By David Tishbi
Special to the Palisades News
While colorless diamonds are a popular choice, many women are now looking to bring some color into their jewelry wardrobe. Fancy Color Diamonds—the official industry term—are beautiful and brilliant options. If you wish to accent and expand your personal style, there are a wide variety of wonderful choices that are available.
According to the Gemological Institute of America, Fancy Color Diamonds (FCD) are the most valuable gems on earth. Only one in 10,000 diamonds has a fancy color and they are revered for their true brilliance and dazzling hues. According to the GIA, red, green, purple and orange Fancy Color Diamonds are the rarest, followed by pink and blue. While yellow and brown are the most common colors, this category also includes black, gray, and even white FCDs. Every FCD is unique and the color of the stone is graded by hue (red, blue, green, etc.), tone (the darkness or the lightness of the color) and saturation (how weak or strong the color is).
The hue is often comprised of two or more colors; the first color is the modifying color, while the second is the primary color, such as orange yellow. Generally, FCDs with pure colors—without a modifying color—are more valuable and more expensive. Additionally, FCDs have nine saturation levels, ranging from the lightest to the most saturated, with the latter being the priciest. They are rated from faint to fancy vivid, respectively.
Unlike colorless diamonds, even FCDs with a low clarity grade (with flaws) can still be highly prized if their color is rich and attractive. The flaws are often not too noticeable, due to the deep color of the diamonds. Fancy shapes, like radiant cuts, are also used to maximize the intensity of the color. It is no surprise that natural FCDs, below a carat, are also quite rare and will appreciate in value.
No article about FCDs would be complete without mentioning that natural stones (which have been formed underground) have the highest value. It is also important to deal with a reputable jeweler, who will verify that the stone is natural, and will also pro- vide you with a GIA grading report for the stone. The finest natural FCDs often come from Russia, Africa, India and Canada.
Some diamonds are treated with high temperature and high heat (HTHH) to change their colors to resemble natural FCDs. While these treated diamonds are much less expensive, they are also worth much less. Knowledge is power.
A talented jeweler can expertly translate your vision to create one-of-a-kind rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that will reflect your personality, compliment your coloring, and enhance your style.