Colored Diamonds

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By Lauren Della Croce, Director, Fine Jewelry
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Clars is thrilled to host their Fine Jewelry Auction on Thursday, December 16th, beginning at 10 AM PST. The sale includes a fine selection of diamond, colored gemstone, and signed jewelry spanning from the Georgian period to contemporary. Among this selection are exceptional diamonds.

Diamonds are characterized by the ‘4Cs’: carat, cut, clarity, and color. Typically, the color of a diamond is graded on a scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light). When referencing the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale, the less color present, the more exceptional, and often more valuable, the diamond.

On the contrary, when determining the quality of fancy colored diamonds, the more color, the more extraordinary. Factors such as purity of the hue, as well as saturation play pivotal roles as well. Colored diamonds are graded beyond the D to Z range, on a scale ranging from Faint to Fancy Vivid.

Fancy colored diamonds are quite rare, with only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds showing a fancy color. The color is often a result of the presence of trace elements, not essential to the chemical composition of the diamond. Yellow diamonds, commonly marketed as “canary diamonds” most commonly contain the trace element, nitrogen.

A 4.18 carats fancy light yellow and platinum diamond ring.
A 4.18 carats fancy light yellow and platinum diamond ring.

Coming up for sale on December 16th is lot 5106, a 4.18 carats VS2 fancy light yellow diamond ring.

This fancy light yellow diamond is enhanced by its size, weighing an uncommon weight of 4.18 carats.

The rarest color of all, is pink. Pink colored diamonds range from red to purple. Unlike most colored diamonds, where colors are a result of trace elements, such as nitrogen’s presence in yellow diamonds, the majority of pink hues in pink colored diamonds are a result of a variation in its crystal structure.

The majority of the world’s pink diamonds are sourced from the famous Argyle mine, located in Australia. This mine, which has been a consistent producer of pink diamonds since its opening in 1983, officially closed in 2020.

A 1.05 Carats Fancy Intense Pink-Purple Diamond Ring.
A 1.05 Carats Fancy Intense Pink-Purple Diamond Ring.

Coming up for sale on December 16th is lot 5043, a 1.05 carats fancy intense pink-purple diamond ring.

This ring is particularly rare, as only about 28% of pink diamonds range within purplish-pink to pinkish-purple hue range, and 17% weigh over 1.00 carats.

Colored diamonds serve well to bridge the gap between the brilliance synonymous with diamonds, and the hues of gemstones. The rarity of these hues makes them a strong acquisition for a collector.

Gilbertson, Al, et al. Diamond Lab Manual. The Gemological Institute of America, 2019.

“Fancy Color Diamond.” GIA,

Shor, Russell. “Why Are Pink Diamonds Pink? Gia Researchers Dive Deep into Their Crystal Structure.” Why Are Pink Diamonds Pink? GIA Researchers Dive Deep into Their Crystal Structure, 21 Oct. 2019,

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