Diamonds have long been referred to as a girl's best friend, but they are not just a glittering accessory beloved by the fairer sex. The largest and rarest of these gems have a great deal of monetary value and some, like the famous Hope diamond and the Sancy diamond, are even feared to be cursed. What the Hope and Sancy diamonds have in common other than their amazing values and reported dark history are their unique color. While many consumers sought out the brightest white diamonds for years, these two gems are desirable in part because of their unique shades.
Less famous colored diamonds are now taking center stage with a large pink diamond recently selling at auction for an astounding $32 million. It is worth the effort for both art collectors and jewelry aficionados to educate themselves about diamond colors and their potential investment value.
How it Happens
Foreign particulates like hydrogen, boron and nitrogen are trapped within diamonds as the stones are formed. The altering of the chemical process produces color variations. The chemical that becomes trapped as well as the point in the formation process in which it occurs is what determines the final color.
What to Know
Naturally colored diamonds are more valuable than their traditional counterparts because it is rare. Deeply saturated and brilliant colors are more appealing to collectors. However, it is possible for pale colors to be artificially darkened through a process called annealing that heats and cools the gem to create a more desirable color. Diamonds that undergo this process are still genuine and collectible due to their original color, but they will not have the same value as a gem that is naturally the same dark shade.
How to Value
The diamond color charts normally rate colors on a scale from D to Z. The stones that are rated a D, E and F are colorless diamonds with the "D" rating being the one that is the whitest and most pure. Each letter closer to "Z" is slightly less desirable and less valuable than the one before it. Colored diamonds are measured differently due to the huge variety of colors. The system uses a chart of 12 base colors and then determines where that color falls on a scale of 17 ratings that starts at "faint" and ends at "fancy vivid".
What to Purchase
Investors should choose diamonds that are naturally colored and not enhanced. The darkest natural shades are always more sought after because of their rarity. Red, deep blue and bright pink are less common and yellow is the most common.
It is important to be prepared before making any investment. Diamonds are unlike other items, like gold, that may have an obvious and easy to distinguish value based on weight. The uniqueness of every diamond is determined by its weight, clarity, cut and color. There are a lot of variables to consider, so always research carefully before making a purchase. Contact a company, like Chicago Art House Gallery , for more help.