Style Guide for Fancy Colored Diamonds

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Colored diamonds are rare and beautiful gems. Found in hues of yellow, green, purple, pink, orange and blue, these “fancy” diamonds are often more precious than colorless diamonds and make for truly stunning and stand-out pieces of jewelry. However, while white diamonds are uniformly versatile, fancy colored diamonds should be placed in settings that enhance their exceptional color and beauty.

What is a Fancy Colored Diamond?

Most white diamonds are graded on a scale of D-Z, with “D” being colorless (and most expensive), and “M” being the lowest grade for fine jewelry. Any diamond below “M” is usually considered too low-quality and is used for industrial purposes…except for fancy diamonds. When the color of a diamond is so vivid that it surpasses “M” all the way to “Z,” it becomes a fancy vivid diamond and grows exponentially in value. From that point, they are priced by the colors they exhibit, and the intensity of that color.

What is a Fancy Colored Diamond?

Before You Choose Your Diamond

If you are absolutely committed to a fancy diamond, prepare your budget in advance. Even less intense hues in small carat weights (under a half-carat) with imperfect clarities (I) can command thousands of dollars. Less flawed diamonds that feature deeper hues can command much, much more. With fancy diamonds, you are paying for the rarity of the gem and the purity and vivid beauty of the color. If your budget is more constrained, choose a faint hue or one that has a brownish undertone. For bottomless budgets, find fancy diamonds with the brightest color saturation—true deep pinks and blues. Given the value of such gems, don’t be duped by an imposter stone! Be sure your stone is certified from a well-known diamond laboratory like the Gemological Institute of America (your certification paperwork will indicate the color of the diamond). Also, make sure your diamond is being sold by a reputable jeweler.

Before You Choose Your Diamond

Does Diamond Shape Matter?

Fancy diamonds can be cut in the same shapes as any other diamond. The choice is up to you and your style. Some cuts, however, such as antique cuts and step cuts, are known to enhance the color of a stone particularly well—like the emerald cut, which is named after the gemstone it was designed for. Elongated shapes like Marquise, oval and pear make the finger look thinner, while round shapes like round brilliant and cushion are universally flattering.

Does Diamond Shape Matter?

Pairing the Right Metal

For fancy diamonds with a warm color—like yellow, brown, orange or champagne—a yellow gold setting will showcase the warmth of the diamond. However, yellow gold may also mute the color of the diamond if you choose a solitaire setting. For solitaire warm-hued diamonds, set the stone in a cooler metal like platinum or white gold. However, if a fancy diamond is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds or features diamond side stones, yellow gold or even rose gold will look stunning. For diamonds of extremely rare hues like pink or blue, either gold or cool-hued metals can be flattering. A pink diamond set within a rose gold setting also adds to the romance of the piece. Blue diamonds also take on a vintage appeal when set in rose gold.

Pairing the Right Metal

Halo Settings for Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy diamonds often don’t exhibit the same brilliance as colorless diamonds. The color of the diamond won’t disperse as much spark, even in shapes that often are known for their brilliance—like radiant and round brilliant shapes. If you love the look of rainbow darts of color, add more brilliance to your fancy diamond jewelry with a diamond halo. Choose colorless white diamonds to surround your centerpiece fancy stone to add fire and draw more attention to the colorful stone. Halos don’t have to be diamonds, however. You also can choose a seed pearl halo for vintage appeal or other colorful gemstones.

Halo Settings for Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy diamonds are the ideal choice for jewelry when you want the durability and rarity of a diamond…and the color of a gemstone. Fancy hued diamonds are incredibly rare and unique and make stunning centerpieces for any jewelry design. Choose metal hues that accentuate the beauty of the stone’s color and add colorless diamonds for brilliance. Understand, though, that true pink and blue diamonds are expensive. Before you invest in a fancy diamond, make sure your diamond is certified by a reputable diamond lab!

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