The History Of Natural Fancy Color Diamonds

Four Beautiful Natural Fancy Color Diamonds

When we think of diamonds, we tend to think of white diamonds, with the value of a diamond judged in a big part by its absence of color. A D-E white color graded diamond will always be far more expensive than a diamond with the same other attributes but with a J-K color grading. When we mention diamonds, colored diamonds do not immediately spring to mind.

That is mainly because they are a rarer form of diamond, a type of diamond that has always and will continue to fascinate the mind. Due to their uniqueness and rarity, while far less common, natural fancy color diamonds have not lost their appeal and continue to be valued as a most prized item to have set in your jewelry.

Fancy Color Diamonds – The Beginning

Colored diamonds date back over 3000 years, but the first documented fancy color diamonds take us back to the sixth Century. In India, unless you were a king, who could possess any color of diamond, you were allowed to wear only certain types of diamonds, based on social status. For example, the priests would own white, colorless diamonds that were “whitest of the conch”, while the warriors and landowners would be allowed to own brown diamonds, “the color of the eye of the hare” and the lower classes would settle for grey or black diamonds, the “the sheen of a burnished sword”. Now, of course, we choose diamonds in a totally different way, with personal tastes and budgets more of a factor than comparisons to animals and swords.

Pink diamonds are nonetheless what the Argyle mine has become most famous for, although fancy color brown diamonds, originally used almost solely for industrial purposes, are now far more popular. As the most readily available color diamond, they are also slightly more affordable than popular colors such as fancy pink and fancy yellow color diamonds.

Famous Fancy Color Diamonds

When it comes to white diamonds, the less color present in the diamond, the higher the value. With fancy color diamonds, however, the opposite is true. The more colorful and exotic a diamond, the higher the value and the more desirable it is. Here are some examples of some of the world’s most famous diamonds, serving as evidence of the high regard for color in diamonds, even centuries ago.

This is evidenced by the last Mogul of India who lived in the 1800s and owned a 280 carat blueish-green diamond. So much were fancy color diamonds valued that some famous stones would be referred to by a special name, often after a place or person important to the owner or after a specific memory of the cutter or owner of the diamond.

The Delaire Sunrise

This 118.08 carat diamond is the world’s largest fancy vivid yellow color diamond in the world. It was cut by a manufacturer of the famed Graff Diamond Company, famous for its production of luxury diamond jewelry, including many beautiful fancy color diamonds. When founder Laurence Graff first saw this stone, 221.81 carats in its rough form, he was amazed at the size and sheer beauty of it, even while it was still a rough diamond.

Nino Bianco, the skilled diamond cutter given the task of releasing every ounce of beauty from the stone, spent months studying the exact angles required in order to fulfill the task. He faced the challenge of achieving the highest possible clarity while also maintaining a weight of over 100 carats. After almost a year, the astounding emerald diamond was completed and was named after the Delaire Graff Estate, in acknowledgement of Graff’s love for Africa and the exquisite sunrises the stone reminded him of.

The Hope Diamond

The famous Hope Diamond was cut into different shapes a few times and is still one of the most famous fancy color diamonds in the world today. Starting in India and brought back for King Louis XIV, it was cut into a 69 carat triangle diamond. By 1824 it had been owned by several French kings and is now a 45.5 carat dark blue diamond.

It now resides in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. when the first diamond that ever appeared in the diamond deposits of South Africa emerged as a yellow fancy color diamond, the rough diamond was presented to the public’s amazement at 1867 Paris World Exhibition.

Rise to Popularity

When the first diamond that ever appeared in the diamond deposits of South Africa emerged as a yellow fancy color diamond, the rough diamond was presented to the public’s amazement at the 1867 Paris World Exhibition. While fancy color diamonds are now quite desirable, they have only been readily available for the last few decades, which is also when they started becoming more popular. This is partly attributable to the marketing efforts of the Argyle mine in the 1980s.

One of their methods was the way they marketed their colored diamonds, for example referring to brown stones as “champagne” and “cognac”. This campaign was successful and played a big part in making the public aware of the availability of fancy color diamonds. Now, fancy color diamonds are continuing to increase in popularity.

Fancy Color Diamonds – The Future

Fancy color diamonds are continuing to increase in popularity, and while they are far more available than around 50 years ago, the cost of purchasing a fancy colored diamond continues to increase. This is partly due to the closure of several fancy color diamond mines in recent years. In 2006, diamond producer DeBeers closed three mines in Africa and it is predicted that by 2018 the Argyle diamond mine, famous for its pink fancy color diamonds, will close as well. But this isn’t all bad news. For those who own fancy color diamonds, this can only mean an increase in the value of their diamonds, particularly if they are pink. It also means that natural fancy color diamonds are a good investment to purchase today. Other than their predicted increase in value, they are easy to maintain and of course do not take up space in the portfolio.

Learn More About Fancy Color Diamonds

Blue Fancy Color Natural Diamond, 1.76 Carats, VS1 Clarity
Blue Fancy Color Natural Diamond, 1.76 Carats, VS1 Clarity

CaratsDirect2U has several insightful articles about fancy color diamonds, from a table converting the terminology used to describe fancy color diamonds, to guidance on investing in natural fancy color diamonds.

If you have any questions about diamond jewelry, we can always be contacted on 1-800-557-7095 where one of our expert diamond jewelers will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, you can email us at with any questions you may have.