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Strong Color in Diamonds, Is it Bad or Good?

The diamond industry consists of two market sectors when it comes to the presence or absence of color. A majority of the trade is focused on the buying and selling of colorless or near-colorless stones. This portion of the industry puts more value on the absence of color, rating diamonds using many proprietary systems- the most famous system being the one pioneered by the GIA, called the D-Z color scale, where D represents a diamond with no color at all, and Z represents the lowest tier (most presence of color admissible by the scale.) You may have heard jewelers advertising their best stones as D-Flawless, with D referring to the color quality and flawless referring to the top grade for clarity.

The minority focuses on the saturation or intensity of colors present. They favor diamonds that have color beyond the “z” graded stones of the previously discussed scale. Colored diamonds with enough color are called as fancy-colored diamonds, and a phrase-based grading system also governs the value hierarchy of these stones. The very best make their way to the halls of international auction events, representing the very top brackets of diamond value.

Intensely saturated yellow diamonds can compete with colorless diamonds, but highly vivid pinks, blues, reds and greens almost always command much higher prices than their colorless counterparts. This observance is due to a great disparity in rarity. Fancy deep and fancy vivid grades of colored diamonds are a tiny fraction of 1% of the diamond trade today. Be careful though to make sure that the diamond’s color is natural. Many highly included diamonds are often artificially irradiated and annealed to produce fancy colors for the trade.

The Argyle mine in Australia is famous for producing fancy-colored diamonds. Most of these are brown in color, earning the term 'chocolate diamonds', however a small percentage of their yield consists of pink colors- the finest of which go into their highly anticipated auction event; the Argyle Tender, which is usually held in Geneva. The world's most expensive diamonds sold at auction houses are typically fancy vivid grades rather than colorless grades.
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