Coloured diamonds are a popular way to create a unique, statement engagement piece. Colour in diamonds is caused by impurities or defects, whereas colourless or white diamonds are ‘pure’. Colour causing impurities include nitrogen/boron elements or crystal lattice defects during formation. Some colours are more valuable than others based on rarity. Below we go through some of the different colours and their value.
Brown or champagne coloured diamonds are the most common coloured diamond and come in a range of saturations and intensity. The colour is caused by the presence of nitrogen when the diamond is developing. Medium to dark toned brown diamonds with a golden appearance are typically the most prized. The largest diamond in the world is a brown diamond and is called the Golden Jubilee.
The second most common, yellow diamonds are also known as canary diamonds and range from vibrant yellow colours to brownish hues. Yellow diamonds are prized for their brilliance, meaning the most valuable are the ones with the brightest colour. Like brown diamonds, the yellow is caused by nitrogen.
Green diamonds are created when radiation displaces carbon atoms within the crystal structure. Most green diamonds have a skin tone, meaning only the outer surface was directly exposed to alpha radiation and feature a light tone. Diamonds with a vibrant green body colour are much rarer and more desirable. This is caused by direct exposure to beta and gamma radiation.
Pink and Purple Diamonds
Pink and purple diamonds are rare and get their colouring from crystal distortion. Pink diamonds are mostly found in Western Australia in the Argyle mines and come in a variety of saturations. The more vivid the colour, the more valuable. Purple diamonds are only found in Australia and Siberia, are rarely found over 5 carats and rarely feature vivid colours, making them very rare.
Blue diamonds are extremely rare, and like purple diamonds, are rarely found with bright or intense colours. The blue colour is caused by the presence of boron in the diamond and is typically pale in tone compared to the intense blue colour of a sapphire. Blue diamonds with a strong deep colour are among the rarest in the world and are extremely valuable.
Red diamonds are the rarest and consequently most valuable. They are unique in that the red colour is not caused by impurities. Like colourless diamonds, they are made purely from carbon. The red is caused by a rare occurrence in its atomic structure that we don’t entirely understand.
Bespoke Diamond Jewellery
At Hope Diamonds, our experienced custom jewellers can create a diverse range of pieces, from pink diamond rings to yellow diamond bracelets. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to help you discover the ideal piece for you and create it.