We associate diamonds with colorless, sparkling, and pristine characteristics, but not all diamonds are colorless. Approximately 0.01% of all the diamonds mined in the world are fancy-colored diamonds and not all diamond colors are readily available as well! Some are more rare – like red and orange. If you’re wondering how many colors of diamonds are there, you have come to the right place. Find below all colors of diamonds available in the market and the unique characteristics of each one of them!
How Many Colors Of Diamonds Are There?
There are 10 colors of diamonds in total!
#1 White or Colorless Diamonds
These are the most common and classic diamonds with no visible hue under different lighting conditions. They are the most known color of diamonds and are also the most in-demand! These white diamonds are often part of engagement rings but are also widely used in other forms of jewelry like necklaces, brooches, bracelets, and earrings. These diamonds are graded on a color scale from D (completely colorless) to Z (having a noticeable yellow or brown tint).
Most white diamonds are found in mines in countries such as Russia, Botswana, Canada, and Australia. Diamonds are formed over millions of years under high pressure and high heat and are found at depths of over 120 kms. They are then mined, cut, and polished to be sold to retailers who then set them in the desired design to sell to the customers.
#2 Yellow Diamonds
Courtesy: Diamond Mansion
Yellow diamonds come with a yellow tint. The hue is because of the presence of nitrogen atoms in the diamond crystal lattice. The amount of nitrogen in the diamond determines the intensity of the yellow color. Yellow diamonds with higher levels of nitrogen are more valuable than those with lower levels of nitrogen. The intensity of the yellow color is graded on a scale from light to fancy vivid, with fancy vivid being the most intense and valuable.
Among the diamond colors, pale yellow is the most common color of diamonds available and intense yellow is rare and more expensive than the latter! You can find yellow diamonds at many reputed jewelers in your country and most would be mined in South Africa. Some of the most notable yellow diamonds are the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, a 128.54-carat diamond made into a necklace, and the Incomparable Diamond, a 407.84-carat diamond made into a necklace and is supposedly owned by Nita Ambani, who gifted the necklace to her daughter in law at her wedding in 2019.
#3 Brown or Champagne Diamonds
When you’re wondering how many colors of diamonds are there? Brown or champagne might not cross your mind! But let me tell you these colors have become popular these days and are termed “chocolate diamonds” by many. The color brown predominantly comes from lattice deformation associated with plastic defects, but some other reasons can be nickel impurities and irradiation treatments. Unlike white diamonds, which are graded on a color scale from D to Z, brown diamonds are graded on a separate color scale that takes into account the intensity of their color. Brown diamonds can be classified as light brown, fancy light brown, fancy brown, fancy dark brown, or fancy deep brown, depending on the intensity of their color.
Brown or champagne diamonds are also widely available in the colored diamonds category, though they are not as much in demand as other colors in diamonds. Because of the low demand, you might be able to own one without spending too much! One of the most notable brown diamonds in the world is the Golden Jubilee Diamond, a 545.67-carat diamond that is the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world and is currently on display in the Royal Museum in Bangkok.
#4 Pink Diamonds
When you’re wondering how many colors of diamonds are there, the one you’re hoping for is probably the pink diamond! The beautiful color associated with femininity and grace is most appreciated in different colors of diamonds and is also priced higher than other colored diamond stones. The color of the pink diamond is not caused by any trace elements but rather a distortion in the diamond’s crystal lattice. This happens when the high heat and pressure under the Earth cause the crystal lattice to distort. Pink diamonds can sometimes have other colors like brown, orange, or purple.
The color intensity of a pink diamond can vary from very light pink to a deep, vivid pink known as “fancy vivid pink.” The most valuable pink diamonds are those with a strong, vivid pink color and little to no secondary hues such as brown or gray. Most of the world’s pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine in Western Australia, which is known for producing some of the finest pink diamonds in the world. However, the mine has now closed, making pink diamonds even more rare and valuable. Some of the notable pink diamonds in the world are CTF Pink Star Diamond, Winston Pink Legacy, Graff Pink Diamond, and Daria-i-Noor.
#5 Blue Diamonds
Blue diamonds are rare and highly valued. Princess Diana’s sapphire ring has always made blue a much-desired center stone in engagement rings and therefore, blue diamonds are also costly when compared to other colored diamond stones. These diamonds get their beautiful blue color from the presence of trace amounts of boron within the diamond’s crystal lattice, which causes it to absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect a blue color. These diamonds generally come with secondary hues of green and gray and those which have an intense blue color are considered most valuable!
Cullinan Mine in South Africa is the only significant source of blue diamonds worldwide. However, blue diamonds have been found in the extinct Golconda region of India and some are also found in the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. The most notable blue diamond in the world is the Hope Diamond, weighing 45.52 carats and mined from Kollur mines in the eighteenth century. Other famous blue diamonds are the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, Blue Moon of Josephine, Oppenheimer Blue Diamond, and the recently discovered (in 2018!) Okavango Blue Diamond.
#6 Green Diamonds
Among the answer to the question – how many different colors of diamonds are there? – one of the obvious ones is the Green Diamond! These colored diamonds get their hue when a high-energy radiation in the nearby minerals penetrates the diamond and knocks out the carbon atom from the lattice. This causes the crystal to absorb red light and selectively transmit green. Green diamonds can range in color from yellowish-green to bluish-green, with the most valuable being those with a pure, vivid green color. Green diamonds are very rare, with only a few dozen known to exist.
Most of the green diamonds are found in South America and Africa. Some notable green diamonds are the Dresden Green (a 41-carat natural green diamond named after the city of Dresden in Germany where it has been on display for more than two centuries), Aurora Green (a 5.03-carats most vivid green diamond ever!), and Ocean Dream (a blue-green diamond measuring 5.51 carats in size).
#7 Black Diamonds
Black diamonds (also known as Carbonado) are rare but affordable and most of them are cheaper than white diamonds mainly because there’s lower demand for them as compared to other colors of diamonds available in the market. Unlike other colored diamonds, which get their color from impurities or chemical elements within the diamond’s crystal lattice, black diamonds get their color from numerous dark inclusions or graphite clusters within the diamond’s structure. Like others, those with pure black color with a slight appearance of other secondary hues are considered the most valuable.
Black diamonds are mostly found near the equatorial region such as the Central African Republic and in Brazil. They are often smaller in size but the most popular one – Black Orlov – is a whopping 195 carats and is displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and Natural History Museum in London. Other notable black diamonds include the Amsterdam Diamond, a 33.74 carats diamond found in Africa and sold at Christie’s Geneva auction to an anonymous buyer, and the Gruosi diamond, the largest heart-shaped diamond on the planet with 115.34 carats of black diamond.
#8 Red Diamonds
The rarest color diamond of them all, the red color diamonds are the most valuable and priciest among all the diamonds, with their price being 300% to 400% higher per carat than other rare colored diamonds like vivid pink. To date, only three red diamonds are known to weigh more than 5 carats and most (which are probably just a few dozen around the world!) are around 1 carat or lower in size. Some of the most popular red diamonds in the world are the Moussaieff Red Diamond, Kazanjian Red Diamond, and DeYoung Red Diamond. Another notable red diamond is the Graff Purplish-Red diamond, a unique 2.26-carat red diamond with purple hues when viewed from different lighting.
The color of the red diamonds is due to the deformities in the crystal lattice structure of diamonds caused by extreme stress. It is widely believed that a red diamond is primarily a pink diamond with a higher intensity of color and the hue is dependent on the transmission of light, with a weaker transmission of light giving a pink color and vice-versa. This theory gets proven by the fact that red diamonds are always found when pink diamonds have also been found in the same location and don’t occur if there are no pink diamonds nearby.
#9 Purple Diamonds
Courtesy: Petra Gems
Among “How many colors of diamonds are there?”, one of our favorites has to be purple! The color is associated with royalty, purple, and wisdom, and that’s why is considered a favorite among royal families around the world. The color purple comes from the impurities in the diamond which likely gets into it during formation. It’s believed that a purple diamond is formed when large concentrations of hydrogen or boron get into the stone and the more the amount of the gases and the longer they are present, the deeper the color will be!
Purple diamonds are found majorly in South African and Russian mines and are quite valuable. Some of the rare purple diamonds include the Royal Purple Heart Diamond (a 7.34 carats largest fancy vivid purple diamond known to exist!), the Supreme Purple Star Diamond (a 2.83 carats purple diamond with origins and owner remaining a mystery), and the Spirit of the Rose Diamond (a 14.43 carats purple-pink diamond sold at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for a record $26 million dollars).
When purchasing a purple diamond, know that due to increased demand, many jewelers are adding the purple hue deliberately to the diamond using various lab techniques. If you’re looking for an original purple diamond, we’d recommend you look for certifications from a known diamond organization (like GIA) before purchasing the diamond.
#10 Orange Diamonds
Orange diamonds radiate sunshine in themselves. These diamonds are created due to the presence of some defects in the diamond lattice. The exact cause hasn’t been determined and it’s believed that the defect can vary from one orange diamond to another. These defects cause the orange diamonds to selectively absorb blue light and radiate orange light. The color of an orange diamond can range from light orange to a deep, rich orange, with the most valuable diamonds having a pure and vibrant color.
Some notable orange diamonds include the Pumpkin Diamond (a 5.54 carats fancy Vivid Orange diamond discovered in South Africa in 1997) and the Orange diamond (the largest known orange diamond weighing 14.82 carats and was sold at Christie’s Geneva Convention for a staggering $36 million dollar to a buyer who chose to remain anonymous).
Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From?
Colored diamonds come from various locations in the world and they are much rarer than the white diamonds. Some of the locations where the most colored diamonds have come from are India, South Africa, and Australia. A few other locations where colored diamonds have been discovered are Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, and Guyana. Sometimes, an individual color of the diamond is also discovered mostly at the same location. For example, most intense yellow diamonds have come from South Africa, blue diamonds come from the Cullinan Mine in South Africa, the majority of red diamonds come from Australia, most of the fine green diamonds come from South America, and more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds come from Argyle mine in Western Australia.
Some of the mines which were a source of colored diamonds but are now extinct are the Golconda Mines, located in the Godavari Delta region of present-day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The mine produced diamonds of the highest clarity and incomparable quality. It eventually became extinct in 1830 due to exhaustion but is known to give some of the best-celebrated diamonds in human history like the colorless Kohinoor and Cullinan diamond, and several colored diamonds like the Nassak (a 43.32 carats blue diamond), Dresden Green (a 41-carat natural green diamond), Idol’s eye (a 70.21-carat light blue diamond), Regent Diamond (a 140.64-carats white-blue diamond), and Daria-i-Noor (a 182-carats light pink diamond).
What Are Some Of The Most Valuable Colored Diamonds In The World?
#1 The Hope Diamond
Worth a whopping $350 million dollars, the Hope Diamond is a 45.52-carat vivid blue diamond originally mined in Golconda Mines, India. After being bought by King Louise XVI of France, the diamond disappeared for around 50 years and eventually made its way to Henry Philip Hope, who gave the diamond its current name. After being passed through several owners, it was purchased by New York gem merchant Harry Winston who donated it to Smithsonian Institution. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
#2 Heart Of Eternity
The Heart of Eternity diamond is a heart-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond measuring 27.64 carats and mined from the Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa. The diamond was polished and cut by Steinmetz Group before eventually being sold to De Beers who displayed it at their Millenium exhibition in 2000 before selling it off. To date, De Beers hasn’t revealed the current owner of the diamond.
#3 Moussaieff Red Diamond
The Moussaieff Red Diamond is a 5.11-carat brilliant-cut fancy red diamond, the rarest and most coveted diamond color. It’s the largest red diamond in the world and is valued at over $20 million dollars. The diamond was discovered in the 1990s in the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, which is known for producing some of the world’s most valuable and rare diamonds. The Moussaieff Red Diamond was purchased by a private collector, Moussaieff Jewelers, and was named after the company’s founder, Shlomo Moussaieff.
#4 CTF Pink Star Diamond
The Pink Star Diamond is a diamond weighing 59.60 carats and has a vivid pink color, one of the rarest and most valuable diamond colors of all. It was mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa and weighed 132 carats in its original form. The diamond was cut and polished over a period of two years to bring out its unique beauty. The Pink Star was eventually sold again in 2017 for $71.2 million to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, a Hong Kong-based jewelry company that added CTF to the start of the name, Pink Star.
#5 Oppenheimer Blue Diamond
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond is a vivid blue diamond discovered in Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa. The diamond is named after its former owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, a member of the Oppenheimer family who controlled the De Beers mining company. The Oppenheimer Blue diamond has a rectangular shape and is set in a ring with two trapeze-cut diamonds on both sides. It was sold in 2017 for a record-breaking $50.6 million at an auction in Geneva. Two telephone bidders competed for the diamond and the identity of the owner remains unknown.
#6 Aurora Pyramid Of Hope
The Aurora Pyramid of Hope is a collection of 290 natural diamonds in different colors, all of which are considered extremely rare and valuable. The collection has been loaned by Aurora Gems (the owner of them all!) to various museums for display. Currently, the collection is on display at the National History of Museum in London.
#7 The Winston Pink Legacy Diamond
The Winston Pink Legacy Diamond is an 18.96-carat fancy vivid pink diamond named after Harry Winston, an American jeweler who is also known as the “King of Diamonds”. The Pink Legacy diamond was mined in South Africa and was formerly owned by the Oppenheimer family, the former owners of the De Beers group. It was bought at an auction for $50.3 million dollars by Swatch Group, which currently owns the New York jewelry house, Harry Winston. They have turned the diamond into a solitaire and it’s available to view on their website.
#8 Blue Moon Of Josephine
Via: Robb Report
The Blue Moon of Josephine is a 12.03-carat cushion-shaped blue diamond, described as flawless by experts. The diamond was discovered in South Africa and was sold at an auction in Geneva for $48.4 million, which is the highest-paid price for a diamond at auction yet! This price also makes the diamond the most expensive in the world, regardless of the color. The “Blue Moon of Josephine” diamond was purchased and is owned by Joseph Lau, a Hong Kong billionaire who renamed the diamond after her daughter Josephine.
#9 The Graff Pink Diamond
The Graff Pink Diamond is a 24.78 carats pink diamond owned by Laurence Graff, the founder and chairman of Graff Diamonds. The history of the diamond isn’t clear but it was earlier owned by American jeweler Harry Winston and was later sold by Sotheby’s auctioneers in Geneva, Switzerland, where it was brought by Laurence Graff for a whopping $46 million USD. At that time, it was the most expensive single jewel ever sold at an auction and lost the title to the “Blue Moon of Josephine” diamond 4 years later at the same auction!
#10 The Kanzanjian Red Diamond
The Kanzanjian Red Diamond is a rare 5.05 carats red diamond that was mined in South Africa during the 1920s and is currently owned by the Kazanjian brothers, who bought the diamond in 2007. Red is a rare diamond color anyway and any red diamonds found are usually lower in carat size, making this one of the three red diamonds in the world (known!) to be above 5 carats. It’s the second-largest red diamond and the largest one is the Moussaieff Red Diamond.
#11 Dresden Green Diamond
The Dresden Green Diamond is a 41-carat natural green diamond mined from the Golconda mines in India in 1722. The diamond made its way to various owners before being displayed in the New Green Vault at Dresden Castle. It was sent to the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for display for a few years at the request of Harry Winston, which turned out to be good luck because it escaped the jewel theft at Dresden Green Vault where many precious jewels were lost! Today, it has returned safely to its original location and is on display for visitors from all around the world!
#12 Tiffany Yellow Diamond
The Tiffany yellow diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered in the world. It was originally 287.42 carats and was cut down to 128.54 carats with 82 facets to maximize its brilliance. The cutting and polishing of the stone was done under the supervision of its owner Charles Tiffany, who bought the diamond in 1877 in South Africa as soon as it was found! It’s permanent home is Tiffany’s flagship store in NYC and the jewel has only been worn by four women at the time: Mary Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce.
Are Colored Diamonds More Valuable Than Colorless Diamonds?
Not necessarily. Though colored diamonds are rare than colorless diamonds, the demand for the latter is also much higher which brings the price point to somewhat at a balance. Still, there’s a catch. Some colored diamonds are more valuable and highly-priced than colorless diamonds. The price depends on the cut, clarity, and sharpness of the hue. So let’s say a light yellow diamond might be priced lower than the colorless diamond, but a deep yellow, canary hue might be priced more per carat when compared to the colorless diamond. Similarly, if you opt for a color of diamond that’s rare in itself like red or brown, or orange, it will be priced higher because of the scarce availability.
Where Should I Buy A Colored Diamond?
If you are interested in buying a colored diamond, make sure to do your research and only buy from a reputable seller. Look for diamonds that come with a grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory such as GIA, AGS, or EGL, and consider having the diamond independently appraised to ensure that you are getting a fair price. After you’re knowledgeable enough about how many colors of diamonds are there and which one you’d want, here are some places you can trust.
#1 Reputable Jewelry Retailers
Many reputable jewelry retailers, both online and in-store, carry a selection of colored diamonds. Look for a retailer that has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation for quality and customer service. Make sure to ask about the diamond’s grading report, which should provide information on the diamond’s color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
#2 Auction Houses
Colored diamonds are often sold at auction, either online or in person. This can be a good option if you are looking for a rare or unique colored diamond, but it is important to do your research and make sure you understand the auction process before bidding.
#3 Specialty Dealers
There are specialty dealers who specialize in selling colored diamonds. These dealers often have a wide selection of colored diamonds and can offer expert advice on selecting a diamond that fits your needs and budget.
What’s The Rarest Diamond Color In Colored Diamonds?
Among the different colors of diamonds available, the rarest among them all is red and there are only 20 to 30 red diamonds in the entire world. Even when red diamonds are found, they rarely weigh over a carat and there are only three red diamonds in the world that weigh over 5 carats: Moussaieff Red Diamond, Kazanjian Red Diamond, and DeYoung Red Diamond. Because of their rarity, they are sold at 300% to 400% higher rate per carat than other rare colors of diamonds like pink and blue!