Champagne and Cognac diamonds are the best coloured diamond buys, at around one third the price of white diamonds. These good prices will not last forever.
Prices for colours C1 to C6 are all about the same. Lighter stones are popular because they sparkle a lot and cost less. More intense colours are also popular because the colours are so beautiful, so supply and demand are fairly balanced. You can simply choose the colour you like best without worrying about which is more valuable. However, it is important to know about the many different secondary colours. In general, warmer colours are more attractive than grey-greenish browns. Intense golden and rusty colours are called fancy Cognac, or C7 and cost a little more. Naturally champagnes with a pinkish tinge are the most sought after and expensive.
Natural blue diamonds are a light greyish blue shade, a more “steely” colour than sapphire. The most famous blue diamond is the “Hope” diamond in Washington’s Smithsonian Institute. This stone is steeped in legends. Its last owner was New York jeweller Harry Winston, who purchased it to donate to the Smithsonian and only owned it for one day. While his insurance company and armed couriers were discussing the cost and method of delivering the priceless gem to Washington, Harry strolled down to the post office and posted the diamond in a cigarette packet as ordinary mail.
Green diamonds have come into contact with radioactive minerals such as uranium. Radiation stains the outside of the diamond, so the cutter must be careful not to cut away too much of the green “skin”. Laboratory analysis is needed to authenticate that the radiation occurred naturally. Buyers beware!
Yellow and Orange Diamonds
To be called a Fancy colour means the diamond has more colour than Z on the GIA D-Z white diamond grading scale. Fancy yellow diamonds come in a range of hues from greenish yellow to amber. They start at similar prices to white diamonds, but the prices grow as the intensity increases. Connoisseurs in the trade use the term “canary” to describe intense yellow. Burnt orange Argyle champagnes are a less expensive alternative to very expensive pure gold or orange colours.
Pave set black diamonds are popular in Europe at present. We think they make great men’s jewellery for Aussie blokes, and we have a range of understated rings and cufflinks. Most of the black diamond fashion jewellery is made with treated coloured diamonds. Black diamonds with a good surface lustre are rare.