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5 Reasons to Not Buy Colored Diamonds

When you think about diamonds, chances are you’re thinking bright white, crystal clear, and blingy as all get out, right? We know you. And we know you’re falling for all those rom-coms with their oversized rocks. But we also know you like to stand out from the crowd like the one-of-a-kind human you are. So, when you happen across, say, a green diamond, you’re intrigued. Are colored diamonds real? Natural? Expensive? After all, if J. Lo can do it, why can’t you? 

Well, you totally can, darling. But beware: shopping for colored diamonds isn’t for the faint of heart. While celebs are certainly pushing their popularity forward, high quality colored diamonds can be hard to come by. Wondering what’s not to love about buying a colored diamond? A few things actually! Here’s a bit about colored diamonds along with a few reasons you might reconsider dropping your hard-earned dollars for one.

What Are Fancy Colored Diamonds Anyway?

In the diamond and jewelry industry, the official name for non-colorless diamonds is “fancy colored diamonds” and this includes any diamond that has more body color than the standard D-Z color range. Fancy colored diamonds come in a full rainbow spectrum, including green, blue, pink, purple, yellow, orange, brown, gray, and black. Yellow and brown are the most common color of fancy diamonds and are widely available. And when you consider that only a few diamonds out of every 100,000 will have natural fancy color to it, that’s pretty spectacular.

Fancy colored diamonds add a special touch to an engagement ring. Here, an Asscher blue color diamond sparkles.
Colorful diamonds are exceedingly rare, and blue colored diamonds even more so. The odds of finding a blue color diamond with a high diamond color and clarity grade in a mine are 1 to 10,000.

A peachy-pink colored diamond with a cluster of melee pear and pave diamonds
Think pink! When paired with romantic rose gold, pink colored diamonds will bring a pink-y blush to your loved ones cheeks.

The Cost of Colored Diamonds

Often the first question we get about these rainbow-hued gemstones is “are colored diamonds more expensive?” The answer? It depends. In general, the per-carat price of fancy colored stones is more than colorless diamonds. However, the diamond’s individual quality characteristics—color, cut, clarity, and carat weight—will ultimately determine its price. So a low-saturation and included yellow diamond might still cost you less than a high color and clarity colorless stone.

Remember, what you’re really paying for in colored diamonds is the rarity, intensity of color, and size. Why? Because larger, well-colored stones are more rare than smaller carat colored diamonds. So should you buy a fancy colored diamond, you’ll need to have the budget for a big price tag. Assuming you want quality, of course. 

Making the Diamond Color Grade

Colored diamonds are real diamonds. They come by their color naturally, from trace elements present during the diamond’s formation. For instance, boron creates a blue diamond, while nitrogen creates yellow. And while you can also find color-treated diamonds on the market, these treatments are not always permanent. As such, color treated diamonds should also always be fully disclosed at time of purchase.

Just like their colorless counterparts, independent laboratories grade fancy colored diamonds to produce an authentic grading report and diamond certificate. A fancy diamond color grade is the essentially the combination of the diamond’s hue (purple, pink, green, etc.), tone (light to dark), and saturation (the intensity of the diamond’s color). And while colorless diamonds are color graded face-down to prevent the eye from being distracted by its brilliance, fancy color diamonds are graded face-up. This allows the grader to best interpret the intricacies of the diamond’s unique color. Just remember to ensure that a reputable diamond grading laboratory, such as GIA or AGS, grades your diamond color and clarity.

An illustration describing how diamond's receive their color grade. Tone runs vertically as saturation and hue run horizontally.
The lower the saturation and lighter the tone, the more likely the eye will not be able to discern color. The gray band on the chart shows demonstrates this within a 3D context. Chart via GIA
A brown fancy colored hexagonal diamond with double claw prong setting.
What is the best color for a fancy colored diamond? That is up to you!

The Best of the Best: Colorful Diamonds Edition

Many will wonder, “but what are the best colorful diamonds,” and darlings, you’re not alone. We sure wish there was an easy answer for you, but there really isn’t. While colorless diamonds can be pretty easily compared to determine the “best”, personal preferences aside, that preference parameter goes way, way up when shopping for colored diamonds. For instance, some folks might prefer a brownish-pink hue while others prefer a purplish-pink. Some might want a pale, bluish-green, while others a vibrant, deep yellow.

Ultimately, in order to choose the best colored diamond for you you have to first decide what you like and how much you want to spend. Stressed? Don’t be. Simply work with a trusted jeweler to source the highest quality colored diamonds.You’ll find your dream diamond in no time at all. Frank Darling’s Diamond Concierge can help you with just that. 

Rarified Air

Whether you’re working with a diamond expert or searching the interwebs on your own, keep in mind that colored diamonds are super duper rare stones. Only 0.1 percent of diamonds in the world have body color saturated enough to identify as a fancy colored diamond. With nearly 30 body colors (and more than 200 unique color combinations), the choices can feel a bit daunting. Yellow and brown diamonds are going to be the most common colors on the market. You may also find these with fancy names like “champagne diamonds”, “cognac diamonds”, or “chocolate diamonds”, which are really just a way to market these colors to the masses.

On the more rare side of things? Red is the rarest diamond color, with green, purple, and orange following close behind. The most sought-after colors are pink and yellow. While some colors get their hue from trace elements, pink diamonds have stumped researchers as to the origin of their color.

Folks at GIA have theorized that their color may result from color centers. AKA imperfections in the crystal’s atomic structure that selectively absorb light in the visible region of the color spectrum. While the appeal of finding a super rare color might be high, you’re never going to find two colored diamonds that are exactly alike. See a colorful diamond you like? You should scoop it up while you can!

An emerald cut, yellow gold fancy colored diamond.
A fancy yellow diamond is a fantastic way to accentuate the buttery gleam of a yellow gold setting.

Saving Your Pretty Pennies

If you’re not willing to break the bank to purchase a natural fancy colored diamond, don’t worry. You have options!

Bottle blonde and lab blue

lor is with lab grown diamonds. Lab diamonds can save about half the cost of a similarly-graded natural stone, and still have all the same optical, chemical, and physical attributes. Plus, because these stones develop in a controlled laboratory environment, scientists are able to manipulate their color during the growing process. The result is a stunning range of hues for you to select from with an affordable price tag. As a bonus, lab diamonds maintain less impact on the Earth’s resources than the mining of natural diamonds.

A pink diamond pleases with bezel settings.
Seven sapphires and diamonds are stacked asymmetrically on top of the other.
A seven stone vertical sapphire and diamond ring? Don’t mind if we do!

Want colored diamonds? Go for gems instead

If you’re looking for a colorful engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry and open to stones other than diamonds, there are a ton of beautiful colored gemstones to consider as well. But not all gemstones are equal and some aren’t necessarily suitable for everyday wear like diamonds.

Sapphires, a popular choice for engagement rings, are a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Buying a sapphire engagement ring is a pretty safe choice for something you can wear day in and day out, and sapphires come in a surprisingly wide range of colors too, not just blue. Emeralds on the other hand are 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale and require more careful care.

Are You Ready to Color Outside the Lines?

Now that you know a few things about shopping for colored diamonds, like their rarity, pricing, and alternatives, you just have to decide if these unique stones are right for you. Exploring the options is a good place to start. And our team is here to help. Dive right in to see some colored diamonds for yourself, or reach out to our team at with a bit about what you’re looking for and your budget. Our diamond experts will color your life in no time at all.

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