While Diamonds are the traditional choice for engagement and wedding rings, many people are unaware of the options they actually have in terms of color. Most people naturally want a colorless diamond that sparkles, but some diamond enthusiasts often look for different colors.
Throughout history, some of the most famous rings and gemstones have been off-colored. Pink diamonds made waves as a more affordable coloration of diamond that was still aesthetic while purple diamonds offered the rarity that attracted the largest spenders.
Let’s take a look at the various colorations that diamonds can have:
The Various Diamond Colors:
Colorless diamonds are the most popular. Typically, when seeking out a diamond, the buyer wants as little color as possible. Any reddish brown hues will lower the value.
Red diamonds exist, but they’re extremely rare and sought after, making them incredibly expensive.
Orange diamonds get their color from an infusion of nitrogen, but often have a brown or yellow “hue”. The famous Pumpkin Diamond [Link, Nofollow] is a great example of one that was well-formed and might be one of the more beautiful diamonds in history. While the diamond itself isn’t very large, it’s intensity values it at around $3 million USD today.
Yellow and Brown tend to occur in diamonds as a pair and are often viewed as imperfections, though The Allnatt was a famous yellow diamond with inherently gifted coloration.
Purple diamonds tend to be very small as they are caused by crystal distortion. They are also extremely rare and there have been no purple diamonds vivid enough to be noteworthy.
Pink diamonds get their color from the combination of extreme heat and an absorption of green light. As pink is not a primary color, pink diamonds almost always have an off-colored hue (usually orange, brown or purple). These can range from very affordable, if they have a brownish hue, to extremely expensive and have been gaining popularity over the past several years.
Black is not a very popular choice for a few reasons. One is that they’re extremely rare as the diamond basically needs to naturally fuse with graphite. They also aren’t typically very large, though the largest one on record is an absolute monster of a gem at 67.5 carats. Additionally, other gemstones such as Onyx tend to have a more aesthetic feel and are way more affordable.
Blue diamonds tend to be very faint due to the elements (carbon and boron) that have to bond to create the color. These typically have gray or greenish off-hues. You’ve likely heard of the ‘Hope Diamond,’ which is an extremely famous 45 carat gem featured in films. It’s estimated value is unknown as it has a permanent home in the Smithsonian.
Olive diamonds look similar to green ones and don’t typically actually look Olive, though the color doesn’t really have a better descriptor that would be universally understandable. Oddly enough, these diamonds can actually change color when heated or left in dark spaces. We’ve aptly named these ‘chameleon diamonds’.
Steel Gray diamonds tend to look similar to colorless diamonds, but often appear darker. These are very, very unpopular and even a pure-colored diamond of this variation would likely not be too sought after.
And finally, White diamonds. Many people think these are the same as colorless, but their opacity and translucency separate them categorically. White diamonds are special in that they exhibit something referred to as ‘opalescence.’ Essentially, they can adopt the colors of nearby gemstones which is the reason many diamond enthusiasts seek out white diamond variations.
In the end, the most marketable diamonds are Colorless, White, Pink, Yellow or Brown. Colorless is an easy choice for several reasons, mainly that the absence of color is easier to achieve than purely vivid colors.