Curated Shopping for a Cause - All Profits go to Charity. Learn More Below.

Why Do We Find Colored Diamonds So Fascinating?

Naturally occurring colored diamonds are very rare and beautiful.


   We all love diamonds; they are renowned for their lore and legend as much as their beauty. Some of the rarest and most renowned diamonds are the colored diamonds. They offer us many choices, red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple and blue. Diamonds come in all the shades with deeply colored shades being extremely rare. Only one out of every 10,000 carats is a diamond that has naturally occurring color.  

  Diamonds with the deepest color are the most rare. So what are considered colored diamonds? Basically, any diamond that is not colorless or white. Naturally occurring color diamonds are very rare and beautiful. Due to this rarity, they are more expensive than regular diamonds Today, lab-grown color diamonds are an option. They tend to be less expensive than the natural versions, and are popular as engagement rings.

   How does color naturally occur in diamonds? In the case of yellow diamonds, my particular favorite, the diamond contains nitrogen which can absorb blue light and only leave the color yellow visible. From pale lemonade yellow to a rich canary yellow, the yellow diamond is startling in its glory. The most famous of these is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, it is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered. Its carat weight was originally 287,42 carats (57,484 g) in the rough when discovered in the Kimberly mine in South Africa. It was worn by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 for the publicity photographs for Breakfast at Tiffanys. In 2019, Lady Gaga wore the diamond at the 91st Academy Awards.

   Blue diamonds often contain trace amounts of boron, a rare element which alters the diamond’s usual crystalline lattice structure. Fancy green diamonds are created when radiation displaces carbon atoms in the crystal structure. One of the most famous blue diamonds is housed in the Smithsonian Institute Natural History Museum in the Hall of Gems. The Hope Diamond could well be the most famous fancy colored diamond of all. Steeped in myth, many believe the diamond to be cursed. Originally owned by King Louis XIV of France, this steely blue diamond was then owned by King Louis XV, and is alleged to have been worn by Marie Antoinette, before being acquired by King George IV of the United Kingdom. 

   The most rare diamond on earth is the red diamond who’s coloration occurs from a rare deformity in the atomic structure. It is believed that the lattice defect in the diamond shows stress lamination when it is being formed which causes the red color. As light passes through the deformation in the structure of the diamond, it bends the light to the red spectrum. The beautiful and extremely uncommon red diamond is mined in several locations in the world, the most famous being the Argyle mines in the sun soaked outback of Australia, which is almost depleted of these extraordinary diamonds. Of  these exquisite diamonds the DeYoung Red Diamond is one of the largest known natural red diamonds in the world. The diamond was acquired by S. Sydney DeYoung, a Boston jeweler who found it mounted in an estate scarf pin set with a dark red stone that was thought to be a garnet. DeYoung bequeathed the exceptional stone to the Smithsonian Institute and it officially became part of the National Gem Collection in 1987.  

  The Gemological Institute of America, has established a diamond grading system. The Colored Diamond Grading System to include nine different color descriptions. These are graded in order of intensity: Faint, Very light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid. So much luscious color! Three other criteria are also considered when evaluating color, Hue- the diamond’s primary color. GIA recognizes 27 hues. Saturation- which defines the strength and depth of each diamond’s color , and Tone-which refers to how light or dark the diamond’s color is.
These are some of the criteria that help establish the price of each colored diamond, but the true value can only be determined by the owner of such special gems.                  

  We are all enraptured by the beauty, mystery and history of diamonds. The most famous have myth and dazzling allure and even the more modest diamonds have their own legends of love and commitment. They symbolize love and commitment for many in the form of an engagement ring, and we have several wonderful examples on Middleburg Marketplace, has some exquisite examples of classic engagement rings. For something more celestial you can explore our collection from jeweler Jason McLeod at
  Find your own way to dazzle with our wonderfully different styles of jewelry from the extraordinary to the fun and fanciful all on Middleburg Marketplace. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the story of colored diamonds.

Kathleen Barrett, 
General Manager Middleburg Marketplace

February 15th, 2021




© 2021 Middleburg Marketplace. All rights reserved.