The color scale of a natural colorless diamond is graded from D - Z. However, close to where the colorless scale ends, the fancy colored diamond scale begins. In fact, "Cape diamonds", which are stones that fall within the X- Y– Z range of the colorless scale, contain quite noticeable traces of yellow or brown color tones. This is actually the beginning of the Fancy Yellow Diamond and Fancy Brown diamond color scale.
Fancy Yellow diamonds (otherwise known as Canary diamonds) and Fancy Brown diamonds (otherwise known as Cognac or Champagne colored Diamonds) are the only color diamonds that start from within the colorless grading scale.
Yellow Colored Diamonds starting from Cape colors (4 stones on the left are from the U-V through X-Y-Z range) continuing to Fancy Light Yellow , Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Vivid Yellow and Fancy Deep Yellow
Fancy yellow diamonds are graded according to the hue of yellow color within the stones. In general, diamonds at the top of the scale contain the weakest tone of yellow and are known as Light Yellow Diamonds. These stones are dominantly yellow but with almost equal traces of white throughout the stones. At the other end of the scale, stones that contain the strongest tones of yellow are known as Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamonds. Vivid yellow diamonds have no white traces and, depending on the color saturation and distribution, contain an extremely yellow color throughout.
The fancy yellow colored diamond scale is not as simple as a straight line with different shades of color. Pure Yellow diamonds with no overtones are found with six different color grades: Light (X-Y-Z range), Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep - and all are 100% completely natural. Yellow diamonds with overtones, can also appear with a Fancy Dark intensity.
Sometimes, the cut of the diamond actually enables a better intensity of color to show from the finished product, hence the importance of purchasing a diamond from someone you trust.
While Yellow diamonds are still extremely rare, as a result of how abundant they are in comparison to other fancy colors, their prices are competitively affordable. In fact, there are many that feel that going with a fancy yellow diamond is a perfect introductory to the fancy colored diamond world since the appearance is magnificent while the cost is not as extravagant.
The most popular shades are Fancy Yellow and Fancy Intense Yellow stones and for those who can afford also Fancy Vivid Yellow.Secondary Hues
A pure or straight fancy colored stone with only one color is preferred, but most colored diamonds contain one, two, or even up to three overtone colors. The secondary shades most common in fancy yellow diamonds are green and orange. The pure dark tones often contain brownish or greenish hues.
Whereas most prefer a pure colored stone, certain color combinations, such as an Orangy Yellow, can really be quite mesmerizing.The image below reflects all the different possible hues and intensities with Yellow as the main color:
1st row: Cape, Pure Yellow,
2nd row: Orange Yellow, Orangy Yellow, Brown Yellow, Brownish Yellow, Brownish Orangy Yellow.
3rd row: Brown Greenish Yellow, Brownish Greenish Yellow, Greenish Yellow.
4th row:Green Yellow, Grey Greenish Yellow and Greyish Greensih Yellow.
The color of the diamonds is defined by a number of characteristics. By definition, a perfect colorless diamond has no additional chemical traits, a structurally perfect form, and absolutely no color at all. However, locating such a stone is nearly impossible, if it even exists. Different compound elements in the stones produced some of the most exquisite fancy colored diamonds, and the demand for these colored diamonds has grown.
From left to right: Fancy Vivid Pink, Fancy Vivid Green, Fancy Vivid Blue, Fancy Vivid Yellow, and Fancy Vivid Purple
The color is affected by structural defects in the crystal lattice that can influence the optical transparency, and the addition of chemical impurities contained in the stones composition. For example, the greater the element of nitrogen (N) found in the composition of the stone, the stronger the presence of a yellow color will be. The greater the element of boron (B) found in the composition of the stone, the stronger the presence of a blue color will be.
It has been said that fancy color diamonds can be found in every color of the rainbow. The combination of secondary colors and various intensities in the stones makes fancy colored diamonds so unique. What is so amazingly interesting is the fact that in all the fancy colored stones, each one has its own unique characteristics.What is Diamond Color
The colors present in the diamonds composition are created by the compound elements within the stones. The composition of these elements is specifically what makes these stones so magical.
The various diamond colors found are blue, pink, yellow, orange, green, brown, grey, black, purple, violet, white, and the rarest red. However, as rare as colored diamonds are, pure or single colored stones are extremely difficult to acquire. Most colored diamonds are combinations of certain colors and are known as "Scondery hues" or "Over-tones".
The only natural fancy color diamonds that have the ability to temporarily change colors are known as chameleon diamonds. These stones are not actually a color of their own. However, they are sold in their own class because of their outstanding ability to change from one color to another.
The color of these stones changes temporarily when gently heated, or when left in darkness for a period of time. Chameleon diamonds always have diamond fluorescence and the dominant color will always be Yellow, Green Brown or Grey. The diamond color may contain overtones with different combinations of gray, green, yellow, or brown.
Identifying exactly what colors are present in the stone is somewhat difficult by the untrained eye. However, diamond professionals use systematic methods to identify the exact colors of the stones. The three attributes that are used when assessing a diamonds color are the hue, the tone, and the saturation.
Together, these characteristics are all measured and adapted to qualify the stones as a specific grade on the color scale.Assessing the Value
The characteristics used to assess the value of a diamond are different from those used to assess the color of the stones. The 3 attributes that have the greatest impression on the value are the rarity of the color, the intensity of the color, and the size of the diamond.
The characteristics noted above are all measured and used to quantify the value of the diamonds. Needless to say, the value is connected to market demand. However, diamonds will always remain the same. Their color will never fade and their value will never fall. Diamonds are some of the few permanent valuable assessts that remain.
1. The main color of the diamond
2. The secondary color of the diamond
3. The intensity of the color
The main color, and if there is a secondary color, together define the color tone, however the strength of color is defined by the intensity level. The intensity level can be anywhere from a very soft shade to a very strong shade, and the stronger the shade the more valuable the diamond is. GIA developed an intensity grading scale in order to categorize the intensity levels in the diamond. The nine grades in the scale are;
For example, the following image depicts the full scale of color intensity in Pink, Blue, and Green color Diamonds. It is clearly shown that the intensity scale begins with very soft colors and progressively displays a richer color stone.
However, it is important to understand that not every diamond color appears in all intensity levels. For example, Orange diamonds cannot be found in Faint, Very Light, or Light intensities. Only Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep.
The GIA also defines how well the color and intensity is distributed throughout the stone. A diamond certificate will specify 'even' or 'uneven' according to the percentage of the color distribution.
The intensity of the color has a direct affect on the value of the stone. For example a Blue diamond or a Pink diamond, which are of the rarest in the fancy colored diamond family, are quite costly and difficult to find. However, there is a significant difference between a Fancy Light Blue and a Fancy Vivid Blue or a Fancy Light Pink and a Fancy Intense Pink.
Since there is such a wide range of colored diamonds, even stones of the same intensity can look quite different from one another. At Arihant Star., the intensity of each diamond is graded on a scale of 1-10. The 1-10 scale breaks down different stones of the same intensity grade between a weaker or stronger color.
Exactly what color intensity a diamond will have will not be able to be determined from the rough stone. However, the greater the color intensity of the rough, the greater the intensity of the polished diamond will be. How intense the color will be is also greatly affected by the diamond cut and shape of the stone. Also, the way colorless stones are being cut (Brilliant cut) is different from how Fancy Color Diamonds are cut (Modified).
The origin of the diamond is also another factor that affects the color intensity. Different diamond mines produce different shades or tones of colors. For example, a Pink diamond found in India or South Africa can’t compare to a Pink diamond found from the Argyle diamond mine in Australia.
Diamond color is a Fancy Colored Diamond’s most significant characteristic. In fact, unlike a colorless diamond where the 4C's (carat weight, clarity, color, and cut) are all equally important to the overall value, the color characteristic plays the most important role in the value of the diamond.
With white diamonds the absence of color is what makes the diamonds so precious. However, in the case of fancy colored diamonds, the presence of color and the intensity of how it shines is specifically what increase the value of the stones.
Most of the natural fancy color diamonds found are not a single or pure color. Some diamonds have a combination of two, three, and sometimes even four colors within the composition of the stone.
The white diamond grading system measures the amount of color present in the stone (or actually the absence of color), and breaks it down into six definitive categories.
In fact, the very end of the white diamond color scale is where the fancy colored diamond color scale begins. The last two groups in the white diamond color scale are referred to as Cape diamonds, which are actually Very Faint or Very Light Yellow or Brown Diamonds. However, Fancy Colored Diamonds are graded on a different scale altogether. As opposed to single letter grades, colored diamonds are referred to by the actual colors within the stone.
When assessing a fancy colored diamond, there are two major characteristics that define the color of the stone.
• The Color
• The Intensity
There are twelve different main fancy colors. Colored diamonds can contain one single pure color or be combined with one, two, or even three overtones.
The intensity of the color is described as how strong the color is shown in the diamond. The color can be anywhere between a soft whisper to a strong vivid shade. GIA developed an intensity scale to properly define the intensity level of the diamond.
Though the carat weight, the cut, and the clarity are all extremely important factors of the diamond quality, the color and intensity of the diamond are the most relevant characteristics with regards to the value of the stone.
The fancy colored diamond grading scale was developed by the GIA in the mid-1970s. With the growth in popularity of fancy colors, the industry required some sort of a standardized list in order to better define and understand the stones. Unlike colorless diamonds, because there are so many color combinations available, the decision was made to grade natural fancy colored diamonds with a description as opposed to a letter.
White stones, on the other hand, are graded on an alphabetic scale. Many years ago people used various color grading systems including Roman and Arabic numerals to grade their diamonds. Others used an 'A, B, and C' scale where 'AA' and 'AAA' would have been given to higher grade stones. In 1953, a man named Richard T. Liddicoat, from the GIA (The Gemological Institute of America), developed a standardized grading scale that measured colorless stones from 'D-Z.' The letter 'D' was chosen as an appropriate start for the scale as not to confuse it with 'A' that existed prior. Also, since it was the first letter in the word 'diamond,' it seemed to fit its position.
The greatest thing about diamond color is that it never fades. A diamond can be stored for years, and other than simply wiping the diamond clean it will sparkle as much as it did the day it was first polished. Diamonds really are forever.