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Colored Diamonds 101 - Information On The Basics

Diamonds are extremely expensive stones used as jewelry by royalties and rich people. Diamonds are judged based on 4 Cs - Color, Carat, Clarity and Cut.

Natural colored diamonds, especially the clear and near colorless ones, are very expensive. To make the beauty of diamonds reach a wider market, jewelers are marketing colored diamonds which are still visually appealing but a lot cheaper in price.

Gemologists have found a way to manipulate diamonds of less quality to alter their colors to create fancy diamonds for sale. This color manipulation process can be achieved by a process called irradiation - a treatment with very high heat to alter colors. Many natural diamonds that are of inferior quality due to blemished color are turned into fancy colored diamonds of vivid yellows, blues, purples, greens, reds and other colors.

When the color of the treated diamonds becomes more intense than the Z grading of diamond, they become categorized into fancy colored diamonds. Some colored diamonds' prices can even surpass that of natural near colorless diamonds especially if the color intensity is very and the color output is rare.

In nature, there are several naturally formed colored diamonds. Most of these are very rare while some are one of a kind.

Fancy Yellow Diamonds get their color from nitrogen impurities. One of the largest fancy yellow diamonds is the Tiffany Diamond which was founding in South Africa. The Tiffany Diamond weighed 287.42 carats when it was found in 1878.

Pink Diamonds are rare and they owe their color to the irregular patterns which cause very tiny imperfections within the structure. There is only one source of rare pink diamonds which is the Argyle Mine in Australia.

Chameleon Diamonds are also very rare. They can change hue from grayish blue or olive green to yellowish green depending on the lighting conditions. When exposed to heat up to 250 C), the color can change to yellowish green or when exposed to direct sunlight, olive green. These changes are temporary.

Green diamonds are mostly found in South Central Africa. These diamonds have been exposed to gamma and neutron radiation for millions of years to get their hue. The Ocean Green Diamond and the Dresden Green Diamond have pure and intense hues.

The Red Diamond is the rarest kind among the colored diamonds. The first discovered Red Diamond is the 1 carat Halpen Red found in the 18th century. Around the world today, there are only fewer than 20 known natural red diamond specimens. The most famous Red Diamond is the Hancock Red Diamond found in Brazil which weighed only 0.95 carats. It was old for $926,000 at an auction. Other famous Red Diamonds are Moussaieff Diamond which weighed 13.90 carats and De Young which weighed 5.03 carats. Red Diamonds in the market today may reach up to $1 million per carat.

Brown diamonds are the cheapest among the colored diamonds. They are very popular nowadays because more people are buying them due to their affordability.

Submitted by:

Kevin Chang

For more information on colored diamonds and loose diamonds




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