• Smythe & Cross Front Desk

The Allure of Colored Diamonds

Updated: Nov 18


While colored diamonds have been admired for centuries, they were once considered less relevant than colorless diamonds. Only large historic diamonds, like the Hope or Dresden Green commanded much attention. Today, we have come to appreciate the beautiful range of natural-color, colored diamonds, as well as their rarity. Very few other gemstones are found with the ranges and depth of color seen in diamonds. In fact, it may be the only gemstone where stones with the least color and those with the most color carry the highest premiums.

Fancy Orangy-Pink Diamond Ring
Fancy Orangy-Pink Diamond Ring

Fancy Color Diamonds*


Diamonds in the normal color range are colorless through light yellow and are described using the industry’s D-to-Z color-grading scale. Fancy color diamonds, on the other hand, are yellow and brown diamonds that exhibit color beyond the Z range, or diamonds that exhibit any other color face-up. These rare specimens come in every color of the spectrum, including, most importantly, blue, green, pink, and red.

Gem diamonds in the D-to-Z range usually decrease in value as the color becomes more obvious. Just the opposite happens with fancy color diamonds: Their value generally increases with the strength and purity of the color. Large, vivid fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and very valuable. However, many fancy diamond colors are muted rather than pure and strong.


Fancy color diamonds come in almost any color you can imagine. Red, green, purple, and orange are generally the rarest, followed by pink and blue. Yellows and browns are the most common fancy colors, but they’re generally less valuable than the rarer colors. Blacks, grays, and fancy whites are considered fancies, too.

Clarity, Cut and Carat


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-colored diamond’s value significantly.


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 can become fancy yellows when viewed face up.


As with diamonds in the normal D-to-Z color range, large fancy color diamonds are rarer and more valuable than small ones.


Fancy Color Diamonds at Smythe & Cross


We take extra special care at Smythe & Cross when it comes to selecting our gemstones, especially fancy color diamonds. Be sure to visit our store or view our collections online to see some of our amazing creations. You are welcome to set up an appointment with one of our team members to see and learn more about fancy color diamonds. And of course, follow us on Instagram or email us with any questions you may have.





*Source: The Gemological Institute of America, GIA.EDU


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