Color Diamonds

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Colored diamonds have different color strengths. The intense and vivid colors are the rarest. When using "Fancy Colored Diamonds" particular reference is made to the color intensity. The term “Natural Colored Diamonds,” on the other hand, refers to the natural base color of the diamond.

Colored diamonds are commonly known as “Fancy Colored Diamonds”. What characterizes them are their unique and delightful appearance as well as their rarity and the high prices offered for them. Only 0.1% of the diamonds mined annually are colored and only one in 10,000 diamonds is characterized by a natural, intense color. There are twelve primary colors of diamonds, which are modified by nine different overtones and seven intensities. This means that colored diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow and each colored diamond is truly unique.

Creation of the color

Diamonds consist almost exclusively of cubic crystallized carbon atoms. Colored diamonds differ from colorless diamonds in that another element was able to penetrate the crystalline carbon structure when they were formed. These elements create different colors. Yellow diamonds are created through the incorporation of nitrogen, while blue diamonds have inclusions of the semimetal boron. Red, pink or purple diamonds, on the other hand, are created by bending and rotating the diamond lattice during the creation process. Green diamonds get their color from naturally occurring radiation during their formation.

Rarity of colored diamonds

The value of colored diamonds depends heavily on the rarity of the color and its intensity. The rarest colors are intense pinks, blues and greens. Red or orange diamonds with a medium or strong intensity are also extremely rare. In addition to the color, the intensity and overtones play an important role in the choice of diamond. For example, pure colors, i.e. diamonds without overtones, are particularly rare.

The diamond types

Diamonds are made of carbon atoms with electrons bonded in pairs. This creates a very strong bond, also called a crystal lattice, which is responsible for the typical hardness of the diamond. In addition to the carbon atoms, other elements can be included in the lattice. These in turn influence the color of the diamond. To make it easier to classify and assess them, a distinction is made between Type I and Type II. A small comparison makes the differences clear:

Type I diamonds

The diamond contains detectable amounts of nitrogen. 98% of all diamonds are type I.

Type Ia



color intensity


Nitrogen atoms

Connected in pairs or groups

98% of diamonds are type Ia diamonds.

Type IIb


yellow, orange, brown or green

color intensity


Nitrogen atoms

Individually and evenly distributed

Less than 0.1% of diamonds are type Ib diamonds.

Type II diamonds

The diamond contains no (detectable) nitrogen. 2% of all diamonds are type II.

Type IIa


Color variations of pink, red, yellow-brown

These colors are created by rotating and bending the carbon lattice.

color intensity

Faint (almost colorless)

The diamond is made of pure carbon and has no impurities.

1-2% of all diamonds belong to type IIa.

Type IIb


blue or gray

The red, orange and yellow light is absorbed.

color intensity


Type IIb diamonds contain boron atoms (semimetals).

0.1% of all diamonds belong to type IIb.

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