What are Coloured Diamonds?

coloured diamonds

Diamonds are just like a snowflake – no two are completely alike. Each has its unique shade and set of characteristics, but they do have two things in common: a stunning appearance and a remarkable rarity.

A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue or colour. The colour 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 colouration, a diamond’s colour can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable while intense pink or blue diamonds can be dramatically more valuable.

Diamonds of all Colours

Many retailers have a wide range of various coloured diamond jewellery available and they include white, yellow, black, orange, pink-purple, steel grey, brown, green blue and red. Here at Diamonds Please, we have a vast stock of diamonds, but if we don’t have your preferred diamond readily available, we can source it from one of our reputable suppliers.

Diamonds at the Museum

Currently located in the Natural History Museum, London, can be found the Aurora Pyramid of Hope, billed as “the most comprehensive natural colour diamond collection in the world”. It is a collection of 296 natural diamonds in a wide variety of colours, with a total weight of 267.45 carats (53.490g). The collection has been displayed on loan, by Arora Gems Inc., in a pyramid shaped display case in various major museums since 1998.

White Diamond

white diamond engagement ring
White diamond engagement ring

Unmistakably, the white diamond is the most popular diamond sort and worn by the consumer. Even the most average white diamond will sparkle and shine whether in natural daylight or incandescent light. Therefore, giving great delight to the wearer.

When buying a white diamond, it is quite easy to evaluate which of the qualities is more important. Whether it be the cut, colour, or clarity, there is a diamond out there to suit any budget. Buy a white diamond solitaire ring for an engagement and you can’t really go wrong.

Yellow Diamond

Yellow diamond engagement ring
Yellow diamond engagement ring

The name, Canary Diamond or Canary Yellow Diamond refers to pure yellow diamonds with a strong shade. (When certified by GIA however, the colour description will state fancy yellow in the colour description and not Canary Yellow).

A yellow diamond comes from nitrogen atoms which are within the natural carbon structure. Intense yellow diamonds are mostly mined in South Africa. The symbolic essence of the yellow colour is renewal, hope, sunlight, and cheerfulness. A yellow diamond is said to bring blessings of joy and prosperity in a couple’s life.

Grey Diamonds

Grey diamond engagement ring
Grey diamond engagement ring

Natural grey stones, like all colour diamonds, get their colour from the inclusions of foreign elements during the diamond’s formation under the earth. The grey colour is caused by the inclusion of hydrogen, although it may also be caused by boron.

These stones are sometimes known as charcoal grey, steel, slate, silver or pigeon and are mined in India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

Black Diamonds

Black diamond engagement ring
Black diamond engagement ring

Black diamonds are increasing in popularity because of their offbeat look, due to being strikingly unusual, bold and exotic. They are polycrystalline, which means they are made up of countless tiny crystals, which absorb light and create the black colour. These stones are mined predominantly in Central Africa and Brazil.

Black diamonds are identified with authority, power, strength, certainty and passion. There are now people having the knack of treading an adventurous path, who don’t hesitate in epitomising their love in a unique and distinct manner, becoming trendsetters in their own right.

Brown Diamond

Brown diamond engagement ring
Brown diamond engagement ring

Brown diamonds are the most common colour variety of natural diamonds. Their colour makes them a little less attractive as they have a reduced glimmer and for many years were used for industrial purposes.

These diamonds have been made more attractive to the consumer due to being given attractive names. They are described as champagne, cognac, coffee and chocolate diamonds, which gives them a luxury appeal. In the right setting, perhaps surrounded by sparkling white diamonds, these stones are very appealing.

A luxurious rich brown ‘chocolate’ diamond engagement ring or other jewellery can be associated with a desire for something rich, exquisite, and perhaps just a little bit daring or even forbidden.

Blue Diamond

Blue diamond engagement ring
Blue diamond engagement ring

A blue diamond is at the tip of the second rarest- more than pink but less than red, violet and purple. Not all blue diamonds are equally rare, the stronger the colour, the rarer the diamond. There are ranges of hues from pale shades that mimic a clear sky, to steel blue, to intense deep sea. It is common to see blue diamonds listed with more specific names such as baby, royal, navy or midnight blue.

In blue diamonds, the colour comes from boron trapped in the crystal’s structure. They’re rare, with only about one in 200,000 rough diamonds showing a bit of blue, and far fewer displaying deep colour.

The primary source of blue diamond is arguably the Cullinan mine near Pretoria, South Africa.Blue diamond is the token of peace and good health. So, a blue diamond ring can bring serenity, peace and affection in your life.

Blue colour represents a new beginning, protection, care and strength, all the things we seek in our married life. Therefore, proposing with an engagement ring having blue diamond will show how high you value your relationship.

The Oppenheimer Blue

The world’s most expensive diamond, the Oppenheimer Blue, which, at 14.62 carats, is the largest Vivid Blue sold for more than £39 million, making it the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. It was named in honour of a very special connoisseur — its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer.

The Rarest of them all

Red diamond engagement ring
Red diamond engagement ring

Although all natural fancy coloured diamonds are extremely rare, there are non-more so than the red diamond. These diamonds are made purely from carbon, just like colourless diamonds. The red colour of the diamond is created by a rare deformation in its atomic structure, also known as a ‘plastic deformation’. These diamonds are found mostly in Africa, Australia and Brazil.

Famous Red Diamonds:

The Moussaieff Red Diamond

One which measures 5.11 carats with a triangular brilliant cut and is rated in colour as fancy red. It is the largest red diamond known in the world and was discovered by a Brazilian farmer in the Abaetezinho river in 1990.

Rob Red diamond

Named after its owner Mr Robert Bogel, the 0.59 carat Rob Red diamond is an extremely rare and unique collector’s item. It was presumably found in one of the alluvial (i.e. ancient river) deposits located within the remote interior of Brazil.

The Hancock Red

This diamond is named after Mr Warren Hancock, a diamond connoisseur and is the most famous Brazilian 0.95 carat round brilliant cut red diamond. The diamond was reportedly purchased at auction in 1956 by Mr Hancock for $13,500. When it was put up for auction again in 1987, it sold for $926,000/carat. The previous per carat record for a diamond was $127,000/carat!

The Purple Star

Purple diamond engagement ring
Purple diamond engagement ring

According to British Press reports this stone originated in the Amazon basin and is a rare cranberry-coloured diamond which surfaced in London sometime in 2002. When viewing the diamond, from one angle it appears to have a deep purple colour but when it is slowly rotated in the light, the colour changes to a deep vivid purplish red. This metamorphosis is something totally unique and without explanation in the diamond world. It is believed that the collector was unaware of the rarity of this two to five carat stone when he took it to a London appraiser.

What became of the stone is not known.

Here at Diamonds Please we pride ourselves in providing the best quality diamond jewellery money can buy. Whether it is an exquisite item from our website or a gorgeous bespoke piece, we guarantee you will not be disappointed. Our showroom is based in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham and we welcome any customer enquiries. If a visit to our showroom is preferred, please see our contact details to arrange an appointment.

About Juliet

Juliet has gained over six years of knowledge working in the broker and trade areas of the jewellery industry. She loves to create articles for the Diamonds Please blog which helps customers and anyone else who is interested in the world of jewellery. Juliet is also a professional jewellery photographer.