Fancy Colored Diamonds &
The Colored Diamond Engagement Ring

Fancy colored diamonds are naturally colored. They’re very rare and coveted by celebrities who love sporting a colored diamond engagement ring. Good quality fancy diamonds will carry a hefty price tag although all colors are not priced equally. Natural colored diamonds are hard to come by and only specialized jewelers will carry these certified precious stones.

A pink diamond, canary yellow diamond and blue diamond sitting on a table

The fancy diamond yield across the globe represents less than one percent of all diamonds mined every year. No wonder such a big fuss is made over them!

There are very strict standards for naturally colored diamonds so make sure that any stone you’re looking at comes with certification from an independent gemological institute like the GIA, HRD (in Europe), or the International Gemological Institute.

Real fancy colored diamonds are graded and certified, and come with a personal profile or ID which includes an identification number, measurements, and specifics on weight, shape, symmetry, clarity, etc.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the more commonly sought after colored diamond engagement rings…

Color Diamond Ratings

In terms of grading, since fancy colored diamonds are judged on the intensity of color as opposed to the lack of color, the grades of D through Z used for white diamonds don’t apply.

These precious gems have their own system of grading. They range from Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid.

Canary Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings

Out of all the fancy colored diamonds, the yellow diamond is probably the best known. The color in a yellow diamond comes from nitrogen atoms present within the diamond, during its formation.

Yellow diamond engagement ring surrounded by white diamondsNatural fancy yellow diamonds can also be called Canary Diamonds because of their distinct features and coloring. And, the more intense the color, the better and more valuable the stone and ring. You have to agree that this engagement ring with its 2.5 carat fancy yellow asscher surrounded by brilliant cut round diamonds is pretty darn special!

Yellow diamond rings became more popular when many celebrities like Paris Hilton received a 24 carat emerald cut canary yellow engagement ring from one of her suitors.

The Blue Diamond Engagement Ring

Blue diamonds are more expensive than most colored diamonds.  There are two main classifications for the blue color: blue-grey and blue-green.

Blue Hope Diamond A natural blue diamond can easily run into the millions of dollars for a fancy vivid. Ever heard of the Hope Diamond? It’s a fancy vivid and lives at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.  It’s likely the most expensive blue diamond known to man weighing in at over 45 carats.

There is still hope however, for those of us who wish for nothing other than a blue diamond engagement ring. You can snag a blue fancy light for around 3K but they will be very pale.

Blue Diamond Engagement Ring Alternatives

Today gemologists can create blue diamonds through a combination of irradiation and heat treatments applied to natural white diamonds. So although the blue diamond can’t be considered a ‘natural’ one, it is a genuine diamond. It’s also much more affordable. This is a great option for those whose bankroll doesn’t quite match up with their taste.

Another option is a synthetic blue diamond. Synthetic diamonds are grown in a lab where they mimic, under various conditions, what happens in nature over time. These are the least desirable in terms of investment but can be as beautiful as the real thing and are the most affordable of all.

Finally, there are sapphires.  Some feel that the fire and sparkle of a diamond cannot be matched by a sapphire but we tend to fall into the Princess Diana camp whose sapphire and diamond engagement ring is truly drool worthy.

Pink Diamond Engagement Rings

Pink diamond engagement rings and pink diamonds, are the most sought after of all the fancy colored diamonds. Most pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine in Australia and each has a laser inscription that identifies its authenticity and origin.

A natural pink diamond will run about 20 times the price of the equivalent white diamond so you need really deep pockets to own one.

Pear shaped pink diamondExperts aren’t exactly sure what gives the pink diamond its color but they suspect it has to do with pressure below the earth’s surface. Whatever the reason, pink diamond engagement rings are amazingly feminine and beautiful.

This beauty is the world’s largest pear-shaped pink diamond at 15.38 carats. It was sold at auction last year for $36.1 million, which makes it the most expensive fancy vivid pink to sell at auction.

Fancy Pink Diamond Alternatives

Like other fancy colored diamonds, gemologists have been able to replicate the pink color (to some extent) in a laboratory. They use genuine white diamonds, irradiation, and heat pressure. The end result is a genuine diamond but not a natural pink diamond, and therefore much more affordable. Synthetic stones are another option but not one that we would recommend since they hold no real re-sale value and are a poor investment.

If you like the look of pink diamond engagement rings but aren’t terribly concerned about the stone itself, consider a pink sapphire engagement ring (yes, sapphires can also be pink as well as blue), or other gemstone rings.

Chocolate Diamond Rings A.K.A Champagne Diamonds

Chocolate diamonds are also called champagne diamonds and belong to the brown family of diamonds. They can range in color from light champagnes to rich cognacs and can be quite striking when paired with other color stones.

Chocolate diamond with pave white diamonds in a gold settingThey have an innately old world feel because of their coloring which makes them particularly interesting when incorporated into a modern ring setting. As an engagement ring they can become a striking symbol of eternal love and a classic heirloom piece.

We love this rough cut chocolate diamond bound with pave white diamonds set in yellow gold. We realize this style ring isn’t for everyone but we would love to own one. It, like the Canary yellow ring above is from James Allen, one of our favorite jewelers for colored diamond engagement rings and loose diamonds.

If your heart is set on champagne diamonds but you’re on a beer budget consider a topaz engagement ring as an alternative–you’ll get the same look as a chocolate diamond engagement ring at a fraction of the cost.

Black Colored Diamonds

Black colored diamonds are becoming increasingly popular. They are thought of as exotic, mostly because of their rich pure color. They don’t have the transparency of the other colored diamonds but are beautiful in their own right. They have a different crystalline structure than all the other diamonds which is what seemingly makes them black and absorb light instead of refracting it

black diamond engagement ringThe true beauty of a black diamond is that its color is so pure and almost opaque with less light able to pass through it.

This gives black diamond engagement rings a completely different look because the crystal pure and intense coloring sets it apart from all the other fancy colored stones.

Natural fancy black diamonds are very rare and expensive. Most of the black diamonds that you find on the market today are treated black diamonds and not natural ones. The term used for this is, heated in the rough, which basically means that they take a genuine white diamond and apply pressure, intense heat and other procedures to change it to black.

Fancy Colored Diamond Takeaways

Fancy colored diamonds are rare and expensive. If you can afford one, go for it. Just make sure it comes with proper certification. If you can’t afford it, then consider these options.

Gemologist have found a way to simulate almost all colors of fancy diamonds using a real white diamond and putting it through a process of irradiation and intense heat treatments. You get the color you want and a real diamond but it isn’t considered a ‘natural’ colored diamond and is therefore significantly cheaper.

After that comes synthetic or lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds are only synthetic in the way they are created. They have the same chemical makeup as a real diamond, but are produced with an artificial or synthetic process.  Natural diamonds are created through a geological process. From a beauty and enjoyment stance they are ideal. From an investment point of view, a synthetic stone holds little value since you can grow as many as you like.

Finally, consider other gemstones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds. They make beautiful rings especially when set with smaller white diamonds.

Natural fancy colored diamonds are an amazing phenomena created through trace elements, radiation and the wonders of mother nature.