If you keep up with Mark Henry Jewelry, you probably know how much we love a good gemstone. One of our greatest accomplishments is sharing the joys and practical perks of exotic gemstones. This passion for the particulars shows in our pieces.
But what about the unspoken hero of the jewelry world? Allow us to introduce you to the colored diamond.
We’ve explored what makes the quality of a diamond, and we’ll run down the metrics here again to jog your memory. However, there is one thing that sets certain diamonds apart from the rest, and that is the hue. While many believe that the best diamonds are totally and completely clear, there is so much more when you bring in the colors of the rainbow.
Colored diamonds are the epitome of rarity and the marvelous capabilities of nature.
What comes with that rarity is price. Color diamonds, at least fancy colored diamonds, are typically more expensive than even the most beautiful, fine, colorless diamond. Colored diamonds are even harder to come by than their clear counterparts.
The most expensive colored diamond is the blue diamond, coveted for its shade and its unique composition. Let’s set the stage for exploring this stone by adding some background information first.
Gemstone vs. Diamond Diamonds
Before we can differentiate between the value of various colored diamonds, let’s first look at what makes a gemstone different from a diamond.
While diamonds and gemstones are technically both stones, they are in separate categories purely for the sake of labeling. Diamonds have their unique properties that are (for the most part) concrete, while the term “gemstone” is more of a catch-all. Gemstones vary greatly in hardness, colors, and even more minor characteristics like inclusions or specific gravity.
When it comes to fine jewelry, no matter what route you go, you can trust that you are getting what you pay for. Diamonds tend to be more dependable in uniformity, which adds to their appeal. They are timeless and reliable. Even as their rarity wanes in comparison to some fine gemstones, like alexandrite, for example, they never lose their mystique.
This is why colored diamonds have such a high value. They tend to be more expensive than regular diamonds because they compete with the one thing gemstones have that diamonds typically don’t: color!
Gemstones are so beloved because their enchanting colors are a wonderful way to express emotion in jewelry. Colored diamonds’ ravishing range of hues puts them toe-to-toe with even the most saturated of exotic gems.
As we mentioned before, the quality of diamonds is determined by a grade. This grade is issued in the form of a report, which is usually presented to a buyer by the jeweler themself. If your diamond doesn’t come with a certification or a grade, you should independently seek more information on the piece for a small fee.
The Gemological Institute of America constructed the 4Cs method of diamond grading nearly a century ago. It is still the most commonly used scale by which to test a diamond’s quality.
It is broken down into the following scales:
Color is the most important component of the value and quality of a diamond. On the traditional GIA scale, color is graded from D-Z, with D being entirely colorless and Z having traces of brown or yellow. These are not considered “colored diamonds” but simply diamonds with an added, undesirable tint.
The cut of a diamond determines how well it will reflect light throughout or how well light can shine and jump off of its points. This directly impacts the sparkle that diamonds are known for. Brilliant cuts are the best for these stones.
The clarity of a diamond is paramount to its grade. If a diamond has significant inclusions or blemishes, it reduces in price almost immediately. These can fog up the natural sparkle noted above.
The carat weight of a diamond determines how expensive it is and how valuable it is. Even the clearest, colorless, and brilliant diamonds aren’t worth much if they are only .1ct.
Different Gradings Systems for Diamonds
There are other grading scales apart from the 4Cs. The AGS uses a similar system, but they prefer to rank diamonds based on numbers from 0-10 rather than using different letters or labels like the GIA. If the AGS has graded your colored diamond, a 0 score is the best, and a 10 is the worst.
What Are Fancy Colored Diamonds?
Fancy colored diamonds are entirely separate from the world of Z-graded diamonds. They are noted as exceptionally high-quality and are lauded in the jewelry community.
Rating Charts for Fancy Colored Diamonds
Fancy colored diamonds have a specific grading scale. It goes as follows, from worst to best: Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, and Fancy Vivid.
As you can see, saturation and depth of color have a lot to do with the value of a fancy colored diamond. Diamonds get their colors from impurities in their chemical composition, most commonly in nitrogen or boron. If there are issues with the composition of the diamond’s atomic lattice, colors can show as well.
The prized possession of the fancy colored diamond empire is the blue diamond. Not only is it the most expensive colored diamond, but it is also the rarest — by a long shot.
Blue diamonds account for less than 0.02% of diamonds that gemologists have uncovered and graded. When it comes to glittering conversations about glittering jewels, blue diamonds are shrouded in suspense and mystery.
Blue diamonds receive their color from impurities in boron. These impurities are magic in and of themselves. Blue diamonds don’t require an influx of boron in comparison to the typical amount of carbon they are supposed to have. All they need is a small amount of boron to create the classic blue that turns heads and wallets.
Due to gemological research, it is believed that the majority of the Earth’s supply of blue diamonds was lost to the subduction of layers. When oceanic boron moves to the lower mantle, the likelihood of a blue diamond forming significantly lowers. The few stones that we have come from areas where these subducted, boron-rich layers actually came to the surface and did not succumb to destruction in the mantle.
If you are in search of a blue diamond, the best-known source is the Argyle Mine in Australia. It is famous for its wide array of rare diamond pieces.
The Cullinan Mine in South Africa and a part of India also produce blue diamond supply. There was also a 101.5ct notable blue diamond found in Guinea’s Aredor Mine.
A typical blue diamond goes for around $252,000 per half a carat, at the fancy intense grade if it is very slightly included (which still has inclusions visible under 10x magnification). As the color grade increases in vividness and depth, and other relative grades increase, so does the price.
A fancy blue diamond, the most moderately decent of fancy colored diamond grades that is very slightly included. For instance, a 0.6ct would sell for around $126,000. This dip in price, despite the increase in carat and consistency in inclusion quality, shows just how vital color saturation is to blue diamond cost.
Key Blue Diamonds
Some of the best examples of blue diamond notoriety in the jewelry world come from their famous high-priced pieces. The Blue Moon of Josephine Diamond, a fancy vivid stone with a close-to flawless clarity grade, sold for $48.4 million in 2015.
The fancy vivid Oppenheimer Blue Diamond sold in 2016 for $57.5 million. The 45.52ct fancy dark gray-blue Hope Diamond is in possession of the Smithsonian Institution and valued somewhere from $200-250 million.
Colorless Diamond Luxury
Many of the most expensive and most valuable diamonds of all time are also colorless. If you love the age-old beauty of a clear diamond, Mark Henry Jewelry has boundless diamond options. Accompany your diamond with a colorful gemstone to truly make it pop and not forgo any of the wonders of saturated stones!
Begin Your Journey
The best way to start your search for a blue diamond is to prioritize the characteristics that matter most to you. Does the vividness of blue reign supreme, or do you want to sacrifice a shade or two in favor of more carats? Weighing your options, quite literally, can make a blue diamond accessible.
As much as we love our Paraiba tourmalines and turquoise, who wouldn’t marvel at a blue diamond piece to call their own? Be sure to ask your jeweler for help in locating readily-available supplies. Despite rarity concerns, you may be surprised by the options that you can find!