Colored diamonds...I find they are the best of both worlds. They are durable, unlike any other colored stone, and brilliant, unlike any other colored stone. Yet, like many things they have to speak to you. I love telling people about colored diamonds and I love designing with them.
The traditional white diamonds (colorless diamonds) that we all know about, like those found in most classic engagement rings, pendants and other diamond jewelry, are created from a complex process involving super-heated, highly pressurized carbon molecules close to the Earth’s core. But these are not the only diamond types out there…
Natural colored diamonds are created in the same fashion as white diamonds, with one unique difference. When foreign particulates are trapped during the crystallization process from which diamonds are formed, it effects and alters the chemical process and thus, changes the outcome. The result is a beautiful, rare, and exceptional diamond with unique colorings - called natural colored diamond.
How are diamonds Colored? In recent years with the rise of popularity and demand for those diamonds, and with it the rise in their prices, the market for treated and color enhanced diamonds has evolved tremendously. Important: Color treated diamonds are regular natural diamonds that were color enhanced – these are not lab grown diamonds. Therefore, their price is higher than the low color quality they were before the treatment.
The idea is to take diamonds with colors that are not desired - like pale yellows - and to enhance it dramatically (pale yellow to vivid yellow) or even to change it altogether to blue, purple and red. The main methodology is called HPHT - High Pressure High Temperature. Interestingly, this same procedure that is used to enhance to strong colored diamonds can be also used to "paint" colorless diamonds. (Taking cheap, very light brown diamonds and turn them into D colorless diamonds.)
Brown, Red & Pink Diamonds
These diamonds owe their color to a combination of intense pressure and heat. While still buried deep within the earth, these factors cause distortions in the crystal lattice that absorb green light, thus reflecting a pink hue. Ultra-rare red diamonds, which are essentially just deeply colored pink diamonds, have the same cause of color.
Gray & Blue Diamonds
For the most part, blue diamonds get their color from boron. When this impurity is present, it bonds to carbon in the crystal structure, absorbing red, yellow and green areas of the color spectrum.
It's not until the last leg of their journey to the earth's surface that diamonds get their green color. Just as they are about to leave the uppermost layer of the crust, these stones absorbs naturally occurring radiation, which causes them to reflect a green hue by absorbing red and yellow light.
Violet and Purple Diamonds
So far, all scientists are certain of is that the cause of color for purple and violet diamonds is crystal distortion. However, it is believed that the presence of hydrogen may be partly responsible for their hue.
Orange and Yellow Diamonds
The remarkable hue of yellow and orange diamonds can be attributed to one element: nitrogen. While a diamond is forming, nitrogen atoms will arrange in such a way that that blue light is absorbed, thus producing a yellow color. A specific grouping of nitrogen atoms is also responsible for the shading of orange diamonds, but will absorb light in both the blue and yellow spectrums.
If you are interested in seeing more, I will look forward to seeing you in the store, soon!