What's the Scoop on Fancy Colored Diamonds?
Classic white diamonds will forever be associated with engagement rings but we have seen many couples opt for colored diamonds made popular in recent decades by royalty, pop stars and celebrities like Carrie Underwood and Victoria Beckham. Rare and gorgeous, these gems that range in colors across the spectrum are classified as ‘fancy colored diamonds.’ The fashion of using colored diamonds isn’t a new concept though so let’s go on a little tour through the history of fancy colored diamonds to reveal just how extraordinary they are.
Use of Fancy Colored Diamonds in History
Diamonds were first discovered in India as far back as 3000 B.C. and, in the whole world, India was the only place to mine diamonds up until the 16th century! In ancient times, diamonds had many purposes as they were considered to protect the wearer from evil spirits, white and colored diamonds were used to barter and trade for other goods and most notably, they were used as a sign of one’s rank in the class system. A group known as the Brahmins were the rulers and priests of ancient India and were only allowed to own white to colorless diamonds while warriors and landowners were only allowed to own or wear brown or what we know today as ‘chocolate diamonds.’ Yellow diamonds were assigned to the merchant class and gray or black diamonds were a sign of all lower classes. Luckily, nowadays, we are all allowed to own and wear any color of diamond we wish!
Famous Colored Diamonds
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has stated that fancy colored diamonds are the planet’s most valued gems and rightfully so since they are so rare. It is estimated that only one out of every 10,000 diamonds is classified as a fancy colored diamond. Fancy colored diamonds offer a sparkling contrast to classic white diamonds and trends are now moving toward many couples using them as a symbol of their unique and everlasting love in engagement rings. Among many famous diamonds there are a few that come to mind when you hear the term ‘colored diamond.’ The Hope Diamond, valued at $250 million, is a fancy dark grayish-blue diamond that has had a controversial history. It was discovered in India and set in the crown of French King, Louis XIV but then stolen and resurfaced years later in London to be purchased by Mr. Henry Hope. After travelling through a couple more owners it was finally presented to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The most vividly green diamond to date is called the Dresden Green Diamond and the rarest of colored diamonds is red with the largest one at a little over 5 carats, called the Moussaieff Red Diamond. At 128.54 carats, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond put yellow diamonds on the map since it was once the largest in size for its intense color. These diamonds were the trailblazers for colored diamonds to be recognized and admired the world over.
Fancy Colored Diamond vs White Diamond Engagement Ring
You may be thinking, well what are the most common colored diamonds or the most affordable if I want to use them in an engagement ring? And the answer will vary based on many factors including the diamond 4 C’s - cut, color, clarity and carat. For classic white diamonds we have discussed these factors at length in our 4 C’s series and for colored diamonds, price will also depend on those factors. However, the GIA uses a different grading scale for colored diamonds which will be discussed in length in our next post, so stay tuned! In general, you can use this rule which states that the value of colored diamonds increases with the strength and purity of the color. So, the more vibrant the color the more rare and expensive the diamond will be but most fancy colored diamonds are lighter in color which does put them in a more affordable range!
We can’t wait to share more about these precious fancy colored diamonds and how to be a savvy shopper when it comes to viewing and comparing colored diamonds for your engagement ring! Forever Diamonds is here to help with all your engagement ring and jewelry questions so please, never hesitate to call or visit us here in Gilbert!