Most of us are familiar with colorless diamonds, or nearly colorless ones, that very lightly range towards yellow. These “white diamonds” are what we typically see set in most jewelry pieces or engagement rings. However, diamonds come in all colors, including yellow, green, pink, red, black, brown, and, of course, blue.
The Science Behind It All
Diamonds are comprised of the element carbon in crystalline form created by immense heat and pressure. The most common diamonds contain small amounts of the impurity nitrogen, which causes a diamond to impart a yellow color. The nitrogen impurities can be in clusters or as individual molecules evenly spread throughout the diamond; this is what separates fancy yellow diamonds from “white diamonds” with a slight yellow tint. These variations have a tremendous impact on the value of a diamond, and this is why jewelers and jewelry specialists go to such great lengths to accurately determine diamond color. Reputable, internationally recognized labs like the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are excellent sources for obtaining trustworthy diamond grades on which all jewelry buyers can rely.
Diamonds that impart other colors, such as pink, red, or blue, are much rarer and some of the most desirable and valuable on the market. Natural blue diamonds are among the rarest and command impressive prices.
The cause of blue in a diamond is due to the presence of the impurity boron. As the amount of boron increases, so will the depth and intensity of color. This dramatically increases their value. Just like “white diamonds,” jewelry experts rely on reputable labs to determine the degree of color in a diamond so that buyers can confidently purchase them and be assured that the grading is accurate and the color is natural.
Beauty Above All Else
The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is one of the world’s most famous blue diamonds. The 45.52 carat gem has a long and storied history and is believed to have originated in India as early as 1666. It goes without saying that what is most important about a blue diamond is its beauty. All the chemistry and GIA documentation that goes into determining a diamond’s value is critical, but as we all know, a diamond is first and foremost an item of immense beauty. The rarity of blue diamonds will assure their eternal desire and value.