Are Fancy Coloured Diamonds Real Diamonds?

Are Fancy Coloured Diamonds Real Diamonds?

Fancy, or coloured diamonds, are not new. They’ve been around for decades, but are often less common than traditional, clear diamonds. So, are they real diamonds?

Whether you’re looking for a stone to complete your engagement ring or complement a bespoke piece of jewellery, we’re here to help provide some clarity. Read on to find out the true value of fancy coloured diamonds and what you need to know before you start shopping for one. 

What are Fancy Diamonds?

When you think of the word diamond in your mind, the first image that appears for most people is that of a colourless, clear diamond. This is the traditional (and highly-prized) type of diamond that is seen everywhere from jewellery commercials to movies. 

Fancy-coloured diamonds look very different from the traditional appearance of colourless or ‘real’ diamonds in that they can come in a range of vivid hues from blue, green, yellow, pink, red, and even black. 

While they aren’t as commonly seen, fancy-coloured diamonds are becoming increasingly popular among diamond enthusiasts and those who are looking for a more unconventional approach to their jewellery. A 2023 press release from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) found that average prices of fancy-coloured diamonds have continued to rise by 0.4%, achieving a 3.1% increase in the last 12 months. 

Are Fancy Coloured Diamonds ‘Real’ Diamonds?

Coloured diamonds are real diamonds in every sense of the word. 

From the perspective of the untrained eye, many vivid-grade coloured diamonds are often incorrectly thought to be other gemstones — blue diamonds can be mistaken for sapphires, and green diamonds can closely resemble emeralds. 

The truth is that fancy-coloured diamonds are in a class of their own in terms of value. They are discovered in mines across the world just like regular diamonds and go through the same polishing and cutting processes. 

One way to know for sure if a diamond, coloured or not, is real is to check for a GIA certification. This certification is only applied after diamonds are examined by highly trained diamond graders at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is the world’s leading authority on diamond research. GIA-certified coloured diamonds will have an official certificate as proof of their value and authenticity.

Couloured Diamonds Overview

How are Coloured Diamonds Made?

Most fancy-coloured diamonds are created naturally deep in the earth after millions of years of pressure and the right conditions. But where does their colour come from? Good question.

Fancy diamonds are created when certain specific ingredients are added to the mix. The presence of other chemical elements such as nitrogen, sulphur, and boron can significantly affect the structure of the diamond which eventually results in the brilliant, coloured hues of fancy diamonds. 

Lab-grown coloured diamonds also exist and are created through a highly complex and sensitive process that mirrors their natural formation out in the wild. 

Are Coloured Diamonds more Expensive than Colourless?

According to traditional diamond grading standards, the most colourless diamonds often command higher prices. Regular diamonds receive grades for their colour on a scale to classify how colourless they are. 

Fancy-coloured diamonds, however, are measured with a different colour grading scale to measure the intensity of their hue. In order of increasing colour strength and value, these grades are Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light and Fancy to Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep.

Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid graded diamonds often fetch incredible prices, with some soaring way above colourless diamonds of a comparable size. 

Due to their rarity, top-quality coloured diamonds are generally more highly valued (and thus more expensive) compared to colourless diamonds. Differently coloured fancy diamonds will also vary greatly in cost, depending on their colour grade. 

Types of Coloured Diamonds

What Colours do Natural Fancy-coloured Diamonds Come In?  

Colourless diamonds are a classic and timeless choice, but they don’t offer much in the realm of variation.  Fancy-coloured diamonds offer leagues more in terms of colour customisation. 

Diamonds with reddish hues exist, but they are so rare that most red or pink diamonds consistently sell out in the market due to their popularity. Believe it or not, red and pink fancy diamonds can fetch prices of up to $1 million per carat.  

There are also blue diamonds. These form in the presence of boron, and while they may bear some resemblance to sapphires, you can tell blue diamonds apart based on the slight greyish tinge they usually feature. 

Brown diamonds, also known as champagne diamonds, are the most common, making up almost half of the entire coloured diamonds market. Despite being lower priced, they are still very popular for adorning a variety of jewellery types from necklaces to statement rings. 

Green diamonds rarely form naturally, and often don’t carry their hue throughout the entire stone, unlike emeralds. Instead, the green tone lingers on the surface of the diamond, giving it a unique appearance. 

Yellow diamonds, or canary diamonds, can often come in vivid hues that are eye-catching. Being the second most common fancy-coloured diamond, yellow diamonds are usually available for purchase in numbers. 

Lastly, there are also black diamonds. Demand for black diamonds has recently picked up as designers started placing them in combination with colourless diamonds to create a stunning contrast. 

Are Coloured Diamonds Worth It?

With the understanding that coloured diamonds are just as and sometimes more valuable than real diamonds, it’s clear that they are not just pale imitations of what a diamond should be. More and more people are discovering the unique value of fancy diamonds, and the flexibility that they offer especially when it comes to creating custom jewellery or rings.

If you are considering coloured diamonds for a custom engagement ring or jewellery, GS Diamonds has a collection of quality fancy diamonds that have been handpicked by expert gemologists. All of our coloured diamonds are GIA-certified as a guarantee of their authenticity and can be fitted to create your own dream piece.  

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