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Archive for January, 2009

The Special Four C’s of the Fancy Diamond

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Diamonds are more commonly known as colorless stones that break out in brilliant fire when light strikes it. But there is a rare class of diamonds that come in different hues, called fancy diamonds or fancies. Natural diamonds can get their color from the following: trace elements in their crystalline structure, like nitrogen and boron, which can produce color; radiation present during a diamond’s creation which can generate a green color; and even inclusions that can produce unique tones and hues.

When learning about diamonds, a person typically finds out about the four important characteristics of a diamond, known as the four Cs. These are cut, color, clarity and carat. When it comes to fancy diamonds, a special kind of four Cs applies to it, in order to grade the diamond and estimate its price. Colored diamonds are graded in two ways – first by the stone’s basic hue, which can blue, pink, yellow, green, black, violet, orange and red. The second way is to ascertain the intensity of its color.

The Gemological Institute of America or GIA uses 9 different categories to grade a diamond’s color saturation, which range from Faint to Fancy Vivid. There are diamonds that form a secondary color undertone, which can either enhance or detract from its worth, depending on the color. For example, a blue diamond that is yellowish can be made less expensive because of the yellow undertone, whereas the same blue stone with a purple undertone can be worth more.

When it comes to a colored diamond’s cut, an expert cutter has to consider the inclusions in the stones, because these flaws might be the ones enhancing the diamond color. The more popular cut or shape for colored diamonds are round, oval, and radiant. As for grading clarity, a colorless diamond is usually graded according to the number of blemishes and inclusions found within the stone. But for colored diamonds, clarity is not so important, although those stones with greater clarity command a higher price since they are uncommon.

As for a fancy diamond’s carat weight, the bigger the stone, the higher the price tag, especially since large-sized fancy diamonds are rare. But a diamond’s value will also depend on its other characteristic, not just its size. It is important to compare gemstones that are of similar characteristics when determining price. The prince of a fancy diamond depends on several factors, like the rarity of its color, with red being the rarest diamond color. The intensity or vividness of its hue also determines price, as well as the purity of the stone, which can be bright and clear or clouded.

When purchasing and investing in a fancy colored diamond, it is best to ask for a lab report or grading report of the stone.