Where do diamonds get their color from? The slightest imperfection or trace element can cause a diamond to be colored. This article explains the different chemical compounds that contribute to changing a diamond's color.
When you think of diamonds, you typically think of colorless stones and we don’t blame you. People generally tend to shy away from wanting color in the diamonds they buy, especially for engagement rings, but did you know that diamonds come in every color of the rainbow?
Natural diamonds were formed billions of years ago in the earth after pockets of carbon underwent extreme conditions of stress and temperature.
Very rarely were the conditions in which a diamond was formed completely devoid of other elements and those elements would get trapped in the carbon and become part of the diamond. This is how diamonds not only get inclusions (tiny particles of debris trapped in the stone) but is also how they get their color. For color variations in diamonds, it’s typically due to other trace elements being present during its formation that give their color. How much of that element was present determines how much hue the diamond will have, and subsequently, how much its worth!
We’ve worked with a lot of fancy colored diamonds and put together this post showcasing not only some of the creations were the most proud of but to help you understand how and why diamonds have the colors they do. Read on and enjoy!
For more information or to contact us regarding your own fancy colored diamond creation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Red diamonds are the rarest and the most expensive of colored diamonds. In fact, less than 30 known red diamonds have ever been discovered. The chemical composition of a red diamond is identical to a colorless diamond and it’s unknown exactly where the red color is from. It is theorized that the color comes from misplaced atoms during the diamonds journey to earth’s surface.
The orange color you see in this diamond is a product of nitrogen being introduced during the formation of the diamond. The difference between the orange and yellow coloring is a result of the way the nitrogen atoms are grouped when they are introduced.
The presence of nitrogen in the diamonds’ composition gives the stone a yellow color. Nitrogen molecules absorb blue light, which gives the diamond a yellow tint. Pure, natural yellow diamonds, which have an intense shade, are sometimes referred to as Canary Diamonds.
Diamonds get a green color when they are exposed to radioactivity and atomic radiation during the formation process. Green diamonds need to be polished carefully to maintain the vibrance of their coloring.
The blue color comes from the presence of boron within the diamond’s composition. It’s important to note that blue diamonds are an entirely separate stone than sapphires. Many colored diamonds often go through a process called “enhancement” which means that they are color treated. Anytime you alter the composition of a diamond you decrease its value so buyer beware of what it is you’re purchasing!
The chemical composition of purple diamonds have large amounts of boron and hydrogen. Natural purple diamonds account for 1% of the diamonds mined in Siberia’s Mir kimberlite field. We wish we had made this stunning purple diamond ring but we’ve yet to work with one of these beauties.
Argyle diamonds come from a volcanic pipe called the Argyle pipe, which is made of olivine lamproite. During an eruption the diamond interacted with minerals such as zeolite, micas, kaolinite. There are trace amounts of nitrogen present in the stone but the pinkish color is a result of the structural defects of the crystal lattice. Pink diamonds are similar to red diamonds but much more readily available.
Graphite is found in the chemical makeup of black diamonds but is not the only factor contributing to the color. Black diamonds have a high number of inclusions that make the stone appear black. Most black diamonds are color treated to give them a consistent color and an opaque look.
Brown Diamonds (or Champagne diamonds)
Brown diamonds are among the most common of colored natural diamonds. The color in brown or champagne diamonds is attributed to the structural defects, nickel treatment and lattice defects, making them absorb light differently. Most are used for industrial purposes but as you can see, they can be fashioned into some incredible pieces of jewelry! 📷Whatever color of diamond you like best, we hope you are able to create the perfect engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry for yourself or significant other.
From all of us at Concierge Diamonds, we wish you a happy Pride month!