Fancy Color Diamond


When we think of a diamond, we customarily will picture the mainstream colorless or white diamond that has become the trademark stone used in engagement rings and wedding bands. However, diamonds come in a vast variety of colors that range from red, yellow, blue, brown, and many variations in between. You might be familiar with likely the most famous fancy color diamond, the “Hope Diamond”, with its fancy dark grayish-blue color, as graded by the GIA. Growing more popular over the years, fancy color diamonds are extremely rare, as only one in every 10,000 diamonds possess these unique hues naturally. There is no denying that these colorful counterparts are extraordinary and beautiful beyond compare.

Contrary to colorless diamonds, fancy colored diamonds become more valuable with the more color they possess. Thus, it is important to note that there are some differences in the grading system for fancy color diamonds and you should be conscious of what those differences mean before making a purchase. The single most valuable quality of a fancy color diamond is the intensity of its color and how evenly it is distributed in the diamond. Other qualities that are revered in colorless diamonds, like the cut quality and clarity, have less importance in the value and quality of a fancy color diamond.


Fancy Color begins beyond the grade Z in the color grading scale. (shown above) While colorless, near colorless, faint and light diamond colors are graded from the face-down position. Laboratory graders assess fancy color diamonds from the face-up or top view of the diamond.

Graders evaluate the hue, tone, and saturation of each diamond.

Hue - Graders evaluate the hue, tone, and saturation of each diamond.

Tone - A diamond's lightness or darkness in relation to body color

Saturation - The intensity or degree of color

Fancy color diamonds are graded with the same primary four characteristics commonly referred to as the “4 C’s”: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. There are some variations in importance, as well as what qualities make a fancy color diamond more valuable and of higher quality that differ greatly from their colorless counterparts. When purchasing a fancy color diamond, it is in your favor to understand what these differences are, so you will know what to look for and what diamond to buy. Such as the fact that while usually cut quality should be your primary concern when purchasing a colorless diamond, it has much less impact on the appearance of a fancy color diamond. For fancy color diamonds, color intensity is the most important characteristic.


Color intensity is the single most important characteristic of a fancy color diamond, increasing its rarity, value, and quality. Obviously, fancy color diamonds are not graded on the same scale of colorlessness, but rather have their own scale that rates the intensity of the color the diamond possesses. This grade also deals with how evenly color is saturated throughout the diamond. Fancy color diamonds are graded on a scale of intensity that increases from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark, and Fancy Deep. The more intense or rich the color of the diamond is, the more expensive it becomes.


Considering that fancy color diamonds are rare as it is, discovering large gems during the mining of these diamonds is even more seldom. You can expect fancy color diamonds to rise exponentially as carat weight increases, because they are even less common than colorless diamonds. It is the second most influential characteristic on the price of a fancy color diamond.


With colorless diamonds inclusions and any imperfections can be more easily seen, simply because they are clear. However, as you can imagine, clarity has less import and influence on the appearance of a fancy color diamond due to its color. The color can easily mask inclusions and imperfections from even being visible.


Usually the cut of a diamond is to optimize the light it reflects to create that fire and brilliance we covet so much. Meanwhile, with fancy color diamonds the cut is utilized to emphasize and enhance the natural color of the diamond. Fancy color diamonds still exude brilliance, but showcasing the natural color of the diamond is the primary objective of the cut.


Fancy color diamonds are graded using the following terms:

Fancy Color Diamond | Bhavin Gems Education

    Fancy color diamond grading is a complex process, and colors are evaluated based on the intensity. Generally, the more rich and saturated the color, the higher the value. Fancy color diamonds that are true to hue with vivid coloration will be priced higher than lighter and less saturated stones.


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