The Allure of Fancy Colour Diamonds

Photo: FCRF


Diamonds are made up of a single element: carbon. Interestingly, Fancy Colour Diamonds are carbon gemstones that have experienced a natural phenomenon so rare that it occurs in only 1 out of every 10,000 diamonds mined!

 Natural radiation, intense pressure and heat, and the presence of trace elements such as boron and nitrogen during the formation of the stone, are responsible for creating these rare, fancy colours.

Fancy Colour Diamonds are exceedingly rare, exceptionally beautiful and come in almost every hue imaginable - pink, orange, yellow, blue, purple, brown, and even black. Yellow and brown diamonds are more common while pink, red, and blue diamonds are considered extremely rare.

Grading of Fancy Colour Diamonds

White Diamonds are graded based on the ‘4Cs’ – colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Colour Diamonds are also graded the same way though for Fancy Colour Diamonds, the most significant factor is the quality of the Diamond’s colour.


White Diamonds are assessed based on the absence of colour while for Fancy Colour Diamonds, the ones outside the normal colour range are considered more valuable. Laboratory graders assess Fancy Colour Diamonds from the top view, evaluating the hue, tone and saturation of the colour in the diamond in order to determine its Fancy Colour.

‘Hue’ refers to the primary colour of the diamond while ‘Tone’ defines how dark or light the hue of the Diamond is; and ‘Saturation’ refers to how intense and vibrant the colouration of the Diamond is. 

Depending on the intensity of the colour, Fancy Diamonds are graded using the following terms (from least to most saturated): faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy vivid, fancy dark, or fancy deep. 

 Colour grading of Yellow Diamonds: Uniglo Diamonds

Colour grading of Pink Diamonds: Jewellery Monthly Magazine

The general rule of thumb here is the stronger the hue, the more valuable the stone.


Though clarity affects the value of Fancy Colour Diamonds, it is primarily determined by the colour grade and size of the Diamond.

Clarity chart of Diamonds: Tomas Edipson

The presence of inclusions has less influence on the value of a Fancy Colour than on a White Diamond and a Fancy Colour with low clarity can still command a high price if its colour is attractive.


Fancy Colour Diamond with inclusions: GIA


Cutting standards are different for Fancy Colours than for White Diamonds. Though cut is important for Fancy Colours, the cutter will aim to maximise the stone’s colour instead of maximising light return.

Rough Fancy Diamond vs polished Fancy Diamond. Photo: GIA

Fancy Colour Diamonds are often cut with deep pavilions and thick girdles to better retain body colour. They are then polished to fancy shapes like cushion or radiant cuts to accentuate the intensity of the colour of the rough stone.


Similar to White Diamonds, Fancy Colour Diamonds of greater carat weight are rarer and more valuable.


One of our most sought after silhouettes- the Jazz Age Monument Ring features a stunning Fancy Yellow Diamond as a centrepiece surrounded by round brilliant Diamonds. 

There are other factors affecting diamond value and hence it is vital that you work with a verified jeweller. With over 150 years of history at B.P de Silva, you can’t be in better hands.


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