The common varieties of diamonds occur in colors from colorless to faint yellow. These colors are graded by a scale that starts at yellow which is the totally colorless variety to Y which is visibly yellow. But anything that appears in this chart cannot be technically labeled as a fancy colored diamond. Colored diamonds are different from these normally occurring equivalents, and are, therefore off the chart. There are colored diamonds that are popularly known as the fancy colored diamonds that do not fit in this regular grading scale. They feature colors that are not yet graded or named as precisely as the white ones.
Colored Diamonds Are Very Very Rare
The first thing to know about fancy colored diamonds is that they are extremely rare, so much so that the white diamonds hardly compare to their rarity. For every 10,000 white diamonds that form in the core of the earth, one fancy colored diamond is born. That, numerically, makes them a lot rarer than colorless diamonds. Colorless diamonds are not really not as rare as we are made to believe. Conversely, colored diamonds are hardly as common as you would like them to be.
Are They Natural?
Yes, or at least the natural colored diamonds are. They are crystalline carbon and other minerals that come together under the intense heat and pressure of the earth. The color comes from foreign minerals that get trapped in their physical structure during crystallization. Therefore, colors in diamonds indicate the presence of minerals. It’s an amazing phenomenon that gives diamonds their rich and lovely colors. Boron becomes blue in diamonds whereas nitrogen makes the gems yellow, and there you have your precious mystic blue and blazing yellow diamonds.
Grading of Colored Diamonds
There is a reason why all fancy colors in diamonds are not graded out by decimal differences as their colorless cousins. It is because grading colored diamonds is an extensively complicated process. However, that does not mean these gems are not quality graded. They are graded by GIA and other such globally acknowledged boards by their colors and color intensity. For color intensity, the grades are faint, VL or Very Light, Light, FL or Fancy Light, Fancy, FD or Fancy Deep, FD or Fancy Dark, FI or Fancy Intensity and FV or Fancy Vivid.
The colors so far identified and graded in diamonds are red, pink, blue, green, violet, purple, brown, gray, yellow, orange, fancy white and black.