Fancy color diamond
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Only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural color and is referred to as a fancy color diamond. For this reason, fancy color diamonds are purchased almost exclusively for the intensity and distribution of the diamond's color. Criteria considered when purchasing a white or colorless diamond, such as cut proportions and clarity, are less important when purchasing a fancy color diamond.
The information below will help you understand fancy color diamonds to determine the diamond that's right for you.
Color intensity, the deepness or richness of color, is the most important consideration when purchasing a fancy color diamond. The more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable the diamond will be. Fancy color diamonds are graded in order of increasing intensity from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark, and Fancy Deep.
After color grade, carat weight has the most impact on price for fancy color diamonds. When diamonds are mined, large gems are discovered much less frequently than small ones. This makes large diamonds much more valuable. For this reason, diamond prices for fancy color diamonds rise exponentially with carat weight. Learn more about carat weight in our Diamond Education section.
Due to the nature of fancy color diamonds, clarity is less important than it is in their colorless counterparts. This is true because inclusions tend to be masked by the diamond's color.
Fancy color diamonds are primarily cut to emphasize their color. This contrasts with colorless diamonds that are cut to maximize sparkle or brilliance, which in some instances can detract from the natural color of a fancy color diamond. While fancy color diamonds still exhibit brilliance, color is the most important characteristic considered when they are being cut.
While cut describes a diamond's light performance, dimensions and finish; shape refers to the overall outline of the diamond when viewed from the top (e.g. round, princess or marquise). It's important to note that many fancy color diamonds are cut into non-traditional shapes to enhance their natural color. Due to the rarity of fancy color diamonds, a specific shape in a specific color may not be available at any given time.
When choosing a setting for a fancy color diamond, it is best to choose a setting material that will enhance the natural color of your diamond. For example, fancy yellow diamonds are often set in yellow gold, while pink diamonds look best when set in rose gold.