June 25, 2012 09:04
| Shopping and Sales
If you mention diamonds to anyone, without a doubt they will immediately think of those beautiful, sparkling, perfectly clear stones that abound in the jewellery world. And yes, clear diamonds are the most popular gem stone used in jewellery today, especially in things like engagement rings, diamond stud earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
Diamonds have a special quality that gives them a lustre that no other stone has. It’s almost like they light up from within. Also, because they are relatively rare, particularly very fine, high-quality diamonds, people aspire to own them; they are a symbol of wealth and glamour.
But certain coloured diamonds are slowly gaining in popularity, especially within the world of celebrities. Pink, yellow, blue, green and what are called Champagne diamonds are probably the most common coloured diamonds used in jewellery making, but black and what are known as chocolate diamonds
are slowly becoming popular too. Despite what a lot of people think, coloured diamonds are even rarer and therefore much more expensive than clear diamonds.
Coloured or fancy diamonds are formed when certain mineral deposits are present around where the diamonds form, deep within the Earth’s crust. Red and pink diamonds are the most expensive diamonds available today, with some selling for over a million dollars per carat! The majority of fancy pink diamonds are mined in Australia. The pink colour can vary from the palest pink to an almost raspberry colour.
The main impurity affecting the colour of a diamond is nitrogen (yellow), but boron also has an effect (blue), as well as exposure to radiation which makes the diamond green. Brown colour is caused by anomalies within the lattice structure of the diamond.
Because of the presence of colour within fancy diamonds, the usual method of grading diamond colour is not applicable. Most of the colours we find will have range within them, from very pale to a much more vivid, intense hue. The standard letter grading system only applies to ‘white’ diamonds, even though towards the very end of the grades, diamonds will be yellowy grey, this is not the same as a fancy ‘Canary’ yellow diamond.
Many coloured diamonds on the market today are synthesised or have been treated in some way to enhance their coloured qualities. These are much cheaper than natural coloured diamonds because of course they are not as rare.
Many coloured diamonds are used in jewellery alongside more traditional clear diamonds as setting them next to other stones without the superior optical qualities that diamonds have can render the piece less of a statement. White diamonds set around intense yellow diamonds are very popular with the more elite jewellers, as are pink and white.
Many fancy diamonds are bought by wealthy investors, especially the larger stones as they are so rare, they are seen to be a good long term investment.