Naturally colored diamonds are considered to be a good long-term investment. There are several reasons why naturally colored diamonds retain or increase in value, such as their durability, unique shade range, and scarcity. Colored diamonds are mined less frequently than "clear" or traditional diamonds. This lack of availability increases their value. However, it is important to note that only naturally colored diamonds have investment opportunities. Manufactured or lab-dyed diamonds are not as valuable.
Colored diamonds are created through the same process as traditional diamonds. High pressure and temperature conditions deep within the Earth initiate a process called "diamond crystallization." Carbon atoms are unionized in a latticed structure, resulting in a brilliant and sparkly gem. Diamonds become naturally colored when trace elements are mixed with carbon atoms during the crystallization process. Common elements that produce naturally colored diamonds like blue, yellow, and green are sulfur, boron, and nitrogen. The exception is pink diamonds, which are formed by a distortion in the stone's crystal lattice. This anomaly is attributed to intense pressure and heat stressing the stone from all sides.
Naturally colored diamonds are real diamonds. During the diamond crystallization process, trace elements interact with the carbon atoms, resulting in unique hues of yellow, blue, and green. Diamonds become pink when intense pressure and heat stress the stone from all sides after the formation is complete. Black diamonds are a result of graphite inclusions or flaws in the stone. Natural diamonds can be equally or more expensive than traditional diamonds due to scarcity. Fewer mines produce colored diamonds, and limited availability drives up the cost. Colored diamonds have continued to increase in value over the past 50 years and are expected to continue to grow as mining opportunities become more scarce.
There are several factors that determine a diamond's value. Gemologists use the 4 C's to assess the quality and price of natural diamonds. Cut, clarity, carat, and color all influence the value of an individual stone. Naturally, colored diamonds that score high in the 4 C's can be more expensive than regular or "clear" diamonds. The added cost is attributed to the availability of colored diamonds. There are fewer colored diamond mines, and the scarcity of these gems continues to raise their value. Comparatively, traditional diamonds are easier to source and therefore can be more affordable.
Yellow and brown diamonds are the most popular colored diamonds. While both of these colors are still less rare than traditional diamonds, yellow and brown diamonds are more common than other colors. Nitrogen causes yellow hues in diamonds, and the depth of color affects the rarity and cost. For example, pale yellow diamonds are the most affordable and commonly mined. However, Canary Yellow Diamonds (vivid yellow) are much more rare and costly. Brown diamonds are also created by traces of nitrogen. Initially, brown diamonds were only used for industrial purposes, but eventually, the warm hues of champagne and chocolate became popular amongst consumers. Brown diamonds are mined in Western Australia and, while they aren't as abundant as regular diamonds, are found more frequently than vibrant tones like blue or green.
Red, blue, and orange diamonds are extremely rare. The hardest diamond color to find is red, with less than 30 mined in the entire world. Red diamonds are formed from an infrequent crystallization process that changes the stone's crystal structure. This rare process causes light to pass through the lattice structure differently, resulting in a deep red tone. Second to red, orange is one of the hardest diamond colors to find. The vibrant color is attributed to two factors: high levels of nitrogen and ground depth. Orange diamonds are mined much deeper than regular diamonds, and scientists believe the higher pressure found in this greater depth causes the orange tone. Finally, blue diamonds are also uncommon. Most blue diamonds appear gray, and very few have enough boron to develop a saturated blue color. As a result, blue sapphires are usually preferred over blue diamonds.
Yellow and brown diamonds are the most common colored diamonds. Both of these stones get their color from nitrogen. While yellow and brown diamonds are more scarce than traditional "clear" diamonds, they are still frequently mined. Pale yellow diamonds are the most common and the most affordable. In comparison, Canary Yellow or vivid yellow diamonds are extremely rare and highly coveted. Despite the ready supply of brown diamonds, these stones only recently gained popularity for jewelry use. Brown diamonds were used exclusively for industrial purposes until jewelry designers in India began pairing the stones with yellow gold settings. Eventually, the warm hues of champagne and chocolate became highly sought after, increasing the value of brown diamonds.
Traditionally, colorless diamonds are considered the standard for wedding and engagement rings. However, as fashion and jewelry trends evolved, colored diamonds have become an alternative choice for engagement rings. You may want to consider a colored diamond engagement ring if your bride-to-be is non-traditional, has a signature color, or loves unique jewelry. In addition, colored diamonds can have special meaning and glamor. For example, yellow diamonds are commonly associated with old Hollywood sophistication, whereas pink is the iconic color of love.
Naturally colored diamonds are mined just like regular diamonds. Certain locations are known for having colored diamonds. Brown diamonds are commonly mined in Western Australia. Fancy color diamonds are usually sourced in India, South Africa, and Australia. However, colored diamond mines can also be found in Brazil, Indonesia, and Venezuela. Naturally colored diamonds are much rarer than traditional diamonds, which can greatly influence cost and availability.