If you love the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond, and are dazzled by the alluring hues of colored gemstones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, then maybe it’s time for you to consider a growing trend in the world of jewelry – colored diamonds.
Historically, celebrities, royalty, and other aristocrats have worn these unique gemstones, but times are changing and these rare gifts from nature are rapidly gaining popularity among today’s jewelry lovers as well. Deep blues, rich reds, and glorious greens are the rare and expensive colors that make up the rainbow of what are often called “fancy colored diamonds.” More affordable, and quite beautiful yellows, orange and even brown have won popularity with fashion designers and consumers.
The increased popularity in colored diamonds can be illustrated by the surge of requests for grading of these gemstones at GIA (Gemological Institute of America), the world’s foremost authority in gemology. “Although colored diamonds have been around for decades, the dramatic increase in their place in the consumer market in the last decade is unprecedented,” said Tom Moses, senior vice president of GIA Laboratory and Research.
In 1953, GIA created the International Diamond Grading System™, which is recognized today worldwide by virtually every professional jeweler in the industry. This system rates diamonds based on the 4Cs – color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. The GIA color scale ranges from D, which is absolutely colorless, all the way to Z, which includes diamonds that are light yellow and brown in color. Yellow and brown Diamonds that fall out of the D through Z color range, as well as diamonds of other colors, such as blue, pink or green, are categorized by GIA as colored diamonds or, as many people in the jewelry trade refer to them, “Fancy Colors.”
The grading of colored diamonds is conducted by a team of highly specialized GIA gemologists who examine the diamonds utilizing comparison masters. GIA’s nine-tiered rating system for color ranges from Faint to Fancy Vivid. Among the most famous colored diamonds are the Hope, a 45.52-carat blue diamond at the Smithsonian Institution – graded as Fancy Deep gray blue on the GIA scale – and the 41-carat Dresden Green Diamond, both fabled in their cultural history.
Naturally occurring colored diamonds, such as the Hope and Dresden, are very rare and therefore command top prices; diamonds that have been color-altered by laboratory treatment are less rare, and therefore less valuable. The “origin of color” of a colored diamond (that is, whether its color is natural or laboratory-treated) is disclosed on a GIA Grading Report.