Diamond is the most precious stone that symbolizes art with its fascinating appearance from history to the present. Every diamond is unique in nature. Its feature, which offers a visual feast in the light, is fascinating. Diamond is often known as colorless. However, the elements in it can color the diamond. Colored diamonds usually have shades of yellow, brown, and gray. However, although rare, there are also diamonds with different colors. Those artistic diamonds can be blue, pink, orange, or even red.
Diamond art starts with a color, especially fancy colors. Diamonds with a body-color other than light yellow, light brown, or light gray are classified as fancy-colored diamonds. Diamonds can be purple, pink, blue, green, or red. The rarest of all colored diamonds are dark green and ruby red. Contrary to what people think, most diamonds are not colorless. Diamonds often exhibit shades of yellow, brown, and gray. These diamonds are evaluated in the “D-Z” category of the American Gemology Institute (GIA) scale for white diamonds.
For yellow and brown diamonds to be considered fancy colors, they must have a color in a category higher than the “z” category. Color should be easily seen and fairly intense. Light yellow, light brown, and light gray are not considered fancy colors because they make up the largest proportion of commercially available diamonds.
Diamond Colors and Color Chart
Diamond is a rare and precious stone obtained by processing the diamond stone, which is formed approximately 150 km deep in the earth. During the underground formation, different elements are included in the atomic structure of the diamond and affect the color and value of the diamond. These color differences of the extracted diamond affect the color value criterion of the diamond. Diamond colors are determined by diamond experts at GIA, the American stone science institute, by examining them under the light. There are certain charts to determine the diamond colors and the diamond color scale is presented in a table.
One of the value measures of the diamond, called the 4C rule, is color. The color of the diamond is a factor in the value and price of the diamond. In the diamond color chart, colors are indicated by letter values. Values starting with the letter D continue until the letter Z. The diamond, denoted by the letter D, is as colorless and clear as a drop of water. The most valuable diamond, the D color scale diamond, is a very rare and unique diamond. They are diamonds with a color scale symbolized by the letters K and Z and are close to dark yellow, which is in the class of cheap diamonds with a much lower value.
The determination of the color values of the diamond, which is a machined diamond, is determined by the internationally accepted standards and the table created by the GIA. Diamond color values are expressed with letters. The color scale that starts with the letter D ends with the letter Z. The color of the diamond, indicated by the letter D in the table that determines the color value of the diamond, is a unique color. The D diamond, which is described as extra white, is the rarest and precious diamond. This very bright stone is also the most expensive diamond. E-F diamond is a colorless and white diamond. Only stone scientists can understand the difference in tone between it and a D diamond. This diamond, which is of very good quality, is more affordable than class D diamonds.
Although the diamonds in the G-J color tone are in the white diamond scale and are not extra white like D-E-F diamonds, the difference between them can only be determined by experts. K-L-M diamond scale is defined as close to white. This diamond color class, which has a visible color difference, is much more affordable. N-R diamond is very light yellow in color. Even in small size diamonds, the color difference can be seen clearly. The diamonds in the S-Z color scale are yellow in color and are the most preferred type of diamond.
In the diamond color table prepared by GIA in accordance with international color criteria, the best diamond color value is D diamond. This very rare diamond color is a unique diamond with its sparkle and shine. Jewelry designed with D-colored diamonds, which are almost as colorless as a drop of water, has fascinating beauty. It is a very expensive diamond as it is very rare and unique. Even though E and F color diamonds, which are in the extra white class, are as white as D diamonds, they contain very little color. However, E and F diamonds are also very high-quality diamond colors for those who want to buy quality diamonds and cannot afford D diamonds.
The color feature is very important as it is one of the determining rules for diamond quality and value. In the diamond color criterion, the color with the best color value is the whitest. As yellowish colors are observed in the diamond, the value of the diamond decreases. Moreover, a non-white diamond does not reflect light very clearly and its sparkle is not as clear as a white diamond. For this reason, the diamond must be pure white in order to reflect a very good sparkle and display wonderful beauty.
When you buy a diamond, you should pay attention to the color, carat, clarity, and cut characteristics defined as the 4C rule, which are the diamond value measures. Regarding the diamond color values, if you want to buy a very high-quality diamond, make sure that the color value written on the diamond’s certificate is at the value symbolized by the letters D-E-F. These are white diamonds and have a very shiny appearance as they reflect light very well. But if you want to buy a more affordable diamond in terms of price, the diamonds in the K-L-M scale are also near-white diamonds. With the privilege of Venta Diamond, you can buy the best quality diamond jewelry designed with diamonds in the D-E-F color scale.
About Fancy Colored Diamonds
Fancy-colored diamonds have been known for many years since they were mined by the Indians in the Golconda mines. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, colored diamonds mined from the Golconda Indian mines were sold to kings and princes around the world. One of the most famous diamonds, Hope, was blue and enchanting.
Over the years, naturally colored diamonds have gained more popularity and are sought after by collectors around the world. When the De Beer firm found a rough diamond capable of having an attractive color, it would immediately set it aside and pay special attention to it. Such rough diamonds were cut by the best cutters.
The generally accepted rule is this: the purer and darker a diamond is, the more valuable it is. If a diamond has intense color intensity and its internal structure is completely unblemished, then it is considered a gemstone and it is how rare it is that determines the value of the diamond. A rare diamond is collectible and often priced very high.
Large sizes of fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare and therefore very valuable. Spectral colors are used to describe fancy colors in IGI. There is a primary color and a qualifier, first, the qualifier is expressed. For example, if a color grade qualifies a diamond as “brownish pink”, “pink” is the primary color and “brown” is the qualifier.
Different Fancy Colors in Diamond Art
Light yellow diamonds are considered minor diamonds, but intense yellow diamonds fall under the category of “fancy” diamonds. The IGI color scheme for yellow is as follows: Natural fancy light yellow, Natural fancy yellow, and Natural fancy ocher. The term canary is used to describe the intense yellow color. “Canary yellow”, which draws attention with its bright orange-tinged yellow color, is very rare. Today, many diamonds with an attractive yellow color have been artificially chemically treated.
Blue diamonds are ranked from light blue to darkest sapphire blue. Blue diamonds over one carat are highly sought after by jewelers. These are used as center stones. However, they are very rare. The IGI color scheme for the color blue is Extra light blue, Natural fancy light blue, Natural fancy blue, and Natural fancy dark blue. The term “turquoise” is used to describe the greenish-blue color.
Pink diamonds are extremely rare diamonds and are often the ones that ordinary customers cannot have. The master who will cut the pink diamonds must have great skill in order to make the cut that will best display this beautiful color tone. The IGI color scheme for the color pink is natural very light pink, and natural fancy pink. Terms such as rose peach, salmon are also sometimes used. High-density red diamonds are the rarest of colored diamonds and therefore the most valuable.
The IGI color scale for brown is as follows: natural fancy brown, natural fancy coffee brown, natural fancy orange-cognac, and natural fancy reddish-cognac. Red-brown and brown-brown diamonds are the most commonly traded diamonds as fancy diamonds. However, some browns called cognac, cinnamon, champagne brown, and chocolate color are more valuable. The warm tones of these colors give them a masculine image and therefore they are preferred by men.
This color is not very strong and ranges from light green to dark oil green, and they often exhibit secondary yellowish or grayish hues. Oil green and light green colors are sometimes encountered. However, these colors are artificially reproduced in chemically treated diamonds. Green diamonds are found in Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, and India. The IGI color scheme for the green color is Very light green, Lime green, Oil green, and Apple green. Some diamonds are also described as emerald green diamonds. However, this is a controversial issue and some experts are skeptical that a true emerald green diamond has or will ever be found.
Orange diamonds are fairly common, but they are only found in small sizes. The IGI color scheme for the orange color is very light orange, natural fancy light orange, and natural fancy dark orange.
- Violet and mauve
Diamonds of these colors are rare and can be sold as fancy colored diamonds when the color is only visible to the naked eye. The IGI color scheme for violet and mauve is as follows: very light violet and lilac, natural fantasy light violet and lilac, and natural fantasy dark violet and lilac.
Black diamonds are very common. These are opaque stones but may exhibit some grayish patches under diffused light. These diamonds are generally considered industrial diamonds and are therefore the least valuable of the fancy diamonds. Some diamonds at the top of the colorless category may exhibit secondary hues such as blue, pink, and green. While such colors are visible, they do not affect the color grade.
Most fancy colored diamonds (except rare ones) are not much more expensive than colorless diamonds, although they are very attractive and sought-after diamonds. The prices of all gems like these depend on their weight, color intensity, purity, rarity, and cut. The given list of colors is not yet complete, as sometimes very specific colors may appear. Two examples of this are the metallic gray color “steel” and the milky “iridescent” color with a kind of play of color. However, nature is mysterious and fascinating, it is possible to encounter pleasant surprises.
Fancy Colored Diamond Market
Intensely colored diamonds sell for very high prices, sometimes surpassing even the whitest diamonds. As previously mentioned, diamonds are extremely rare. To obtain one carat of diamonds, 300 tons of ore have to be mined, and only 150 or 200 carats of precious stone out of every thousand carats produced. Fancy-colored diamonds are even rarer. To obtain a one-carat fancy-colored diamond requires sifting between 2000 and 3000-carat diamonds.
Top-quality fancy colored diamonds weighing one or more carats are very difficult to obtain commercially. Often such diamonds are auctioned. Diamond dealers, who have close ties to the distribution of rough diamonds, withdraw such diamonds from the commercial arena and direct them to collectors. However, trading rare diamonds does not really affect the day-to-day transactions of diamond traders.
The trade of small-size fancy color diamonds is getting more and more successful. White diamonds with a pink, yellow, or brown hue are the most common diamonds circulating in the commercial field. Nowadays, yellow diamonds, which were not very popular in the past, have started to be used more frequently in jewelry, especially with the popularity of yellow gold sets that increase color intensities. With a wide array of shades, colored diamonds are extremely individual. The highest-priced colored diamonds are blue, champagne, orange, canary yellow, and brown, followed by pink and violet. Colorless diamonds are about the same grade as blue diamonds.
Artificial Coloring of Diamonds
There are many methods used to mask diamonds, or even permanently change their color. These methods are ordered from extremely primitive to technologically advanced. It is very important to know these methods and to have the ability to understand the color process to which such a diamond is encountered since the monetary difference between them is very large. The color treatment of diamonds can take different forms. These include surface coating, subsurface replacement, the cyclotron process, the nuclear reactor process, and electron bombardments.
- Surface coating
The most discernible color treatment used to disguise the unwanted body color of a diamond encompasses various forms of coating. These methods are painting the belts and coating the diamond. The back surfaces of the diamond are coated with different chemical mixtures. These coatings are destroyed by boiling the diamonds in different acids. Under magnification, they give the appearance of a speckled, grainy rough surface. This practice is unethical as it is used for fraudulent purposes.
- Subsurface replacement
In 1909, Sir William Crookes, a respected English scientist, published the results of his experiment. He discovered that colorless diamonds immersed in radium-bromide salts for twelve months turned a bluish-green color. The biggest problem was that these diamonds were so highly radioactive that they were dangerous to store. The change was artificial and the new color was being removed by re-polishing the diamond. Other scientists have claimed that radium-altered diamonds will return to their original color when kept at 450 degrees Celsius for a long time. Another feature that makes this type of diamond recognizable is the small discs just below the surface that look like brown and green spots.
- Cyclotron operation
One of the techniques used to produce a green color in diamonds is particle bombardment in an instrument called a cyclotron. Diamonds are painted by bombardment with rapidly moving deuterons and alpha particles. This disrupts the crystal lattice structure of the diamond, some wavelengths of light are absorbed. The resulting color is green, close to black, and the diamond is heated to 871 degrees Celsius to turn it brown and yellow. The acquired color is permanent. The better the original color and clarity of the diamond, which has been chemically treated for color, the brighter and more natural-looking it will be. However, the color distribution is layered and very shallow. The cyclotron process is expensive and difficult but has the advantage that no radioactivity remains in diamonds.
The most precise method used to reveal the cyclotron process is the spectroscope or spectrophotometer. Green color-treated diamonds exhibit a double absorption line that is stronger at 498 nanometers (nm) and weaker at 504 nm, but for natural green diamonds, 504 nm is usually the strongest. They are rarely of equal strength. There are few doubts about this subject because only a few natural green-colored diamonds have been studied.
However, all the green diamonds tested so far exhibited the classical property described above. The spectrum determined for yellow-treated diamonds shows a typical 592 nm line. Also, double lines appear at 504 and 498 nm. The second is the strongest. Another strong color band is seen at 415.5 nm. Natural yellow has no double lines at 504nm and 498nm, and the 592nm line will also disappear. Some very good canary yellows show no streaks at all.
Some visual effects can be seen in cyclotron-treated diamonds. The formation of dual colors is limited to the surface, and this is especially evident that the diamond has been immersed in a chemical mixture. Looking at the diamond from the table side will have an “umbrella” effect, close to the culet, and if the diamond is placed on a white sheet of paper with the table side down, a black ring will appear around the belt.
- Nuclear reactor operation
Neutrons produced in a nuclear reactor make diamonds green. This color can be changed to brown or yellow by subsequent heating of the diamond at a controlled temperature. The effect of this process completely penetrates into the diamond, and the diamond is completely painted. Diamonds that are color-treated in nuclear reactors are not radioactive.
Nuclear reactor-treated diamonds exhibit a characteristic double line at 504 and 4908 nm, the latter being the strongest. Diamonds processed on a van de Graaff linear machine are impossible to distinguish from naturally colored diamonds with the naked eye. However, blue diamonds produced by this method can be distinguished by their lack of electrical conductivity. We mentioned earlier that natural blue-colored diamonds are conductive, so electrical conductivity measurements can be made to distinguish diamonds that have undergone this treatment.
- Electron bombardment
In this color process, a Van de Graaff generator is used to generate electrons (negatively charged particles around the nucleus). The Van de Graaff generator is an old-school particle machine, consisting of a large sphere insulated from the ground and charged by a belt attached to the battery. The particles pass from the electrically charged sphere through a long empty tube connected to the ground line. The difference between the high tension of the sphere and the zero ground tension causes the particles to accelerate. Electrons accelerated in this way turn diamonds blue. The subsequent heating process produces colors such as yellow and pink.
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