Add a Splash of Color to Your Jewelry Collection

Color Diamonds, a Buyer’s Guide

Fancy color diamonds, of which the deep-blue Hope Diamond is an example, are among the most valuable and sought-after diamonds in the world. Colored diamonds offer a vibrant and quite unique addition to any woman’s fine jewelry collection. In recent years, celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez have shown off their colored diamond rings bringing more attention to these one-of-a-kind stones.

Whether you’re searching for a gift to compliment her exceptional style or want to add an uncommon twist to any celebration, colored diamond jewelry is sure to make a statement. No doubt you’ve heard of the 4Cs (Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat) when it comes to buying white diamonds. If you have not, don’t worry. Colored diamonds are valued using different criteria than those used for regular diamonds. These incredible gemstones are graded on three attributes. Hue, the diamond’s color. Tone, the brightness of the color, and saturation, the strength of the color. The extreme rarity of colored diamonds also impact the value of the stone.

Ring Blue

For those of you who are new to colored diamonds, you’ve come to the right place. At Kay’s Fine Jewelry, we’re here to help guide you through the selection process so you can take all the credit for that distinct statement piece.

There’s an important distinction between Kay’s Fine Jewelry and other jewelers. That distinction, each fancy color diamond we sell is sourced by our own family experts who travel to our cutting factories around the world to hand select and buy rough gemstones. When you purchase colored diamond jewelry from Kay’s Fine Jewelry, rest assured that you are investing in yourself and long term value. Given the many different criteria in selecting the right colored diamond, we highly recommend that you seek out a reputable jeweler.


Begin Your Search for a Diamond Like No Other

When deciding which colored diamond to purchase, only one thing matters – the quality of the diamond’s color. Well that, and of course the preferences of the special person who will be wearing the piece of jewelry. You’ll certainly want to keep them in mind as you discover more about this exciting, new trend in accessorizing.

A bit more on color. Fancy diamond color is described using three attributes:

Hue is the specific color we see, the appearance of red, blue, green, or anything in between. It can be a single color, such as pink, or it can have a secondary color. For example, if that pink diamond had a purple tint, we’d describe it as a ‘purplish-pink diamond.

Tone defines how light or dark the hue of the diamond is. The primary and secondary colors mentioned above are responsible for the tone of the diamond’s color.

Saturation describes the relative strength or concentration of a particular color. Saturation is then categorized using one of nine descriptors: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid. There are many different types of diamonds to choose from, but we’re here to guide you’re the process.


It’s by the combination of these attributes, tone, saturation, and hue that we are able to describe the color of the diamond. Colored diamonds have a range of color strength, and stones with a pure color, those without a tint of another color, are considered rarer and therefore more valuable. Thus colored diamonds are quite different from their white diamond counterparts. In fact, only one in 10,000 diamonds has a natural fancy color, making them rarer than the colorless diamonds we see in everyday jewelry.

That’s a lot of detail to remember when thinking about a diamond purchase. Here are three quick-tips to follow whether you’re buying an anniversary gift or adding a unique piece to your collection.  

Quick Tips


Tip One: Choose a Natural Diamond

Some jewelers will try and pass off “heat enhanced” fancy color diamonds as natural fancy. There is a vast difference in pricing between a natural fancy yellow diamond versus a heat-enhanced yellow one. At KFJ, we are proud to only source and work with Natural Fancy Pink, Natural Fancy Yellow, and Natural Fancy Brown diamonds.

 Tip Two: Only One Thing Matters, The Color

Natural colored pinks, and natural greens with yellows are the most valuable colored diamonds. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Just remember, the purer the color, the better. While the cut of the diamond is less important than the color, fancy color diamonds are usually cut to maximize the intensity of their color rather than to maximize light return. The best cut is one that gives the most attractive face-up color. Again, keep in mind that the colored diamonds rarity will often dictate the price, at least to some extent.

Tip Three: Only Trust a Reputable Jeweler

Since fancy color diamonds are not graded nor priced with the kind of clear guidelines given for white diamonds, it’s best to shop with a jeweler you trust to provide an accurate assessment and a fair price. At Kay’s Fine Jewelry, we are one of the world’s leading authorities on colored diamonds. For more than 30 years, we have provided our family of customers with stellar service and outstanding value.

Yellow Diamonds – humility, hope, and happiness


The yellow diamond gets its unique color from the presence of nitrogen. These molecules absorb blue light, making the stone a yellow shade. Yellow diamonds can range from light to dark, depending upon the amount of nitrogen within its composition.

Similar to other colors within the fancy diamond family, yellow stones may also have a secondary hue such as orange or brown. Pure yellow diamonds with an intense shade are often referred to as canary diamonds. Fancy yellow diamonds, in comparison to the rest of the rainbow of colors, are relatively common. It's this commonality that make yellow diamonds more affordable.

Yellow-Diamond-2These diamonds are fully saturated with yellow and carry no traces of whiteness whatsoever. Yet assessing that yellow color—or any fancy color diamond—is a difficult task best left to a trusted, expert jeweler.


Pink Diamonds – color of passion


One of the most beloved and remarkably rare, pink diamonds symbolize strength, passion, confidence, and power. The only known major source of this rare gemstone is the Argyle Pink Diamond Mine in Western Australia. They produce over 90 percent of the world’s supply.

Adding to its allure, the pink diamond has mystified gemologists as they are not entirely certain how it obtains its color. Unlike other stones in the fancy color diamond family, pink diamonds do not contain impurities that they derive their color from. While the exact cause of the pink diamond’s color remains somewhat of a mystery, it offers gift givers a beautiful stone for pendants, bracelets, earrings, and engagement rings. Pink-Diamond-1With the exception of red diamonds, high-quality pinks are the most expensive natural diamond color. As you might imagine, pink diamonds rise steeply in value and price as their size and color intensity grows. We recommend having a clear budget in mind prior to looking at diamonds and jewelry as this will help to narrow your search.


Brown Diamonds - enduring beauty


Fancy brown diamonds gain their color from small amounts of nitrogen trapped during formation. The higher the nitrogen content, the more intense the brown coloring will be. These diamonds are formed and mined in Australia, Siberia, and Africa and given their durability, brown diamond jewelry make great everyday wear.


Brown diamonds, in addition to their beauty, come in endless shades of color and are often more affordable than other colors. While among the most common of the color diamonds, these brown gemstones paired alongside their white diamond counterparts and set in rose gold make for a rather stunning statement piece that is sure to get noticed.


Blue Diamonds – as mesmerizing as the ocean



Our customers are especially fond of blue diamonds, as they are a reminder of the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean. A blue diamond’s mesmerizing color comes from the presence of boron that might be derived from the oceans.  A sapphire, though often confused, is an entirely different gemstone than a blue diamond.

Each blue diamond is considered rare, but pure colors are even more unique and thus harder to obtain. Those stones with a color combination can still be quite stunning. Gray-blue and green-blue are the most common secondary colors for blue diamonds and are still considered exceptional.Blue-Diamond-1

As you might expect, these rarest of diamonds are usually incredibly expensive. With that being said, the color combination that contains more gray than blue can often be more affordable. KFJ also stocks and sources many heat-enhanced blue diamonds. These diamonds are still very hard to find, but well worth the effort, as they make for a very unique and dazzling jewelry piece that will remind you of the sun-kissed waters of the Caribbean islands.


Purple Diamonds – a head turner


While gemologists have been unable to agree on the cause of the purple gem’s hue, large amounts of hydrogen and boron are present within the stone. Just like with many of the other fancy diamonds, purple stones appear in several color intensity levels and as the richness and saturation increases so does its color grade.

Many purple diamonds contain a secondary color, the most common being pink, pinkish, and grayish. Such overtones typically detract from the overall beauty and value of a diamond with the exception of a purplish pink stone. While these diamonds are not as rare as other color diamonds like red, pink or blue, a pure purple diamond is quite hard to come by.


Green Diamonds – a conundrum of beauty


Due to the formation process, green diamonds are incredibly rare and thus extremely difficult to find. The green color originates from its exposure to radioactivity and the atomic radiation that the stone endures. Holding the gem is not dangerous so there's no need to worry. The color is also impacted by more complex defects involving nitrogen, hydrogen, and nickel impurities.

While pure green diamonds are in high demand, many of these stones contain a secondary color like yellow, blue, brown, or gray. Green diamonds, though not as rare as a pink gem, still present a challenge when trying to find a high quality stone. Much of the world’s current production of natural green diamonds comes from South America and Africa.


Like other fancy diamonds, the price of green diamonds will be greatly affected by variations in color, tone, and saturation. In addition, supply and demand will impact the price of the different colors of fancy stones but so too will the colored diamonds' rarity.


Black Diamonds – most durable


With the popularity of white diamonds, you might be wondering, what are black diamonds? Long before black diamonds were recognized gems for jewelry, they were used for a variety of different functions due to their durability. First discovered by Brazilians, black diamonds are found almost exclusively in Brazil and the Central African Republic. Unlike other diamonds, black diamonds are so full of inclusions or natural colored birthmarks that it paints the entire stone black—giving it a gem-like appearance.


Black diamonds are found in only one color intensity known as fancy black. The feature makes them different from most other colors, which can be found with up to nine different color intensities ranging from faint to deep.

There’s nothing quite like the process of creating a stunning piece of jewelry with black diamonds.


Orange Diamonds – a pumpkin-like gemstone


The main source of the orange color within these gemstones is the presence of nitrogen, which absorbs hints of blue and yellow light, thus creating an orange color. Often referred to as pumpkin diamonds, their stunning, fiery color represents courage, energy, and enthusiasm.

Pure orange diamonds are hard to find and of the fancy diamond family, gemologists consider orange diamonds to be the fourth or fifth rarest color, just after red, violet, pink, and blue. Most orange stones you’ll find contain secondary hues of brown, yellow, brownish yellow, or pinkish.

Fancy vivid orange and fancy deep orange are the color intensity levels that are the most desired and the most expensive. The fancy color you choose should be based on personal preferences as well as your budget.

Red Diamonds – rarest of them all


Its scarcity has led to a high demand as diamond enthusiasts, investors, and collectors vie for these pure red gemstones. Similar to pink diamonds, red stones do not obtain their color from having impurities like nitrogen in their composition.

While gemologists aren’t certain, they believe that the red shade comes from changes to the atomic structure that occurs during the diamond’s journey to the surface. As it is the rarest of all the fancy color diamonds, the absence of the exact origin of the color only adds to the red stone’s appeal.

Another unique characteristic of red diamonds, there are no varying levels of color intensity. As with other colored diamonds, which are graded by terms such as fancy, intense, and vivid, red diamonds are not evaluated on this scale. The color red itself could be considered as a supersaturated level of the pink spectrum.

Mostly red diamonds are so rare that at any given moment there are probably less than a handful available to purchase. If you desire a red diamond, but are not looking to pay such an exorbitant price tag, consider a red diamond with a modifier such as a purplish red.

More and more individuals are seeking to incorporate unusual elements into their jewelry collection and thus the desire for fancy color diamonds has grown. Let us introduce you to a family of diamonds that exhibit rich colors, are far more rare than their white counterparts, and create one-of-a-kind statement pieces. You can explore our expansive collection of colored diamonds or contact one of our expert designers to create a piece that reflects your individual style. We’re here to help you explore the many different types of diamonds.

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