Coloured Diamond FAQ's

Do the 4C’s – colour, clarity, cut and carat weight – pertain to coloured diamonds the same way they apply to colourless diamonds?

Yes they do to a certain extent, however with natural coloured diamonds, there is a different emphasis on the grading. Colour is measured in hue and saturation. Unlike colourless diamonds, naturally coloured diamonds are graded for a uniform and harmonious colour. With a naturally colored diamond, carat weight will sometimes be sacrificed to get the most uniform colour throughout the cut gem. Often, you will find natural coloured diamonds cut in fancy shapes to enhance the colour of the stone. Clarity is secondary to colour and saturation. Impurities in clarity are more tolerated in naturally coloured diamonds.

What is the colour grading standard for natural coloured diamonds?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades coloured diamonds in this order: Faint, Very Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid with Fancy Vivid as the highest colour grade.

What makes a natural coloured diamond rare?

Out of 10,000 carats of diamonds mined, only 1 carat will turn out to be natural coloured. Approximately 110 million carats of diamonds mined each year, with the Argyle mine in Australia mining 30 million carats. Only 2000 carats will be cut and polished coloured diamonds. There has not been a coloured mine opening in over 20 years, making the supply diminish.

What coloured diamonds are considered the rarest?

The rarest coloured diamonds are red, blue and green. Only a handful of red diamonds have been mined. The blue diamond is the most unseen color in nature.

Why are coloured diamonds such a great acquisition?

Supply and demand is the strongest reason. Demand for coloured diamonds is increasing as supplies are falling. In recent years, popularity of coloured diamonds have increased rapidly with the opening of major Asian markets and well as an increase visibility in pop culture through many celebrities coveting these beautiful and rare gems. DeBeers closed 3 diamond mines in Africa in 2006 and the Argyle mine in Australia is expected to expire by 2020. The newest mines in Canada and Russia are not producing much in the way of coloured diamonds, and there has not been a new coloured mine opened in over 20 years. So with supplies falling and demand increasing, prices have been increasing.

What coloured diamonds have the greatest potential?

Pinks and yellows have very strong potential for appreciation. As the Argyle mine only produces a handful of pink investment quality diamonds a year, and will be shutting down its mines by 2020, and demand is growing dramatically, prices for a pink can reach the levels of blues and greens well into the 7 figure levels. Although yellow diamonds make up 60% of natural coloured diamonds, very high grade yellows have the best potential for growth could offer the best return as they have not yet reached the levels of pink diamonds yet and there is plenty of room to grow. Yellow diamonds are beginning to set records at major auction houses.