Natural Fancy Colour Diamonds
Natural coloured diamonds are among the World’s rarest and most beautiful natural resources. They have been regarded for centuries as a symbol of status and power. For the serious collector, there is no more treasured prize than a high quality coloured diamond. The colour in a diamond is produced during its formation and is a result of a number of factors such as impurities, trace elements or radiation. A wide range of colours is available in natural coloured diamonds including pinks, browns, yellows, reds, blues, greens, purples and many shades in between.
Cut to Maximise Colour
The most important thing when deciding on a coloured diamond is the colour. Coloured diamonds are cut to maximise the colour, not the clarity, and most inclusions are hidden by the saturation of colour within a diamond. Value is based more so on colour factors such as hue, intensity and tone. Hue is the basic colour of the diamond, pink, brown, yellow etc. Intensity is the degree to which the colour is present and the more intense the colour the more valuable the diamond. Tone is the range from light to dark colour and a grading scale separates the tone or depth of colour progressively.
Clarity less important than Colour
While each of the four c’s of diamond buying applies to coloured diamonds, one major difference is the relevance of clarity which refers to the clearness or purity of a diamond. Clarity is determined by the number, size, nature, and location of internal imperfections known as inclusions and external imperfections known as blemishes. Clarity is necessary when selecting a high quality white diamond, however this is not so when considering a coloured diamond. Quite often the feathers or small crystal inclusions appear the same colour as the diamond and don’t diminish the colouring. As long as the diamond is considered “eye clean” to an untrained eye clarity is not as crucial. Most colour grading certificates and reports only grade the colour not the clarity. However coloured diamonds that have a strong saturation of colour and a VS or higher clarity demand a premium in price.
Investing in Coloured Diamonds
Coloured diamonds are rare, for every 10,000 carats of diamonds mined, only one carat will be a fancy coloured diamonds. With demand for coloured diamonds continuing to grow and supply diminishing, experts predict coloured diamond prices will continue to increase significantly. Some of today’s most popular coloured diamonds are the purplish pink and pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia which accounts for over 90% of the world's pink diamonds. In 2008 RioTinto shut down all open-pit operations at Argyle and converted to underground mining. The Argyle mine is expected to cease operating in 2018. Experts agree that underground mining will result in fewer quality stones with average size decreasing and overall supply dropping by at least 40%. In recent years natural coloured diamonds have increased 10% to 15% annually.