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The Science Behind the Colors

The Science Behind the Colors

November 14, 2023 | Idai Oved

The history of fancy color diamonds began centuries ago, where they first emerged as regal symbols of power and luxury. Unlike their more traditional counterparts, these diamonds display a spectrum of mesmerizing hues made by a natural deviation from the standard colorless formation. This deviation happens to be a rare occurrence, making each colored diamond a unique masterpiece of nature.

Fancy color diamonds have long been associated with royalty and the elite. Historical records show that some of the most famous diamonds in the world, such as the Hope Diamond and the Dresden Green, are renowned for their vivid and unique colors. These diamonds have been part of royal regalia, adorning crowns, scepters, and jewelry pieces that signify power and prestige.

In fact, the science behind their beauty is a natural phenomenon. When impurities and structural anomalies occur within the diamond's lattice (the crystal structure) that’s where the fun starts. Elements like nitrogen, when they substitute for carbon atoms in the diamond's crystal structure, can cause yellow or orange tone diamonds. On the other hand, the presence of rare boron will give a diamond a striking blue color. This happens when boron atoms become integrated into the diamond's lattice, it then absorbs red, yellow, and green light, allowing the blue light to be reflected and clearly perceived by your eyes. And let’s not forget about pink and red diamonds. They owe their hues to structural distortions in the crystal lattice, which alters the way light travels through the stone and creates their gorgeous coloration.

Additionally, green diamonds acquire their color through exposure to natural radiation deep within the Earth. This radiation displaces carbon atoms from their normal positions, creating vacancies that absorb red light and produce a green hue. Similarly, brown diamonds, often referred to as champagne or cognac diamonds, owe their color to structural defects – a process where the crystal structure is twisted and warped during its formation.

Each fancy color diamond's hue results from a unique combination of geological conditions, element composition, and the diamond's journey from the depths of the Earth to its surface. This awe-inspiring process gifts us with these beautiful gems, making each fancy color diamond a rare and valuable treasure. From the intense heat and pressure of their formation to the intricate play of elements and structural anomalies, the creation of fancy color diamonds is a testament to the wonders of nature.

Their rarity and exquisite beauty have made fancy color diamonds highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs. In recent years, the demand for these gems has soared, driven by their investment potential and the growing appreciation for their unique characteristics. As more people become captivated by their allure, fancy color diamonds continue to be celebrated as some of the most extraordinary and luxurious gemstones in the world.