It may not be obvious at first glance, but each diamond has its own unique color arrangement that enhances its look and makes it stand out. A fancy color diamond is one with notable color that is expressed in several ways:
- A primary color
- A secondary color
The intensity of the color (vivid, fancy intense, fancy)
The first two terms, primary and secondary color, refer to the color of the diamond itself – intensity is the strength of the color. The more intensity and more obvious the color is, the more valuable the diamond is considered to be. Fancy color classifications can range from “faint” to “deep fancy/dark”; the darker the color, the more valuable the stone is. Diamonds can be many different shades or hues, each has its own distinct qualities and color. In general, the colors are:
About half of all fancy diamonds are yellow; it is the most common shade. Also called canary diamonds, these can range from light yellow all the way to vivid yellow – true vivid yellow diamonds are rare and valuable. The yellow color in these fancy gems comes from nitrogen and won’t wear off or fade away.
Lovely, rare and very valuable, pink diamonds range in color from a pale, barely there shade to a vivid, deep pink shade. While most fancy color diamonds owe their hue to a specific element or peculiarity, the source of the pink hue is unknown. Rare vivid pinks and purples can go for millions of dollars and are considered some of the most sought-after gems in the world.
Rare and lovely, these precious stones can range from a citrus like lime to an almost turquoise blue green. Some stones will have shades of brown or grey; those that are purely green are quite valuable. Green diamonds get their color from beta and gamma rays that build up over time; if the color is only on one surface, it could face over time. Some fancy green diamonds can also display hints of grey or brown as well. Green diamonds that exhibit no traces of other colors are incredibly rare and valuable.
Some of the rarest gems in the world are blue diamonds; these beauties can range from light to almost sapphire blue. The Hope Diamond is probably the most famous example of a blue diamond. The hallmark blue shade is caused by boron, with occasional traces of nitrogen and hydrogen.
Not much is known about these rare beauties, which originate in Australia and South Africa. Fancy orange diamonds are rare; they must be free of brown tint to be considered orange and intensity ranges from orange to dark orange.
Not quite as rare as the other shades, fancy brown diamonds contain a warm glow that is a result of changes in the diamond’s base molecular structure. Diamonds that are light brown are also called champagne diamonds – darker brown versions are cognac diamonds.