Color diamonds are rare and have the intensity of a white diamond, but have the added benefit of a beautiful color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect natural diamond is truly transparent with no hue, or color. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow or gray hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope Diamond) can be dramatically more valuable.
Most diamonds display color from colorless to light yellow, gray or brown. Occasionally a diamond will display natural occurring color that is distinct and more dramatic. These diamonds are known as fancy color diamonds and are valued for their intensity of color. The color in the diamond occurs from trace elements captured within the crystal at the time the diamond was created. For every single natural color diamond found there are 10,000 white diamonds.
Diamonds are scientifically classified into two main types and several subtypes, according to the nature of impurities present and how these impurities affect light absorption. Type I diamonds have nitrogen (N) atoms as the main impurity, commonly at a concentration of 0.1 percent. If the nitrogen atoms are in pairs they do not affect the diamond's color; these are Type IaA. If the N atoms are in large even-numbered aggregates they impart a yellow to brown tint (Type IaB). If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed throughout the crystal in isolated sites (not paired or grouped), they give the stone an intense yellow or occasionally brown tint (Type Ib); the rare canary diamonds belong to this type, which represents only 0.1 percent of known natural diamonds.
Type II diamonds have very few if any nitrogen impurities. Type IIa diamond can be pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies arising through formation during crystal growth—these diamonds are rare (1.8 percent of gem diamonds), but constitutes a large percentage of Australian production. Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1 percent of gem diamonds, are usually a steely blue or grey due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix.
Red, pink and brown hues are created by tremendous pressure within the earth compressing the diamond's crystal structure. Green diamonds and some blue diamonds are created when they are formed in close proximity to natural occurring radiation. These blue and greens diamonds vary from aqua, teal greens, light mint green to grass green diamonds.
Color is determined and described by three attributes: hue, tone and saturation. Hue refers to the actually color that is displayed, such as blue or yellow. Tone is the relative lightness or darkness of a color. Saturation is the relative strength or weakness of a color. These three attributes are used to describe and grade fancy color diamonds. Fancy color diamonds’ value is determined first by color and the clarity. The diamond is described by its color; sometimes a modifier such as yellowish or purplish is used. The terms such as fancy light or fancy vivid describe the tone and saturation of the diamond. There are 27 hues used to describe fancy color diamonds by the GIA.
Many fine natural color diamonds have an accompanying "diamond origin report" from one of the major international gem laboratories assuring its natural occurring origin or in other words that it is an unadulterated naturally color diamond.
The value of the natural color diamond increases with the intensity of the most prominent color within the diamond. Yellow and brown diamonds are more common in color diamonds; pink, green, blue, red, pure orange, and purple diamonds are quite rare and command the highest prices. For instance, there are only six known red diamonds in the public domain.
Color diamonds maintain and increase in value even during an economic crisis. In 2009, during the worst economic times in the last 80 years, the white diamond market value decreased close to 20%, whereas a survey of the auction market for fine color diamonds reveals that they hold their value, and some color diamonds value even increased during the economic down turn.
Thomas Michaels Designers are experts and suppliers of exceptional natural fancy color diamonds and have been doing so for over 37 years.
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