While we are most familiar with the commonly seen and often worn white diamond, these gems actually come in a wide array of colors. White diamonds are, in truth, colorless. Most colorless diamonds generally have a very small degree of color in them sporting a slight yellow or brown hue. A truly colorless diamond – one with absolutely no color present – is more brilliant and valuable than a stone with a hint of brown or yellow. Then there are the fancy colored diamonds that range in colors from brown, grey, pink, yellow, purple, orange, blue, green and red.
With so many varieties to choose from, one question is frequently asked: Are fancy colored diamonds more expensive than colorless?
The answer to that question is not a simple yes or no. Besides the 4 c’s – cut, clarity, color, and carat weight – the price of colorless diamonds verses colored stones is determined by two additional factors - supply and demand. Generally, colored diamonds are harder to come by and are in shorter supply, which drives prices up. The rarest of these stones are the pinks, blues, greens and reds (the rarest of all) and come with a hefty price tag. The most famous diamond in the world, The Hope Diamond, is a 45 carat blue diamond worth $350 million. Brown diamonds, also known as chocolate, cognac, or champagne diamonds are the most common diamond found worldwide and come with a smaller price tag than its colorless counterparts.
Yellow diamonds are slightly rarer than white diamonds, but you can often find these stones with a smaller asking price depending on the intensity of the color. A one carat fancy yellow diamond can be less expensive than a colorless stone of the same size, but a vivid yellow diamond with a more vibrant hue than the fancy yellow will easily put a larger dent into your budget than a colorless diamond.
Jewelry trends also dictate price. White diamonds will always be a popular, traditional choice, but Hollywood trendsetters can influence demand. In 2002 Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a six carat pink diamond. In 2005 Paris Hilton received a 24 carat canary diamond said to be worth $5 million. These trend setting women inspired others to follow suit causing a rise in demand for the pink and yellow stones, which in turn caused an increase in price. Like most trends, the effect on the price of these stones was only temporary.
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