Basics of Fancy Color Diamonds
Natural color diamonds are valued for their greater tone and saturation of color whereas white diamonds, which in reality come in a color range of white to light yellow/brown, are more highly valued the less color they possess. A white diamond containing no color is given a grade of D, and if it contains slight color it will be given a grade Z. If a diamond contains even more color than a Z it is termed a ‘fancy’ color diamond and the grading of fancy color diamonds is carried out using a separate color grading system.
The value of a ‘fancy’ color diamond depends on its rarity and intensity of color. The quality of the cut, clarity and the size of the diamond are also taken into account. When assessing value the size of stone has to be looked at in relation to the rarity of its color. When value is determined in regards to fancy color diamonds, the Color rarity and saturation are more important than carat, clarity and even size.
Grading of ‘fancy’ color diamonds is generally carried out by a gemological lab – one of the best known is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
Grading of ‘Fancy’ color diamonds is based on
· The ‘hue’ or main color such as pink, green or blue, plus the secondary tint if there is one. A ‘pure’ color diamond has no secondary tints and these diamonds generally possess the highest values.
· The tone - which defines how light or dark the color is from very light to very dark.
· The level of color saturation: What is termed a high level of saturation differs between different types of color diamonds – a light diamond can be pastel to vivid, while a darker tone diamond can range from dark to deep.
Anyone thinking of buying a ‘fancy’ color diamond should obtain a valid gemological certificate from a laboratory such as the GIA which specializes in the grading of ‘Fancy’ color diamonds.