It takes 250 tons of earth to be sifted to find one carat of rough diamond crystals. Only one diamond crystal in a million carats mined will be large enough to cut into a one carat diamond. Diamonds have been found in every color of the rainbow. If the color is vivid the diamond is considered a fancy color. Fancy colored diamonds are priced based on the rarity of the color.
Most diamonds exhibit a slight tint of color, typically, a light yellow or light brown. The lighter the tint the more rare the gemstone. Therefore, a colorless diamonds graded D on the GIA color scale will command a higher value than a diamond that is in the near colorless range, graded as H.
Today there are many treatment used to enhance colored or mask the the extent of inclusions in diamonds. Diamonds can be drilled with a laser and then boiled in acid to bleach the color from dark inclusion.
Diamonds can be filled with a glass like substance that masks the location and appearance of internal fractures. Clarity enhanced diamonds are not as durable as untreated diamonds.
Repair work or cleaning performed on an item of jewelry containing treated diamonds is limited by the nature of the foreign material used in the treatment process.
Diamonds can be exposed to radiation salts, subatomic particles in a cyclotron or to neutron bombardment in an effort to improve the stone’s color. Often these colors are more vivid than the colors found in nature.
Diamonds can be coated to improve color. A coating that resist ordinary solvents can mask a diamond’s yellow body color.
It is best to purchase your diamonds from a trained gemologist that is able to identify these treatments and protect you from purchasing a treated diamond at an untreated diamond’s price.
The art of grading a diamond for value takes years of training and more years of experience. If you don’t know diamonds, choose your diamond dealer with care. Look for individuals who are Graduate Gemologists or Certified Gemologists with the American Gem Society
There is something truly remarkable about diamonds. Even after working in this field these last many years I can’t explain the phenomena.
A diamond stands alone as the most cherished of stones. It symbolizes love, romance and commitment. It’s a girl’s best friend. It can be worn day or night, with any outfit, it’s never out of place.
It’s the perfect gift for an engagement, anniversary or just because, “I love you”.
Universally, one of the poorest things we do in the jewelry industry is explain value. The consumer often equates a lower price with higher value, unfortunately, this is often not the case.
Please take the opportunity to scan our articles about diamonds, diamond grading and diamond value. I believe you will find the information informative and entertaining.
In 1985 production from the Argyle Mine in Australia took the international diamond market by storm. Suddenly there was a large supply of brown tinted diamonds entering the supply chain. This created a problem. Prior to this event most of the diamonds bought and sold in the market had a tint of yellow. The few brown tinted diamonds sold were graded using the universally color grading system which was based on grading yellow tinted diamonds. This was an imperfect solution only acceptable because there were so few brown tinted diamonds. Suddenly there was a bountiful supply of brown diamonds and the diamond trade was coping with ways to grade these diamonds for color.
That brings us back to the Argyle mine. They were the owners of a large supply of strongly brown tinted diamonds and they, needless to say, wanted to sell them. The simplest approach would be to sell the diamonds for use in industrial applications. This of course would result in the lowest return. Instead they choose to market the color as as a benefit not a liability. Thus, the term “champagne color was born”. Today the phrase “chocolate diamond” is used as well. It seems in the diamond buying public there are more lovers of chocolate than champagne, I for one will admit to this fondness. Fortunately for Argyle the mine produce a ready supply of diamonds with more intense color . These fancy color diamonds have facilitate the adoption of the lighter tinted brown diamond in the marketplace.
The Argyle Mine introduced their own color grading system. I have attached a copy of their system here.
Brown Diamond color chart created by the Argyle Mine.
The scale is unfortunately too simplistic. These images should illustrate the problem.
From left to right – Fancy pink brown, fancy orange brown and fancy yellow brown
The Gemological Institute of American chose to develop their own system . The GIA system has its own critics. Still it remains the preferred approach for grading fancy color diamonds.
So, that’s the story on brown diamonds, at least that is how I remember it.
Today we have a large selection of color from which to choose how could this be interpreted as anything other than good news?
Color range of the fancy color diamonds found at the Argyle Mine in Australia.
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For those of you lucky enough to be born in April, your birthstone is diamond. The rest of us can also enjoy diamonds as they have the greatest universal appeal of all gemstones. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone – rated 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale- making them an excellent choice for everyday wear. A diamond reflects the rarity, brilliance, and breathtaking fire of a gem that has survived a journey of billions of years for the pleasure of adornment.
What lady doesn’t “need” diamond stud earrings? They are one of the basic necessities of life!
Diamonds typically have a tint of yellow or brown color.
Most diamonds exhibit a tint of color. The color is usually yellow or brown. Diamonds, can also be tinted, blue, green, red and brown. These diamonds are called fancy colored and are extremely rare.
Diamonds with a light yellow or brown tint are the gemstone we commonly find in jewelry.
Today, diamonds are typically grade on a scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America. The scale runs from totally colorless to light yellow. A totally colorless diamond would be graded as a “D” At the opposite end, a light yellow diamond would be graded as “Z”.
Subtle differences in color have a profound impact on price. The less color, the rarer the gemstone and the higher its value.
The color in a faint yellow or faint brown diamond is often masked by mounting the gem in a yellow gold setting. White metal often enhances a fancy colored diamond. Cutters often leave a large culet on pear, oval and marquis shaped diamonds to enhance color.
The Gemological Institute of American has an impressive flash point presentation that illustrates the color range of diamonds typically found in jewelry. I would encourage you to visit the site and view the animation.
[button link=”http://gia4cs.gia.edu/EN-US/diamond-color.htm”]GIA – Diamond Color[/button]
GiA color grading annimation
The clarity grade of a diamond is assigned by trained professionals, based on their visual examination of the gemstone under 10 power magnification. The size, location, number and color of inclusions all impact on the clarity grade.
Some ask, “If you can’t see it why is it important.”
To answer this question properly we must first examine why we facet a gemstone in the first place. A diamond is cut to maximize the return of light.
Think of it like a house of mirrors. We want the light that enters the diamond through the top to to be reflected off the facets on the bottom of the stone and then returned to our eyes. Obviously anything that gets in the way of the transmission of this light will decrease the brilliance of a diamond. The more inclusions the less brilliance.
The fewer inclusions, the rarer the gemstone and the higher the value.
Diamond is the birth stone for the lucky folks born in April as well as the traditional anniversary gift for the tenth year of marriage.
The allure and history of diamonds is nearly as fascinating as its unmatched beauty and elegance. Truly the king of all gemstones, diamonds offer clarity, brilliance, and breathtaking depth like no other gemstone.
Diamonds are the most classic, treasured and sought after of all jewels.
Over the centuries, the diamond has evolved as a symbol of impenetrable and enduring bond of love. They receive a perfect “10″ on the Mohs hardness scale for gemstones yet their appeal goes far beyond their durability. This is another factor that makes diamonds ideal for marking life’s most importance occasion, from the birth of a child to milestones like graduation or a major promotion or retirement . . . not to mention the most common use of diamonds; a symbol of a couple’s love, devotion and commitment to each other as they begin their life together!