Did You Know: What You Should Know About Diamonds
Education: Fancy Color Diamond Quality Factors
The GIA system for color-grading fancy color diamonds is designed to accommodate the fact that not all colored diamonds have the same depth of color. For example, yellow diamonds occur in a wide range of saturations, while blue diamonds do not.
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With fancy color diamonds, color is the dominant value factor. Even diamonds with numerous inclusions that result in a low clarity grade are prized by connoisseurs if they display attractive face-up color. Of course, inclusions that threaten the gem’s durability can lower a fancy color diamond’s value significantly. Fancy color diamonds can exhibit color graining, which is considered an inclusion.
The style of the cut can also influence color. Cutters discovered that certain styles—typically mixed cuts like the radiant—can intensify yellow color in diamonds that are toward the lower end of the D-to-Z color-grading scale. When carefully fashioned as radiant cuts, many yellow-tinted stones—at one time called “cape” by the trade—can become fancy yellows when viewed face up. This perceived improvement in color increases the price per carat. As an added benefit, the radiant style provides higher yield from the rough than a standard round brilliant.
As with diamonds in the normal D-to-Z color range, large fancy color diamonds are rarer and more valuable than small ones.
– Written by GIA and Jing Liu, Office Manager, Worldwide Precious Metals