What are Fancy Colored Diamonds?

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Sometimes in the Philippines, when we hear the words 'fancy' and 'diamond', we think of an imitation or simulant stone. Though, if we look at the international terminologies, the term 'fancy' is actually often used to describe natural diamond in terms of its outward appearances.

Fancy cuts refer to diamonds with any shape or cut other than a round brilliant one. Examples of this could be the emerald or trilliant cut. Many dealers are familiar with this term, and so when shopping at international venues like the September Jewellery Fair in Hong Kong, or the Baselworld Fair in Switzerland, be sure not to confuse our local lingo for how people normally use these terms.

Fancy colored diamonds are another thing. When the industry refers to a fancy colored diamond, it simply means any diamond that possesses color. In the case of diamonds that are yellow, gray or brown, they must also possess a slightly higher amount of saturation compared to the other hues in order to qualify for a fancy color grade.

Speaking about price, the general trend shows us that fancy colored diamonds can in fact cost more than colorless diamonds. The top tier of these can be seen at famous auction house events like the ones hosted by Christie's in Geneva.

A single 59.6 ct pink diamond called the Pink Star (renamed to the Pink Dream) is actually being valued at about 72 million dollars today. This particular stone was once being marketed by Sotheby's (another big name in jewellery auctions) and participated at one of its own renowned auctions. Its valuation and reception is a prime example of how fancy colored diamonds in the highest grade range can outshine even a D-flawless colorless stone.

Fancy colored diamonds cost a lot because they lack a consistent supply to satisfy their rising demand. They do however have a 'strong enough' supply to stir up fans in several international markets. Couple that with the news and marketing from different jewellery houses, and you have a rare segment of the diamond industry that connoisseurs all over the world want to share in.

Certain Natural Hues of Fancy Colored Diamonds Can Command Much Higher Prices Than Equivalently Sized Colorless-Variety Counterparts, Due Rarity Factors and An Increasing Demand From the Trade.


The Argyle mine in Australia is probably the only currently known major source of fancy pink diamonds. Its operation is run by the Rio Tinto group, which also hosts the Argyle Pink Tender auctions in Geneva for many of the stone's illustrious clientele.


Grades for fancy colored diamonds are as follows:
Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Dark,
Fancy Deep,
and Fancy Vivid

(This scale goes from most affordable to most expensive via left to right fashion.)

Terminology would dictate that the grade modifier be mentioned before the specific diamond's color. For example: 'Fancy Light Purplish Pink'

This phrase would constitute the color grade of a stone instead of the usual 'letter grade' you would normally see used on colorless diamonds.

One more thing to note, is that the saturation level requirement for each grade is differently evaluated per color of diamond. This means that a fancy intense red diamond may not necessarily possess the exact same color intensity level as a fancy intense yellow diamond.

This is because the specific rarity scale is actually different per fancy diamond color group.

These exotic and scarce diamonds are certainly marvels of nature, and they can be a wonderful addition to any jewellery suite if one is willing to pay the price for their beauty.

Gemcamp Laboratories

A Discovery Institute for Gemstones and Gemology

Our resident gemologists believe in encouraging public trust within the jewellery industry through shared education, value transparency and professionalism.

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