HOW ARE FANCY COLOR DIAMONDS RATED?

Colorless, clear diamonds are a true classic; they’re simple yet elegant, gracefully refined, and they do sparkle quite nicely when held up to the light. And like its opaque counterpart, there’s just something about fancy colored diamonds that makes people gravitate towards it as a precious stone choice. Is it the grace? The color? The sparkle?

Whatever it is, fancy color diamonds are slowly gaining popularity. Sales are on an incline and showing no signs of stopping. Classic clear diamonds are still selling – and will probably always be selling – like hotcakes, but make no mistake; fancy colored diamonds are right behind them. Perhaps the only thing stopping them from tying in sales numbers is that fancy colored diamonds are rarer than classic, colorless diamonds.

And that, among other things, is part of what makes fancy colored diamonds so desirable; they’re not easily attainable. In fact, they’re so uncommon, they can go for up to 3 or 4 times the price of a regular diamond of the same size. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.

But how is that price dictated? Simple; by following international gemological parameters. Fancy color diamonds are rated using the 4 C’s – cut, color, clarity, and carat.

CUT

It may not seem like a big deal to those of us who don’t do it on a regular basis, but diamond cutting is no walk in the park. It’s sort of crazy how literally no one else seems to remember that diamonds are the hardest stones on earth, which means that cutting it to perfect shape isn’t something you can do without prior experience.

When one cuts a diamond, they’re also directly affecting the size and shape of the diamond. Effectively, the size and shape can also influence the light travelling through it. The light travelling through it then dictates the richness and intensity of the diamond’s color.

The style of the cut can also influence the color. Most cutters have discovered that combining different types of cuts can enhance, intensify, saturate, and modulate the color of the fancy colored diamonds.

CLARITY

It may seem odd to know that a fancy colored diamond can be rated by its clarity. After all, isn’t its color kind of the whole point? But as mentioned in the earlier section, the light travelling through the stone dictates the intensity of the diamond’s color. The more murky/opaque a diamond is, the harder it is for the light to shine through. This can result in a weaker, less-saturated, or lighter-colored diamond.

COLOR

Fancy color diamonds are – obviously – colored. However, there is a difference in the color intensity for different diamonds. Natural factors such as origin and place of mining have as much influence on the color as factors like cut and clarity do.

The fancy colors are categorized into four different types, according to the hue, intensity, and saturation of the color. The first type is the fancy light – a sort of opaque, dull color. This effect usually happens when the stone is too opaque for light to go through. The second type truly lives up to its name; it’s fancy. Fancy light and fancy are quite similar to each other, given that both are rather opaque and dull.

The third type is fancy intense, and – just as the name suggests –it is quite intense. Saturation is pretty heavy, almost to the point of blinding. And the fourth type is fancy vivid. Much like the previous type, the name fancy vivid speaks for itself.

CARAT

Carat simply refers to the weight of precious stones and gemstones. Fancy colored diamonds in the normal D-to-Z color range are considered rarer and thus will be priced higher if they’re heavy. The lighter a gemstone, the lesser the carat count, the lower the price.

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