Everything You Need to Know About Coloured Diamonds

The experts share their advice for buying the rare stones

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What makes coloured
diamonds so special? We spoke to the experts at the luxury British
jeweller Boodles to discover everything you need to know about the
covetable coloured stones...

1. They're sought-after because they're rare. 

Fancy coloured diamonds are not as common as white diamonds, which adds to their appeal (and their value).

2. There's a big difference between a diamond that is slightly discoloured and one that is 'fancy' coloured. 

"Beauty
is always in the eye of the beholder, but everyone sees beauty when the
colour is definite (e.g with yellow stones, when they are 'fancy' and
not just tinted)," says Jody Wainwright, the director and head of
gemstone sourcing at Boodles. The grading of coloured diamonds is
complex, as every stone has a different depth of colour. They are ranked
on a different scale to white diamonds (which are graded from D to Z)
and are classed as 'coloured' if they are found to be more intense in
hue. The coloured diamond scale grades from 'faint' and 'very light',
through to 'fancy light', 'fancy', 'fancy intense', 'fancy vivid'
and 'fancy deep' - although it's worth noting that the latter is less
valuable than 'vivid' as the colour saturation is too great. This is
then cross-referenced by colour (for example blue, bluish-green,
blue-green or green). Diamonds have to reach a certain colour saturation
before they can be classed 'fancy'.

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3.The coloration of a diamond is the result of external influencers on the stone.

"The
coloration in diamonds is caused by the addition of different elements
and conditions," explains Wainwright. "For example, green diamonds are
caused by natural irradiation; blue by the addition of Boron; and yellow
by the addition of Nitrogen. The cause of pink and red diamonds is
largely mysterious, though some evidence has found that high pressure
and heat can result in the deformation of structure."

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4. The coloration of a diamond has an enormous impact on its value.

Essentially,
the brighter and more colourful, the better. "For example, a fancy
orange-pink diamond might be less than half the value of a fancy
purple-pink stone," says Wainwright. "Why? Purely because the purple
boosts the pink, giving it a more desirable colour, while orange can
take it towards a more brownish hue."

5. Red diamonds are the rarest. 

Equally,
they are the most expensive. "Green diamonds are not far behind this
[in terms of rarity]," explains Wainwright. "But blues and oranges take
the second-highest value."

6. The setting of a coloured stone is just as important as the stone itself.

"Coloured
diamonds range from very subtle pastel hues through to intense and
vivid colours, so the choice of which particular shade of gold – and
there are many variations – will best complement the colour of the stone
is important, as is the decision on which other gems to cast
alongside," says Rebecca Hawkins, head of design at Boodles. "It's
important to consider, for example, whether to add definition by
contrasting it with pure white diamonds or to create a harmonious mood
by mixing gentle nuances of colour. The aesthetic of the design needs to
celebrate the coloured diamond without over powering it."

7. Buy carefully.

As
with white diamonds, there are no papers authenticating the origin of
a coloured diamond, which means it's even more important to buy from a
trusted source, like Boodles, which has 218 years of experience. Unlike
white diamonds, which are graded with very fine parameters, coloured
diamonds need to be valued first-hand by an expert as there's such a
wide scope within each category.

8. They were made to be seen.

It's
all too tempting to store fine jewellery away where it can never be
harmed, but coloured diamonds were made to be seen – so wear them. "If
you are fortunate enough to have a quiver of coloured diamonds, I would
wear them as and when you so desire," says Wainwright. Hawkins agrees:
"Colour is naturally very evocative and imbues diamonds with a poetic
quality, giving the effect of an imaginative and emotional style of
expression. They can be both dramatic and dreamy, and I don't
think should be reserved for any particular occasion – it is more about
the wearer."

Via

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