With diamond color, you’ve probably heard that less is more. This is true to a point: Trace colors in white diamonds do detract from the stone’s beauty and worth, but when the earth’s heat and pressure produce natural hues, the diamonds are even more stunning and valuable. Jewelers call these “fancy” colors, and they have never been more popular, which is why we at Vienna Jewelry on Maple Ave. keep our eyes peeled for them when we’re curating.
It is estimated that only one in 10,000 diamonds attains color. Reds, purples and blues are the rarest of the fancies, and can be breathtaking in their intensity. But more common yellows, browns and greens can be just as striking, and a bit more affordable, as you can see from current selections in pawn shops throughout Northern Virginia.
Of the traditional four Cs, Color, which can range from Faint to Fancy Vivid, largely determines a colored diamond’s value. Clarity is often overshadowed by the color, Cuts are kept simple to maximize light refraction, and the rarity of colored diamonds keeps Carat size relatively small. Indeed, when the color is rich and deep, the other three Cs carry little weight.
Because fancy colors occur infrequently in nature, it’s not surprising that synthetic colored diamonds are now being created at a fraction of the price. Color imitation can be achieved by simulating irradiation, varying heat and pressure or adding foreign elements, processes which alter the diamond‘s interior. Diffusion colors only the outer surface of the diamond, which is then easily damaged by scratching or polishing.
Though synthetic stones can be stunning, they do not have the value or rarity of a naturally colored diamond. If you’re seeking a natural fancy, be sure to secure an origin-of-color report, which will identify a stone’s color as nature- or lab-produced; you can ask any jeweler when you buy jewelry in Vienna, VA. Be assured that we will always fully disclose a stone‘s origin, so that you can feel confident in choosing a colored diamond that meets both your taste and budget.