cannot see its true quality. The 4Cs of diamond quality will provide you with the information you need to know the diamond’s actual quality.