Early in my diamond-purchasing career a dealer showed me a natural blue diamond and I had no idea a diamond could be the colour of saturated indigo blue. It took my breath away and it is the only time I have ever seen a natural blue diamond with such an intense hue; they are ferociously rare, and unbelievably fabulous.
It comes as a surprise to many of my customers when they learn that every colour on the spectrum can be found in a natural diamond, although many of the colours you may only see in the pages of a gem book or fetching wild prices at an international gem auction.
Diamonds in the normal range are graded on a scale of D (colourless) through to Z (light colour). On the GIA colour scale, a diamond that is graded between D-F is considered colourless (white-white) and between G-J near colourless (not quite white) and between K–Z they scale from faintly coloured, to lightly coloured brown or yellow.
A diamond that exhibits a yellow or brown colour stronger than Z in the grading system is called a fancy coloured diamond. If a diamond presents ‘face up’ even faintly, a colour other than yellow or brown it is also called a fancy coloured diamond.
Pink, green, blue and red fancy coloured diamonds are highly desirable no matter their intensity. Other fabulous colours I have held in my jewellery include orange, violet, purple and grey and many shades in-between. Fancy coloured diamonds are extremely rare, only one in 10,000 diamonds has a fancy colour, Some colours are rarer than others and with the exception of yellow and brown, they demand spectacular prices particularly if the colour is intense and the diamond is a decent size.
Yellow and brown diamonds are the most common of the natural fancy colours and are generally valued less than other rare fancy colours, which means they can be well priced, although this is slowly changing as their popularity grows and rarity increases. In Australia we romantically refer to brown diamonds as ‘champagne’ coloured, and they are remarkably similar to celebratory bubbles as well as rich honey coloured cognac.
I absolutely adore working with coloured diamonds. I lean towards them because each is unique and I love the myriad of subtle hues. Diamonds sparkle like no other gem so adding a colour to the liveliness is for me, impossible to resist. Pure lemon yellows dance brilliantly with all sapphire and ruby colours, they’ll lift any coloured gem selection. The faintest champagne or yellow hue allows me to alloy gold to match, which brings a subtle and unexpected warmth into a jewellery piece.