Are colored diamonds real? This is a question faced by anybody looking to buy jewelry as an investment or a gift, as we are used to seeing diamonds exclusively as clear, colorless gems. However, colored diamonds are real and incredibly valuable due to their rarity. While celebrities have made pink and yellow diamonds popular, there are also other colored diamonds available at much lower pricetags, which leads to the question… are those colored diamonds just fakes?
How Are Colored Diamonds Created By Nature
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Colored diamonds such as the yellow Tiffany diamond, or the blue Hope diamond, do appear in Nature but they are priceless gems both due to the size and rarity. A colored diamond is a diamond with impurities that appear as trace elements within the crystal structure of the stone. Diamonds can thus appear in nature in a variety of fancy colors, both very faint and quite intense:
- Yellow diamonds have traces of nitrogen, and are primarily originated in South Africa
- Orange diamonds have also traces of nitrogen, but the atoms are arranged in a different way than for yellow stones. They mostly come from Africa, and a great example is the Pumpkin Diamond.
- Brown or Argyle Diamonds happen when the crystal lattice is distorted (the atoms are imperfectly aligned) when the diamond is being formed in the heat and incredible pressure conditions deep within the Earth.
- Pure Green Diamonds are incredibly rare and valuable, and found in Africa and South America. They are formed when natural radiation affects the previously colorless diamond once it reaches the higher layers of Earth.
- Natural Blue Diamonds such as the Hope Diamond form when trace amounts of Boron bonds to the carbon atoms of the stone when it’s being formed
- Pink Diamonds are found in only a few mines around the world, such as in the Golconda region in India, or locations in Australia and Brazil. The formation process is similar to brown diamonds, with the crystal structure of the diamond being distorted by heat and pressure.
As you can see, common themes of rarity and high prices appear, no matter which fancy colored diamond we are talking about. If you are looking at diamonds as an investment, you will need to be prepared to spend a large amount of money. The more intense the color is and the rarer the variety, the more expensive. For example, a green diamond that looks similar to an emerald would be really expensive
Man Made Colored Diamonds
We have established that the answer to are colored diamonds real is a yes, but a very rare, very expensive yes. So how comes that you can find affordable fancy diamond jewelry in perfectly reputable places that would never sell fake diamonds? The answer is simple: they are man-made by gemologists. Most colored diamonds found in stores today have been color enhanced this way.
The process of color enhancement involves treating real, naturally colorless diamonds with a combination of radiation and intense heat to try and replicate the way nature creates colored diamonds, but in much shorter time. This process makes a natural diamond into a fancy colored one, but won’t hide or alter flaws. Those man made, color enhanced diamonds are still valuable stones that were created by Mother Nature over a process taking place millions of years ago. They are still rare and valuable stones, which have been altered to have a fancy color along with the natural brilliance of diamonds.
Fake Colored Diamonds
You can also find really cheap so-called colored diamonds, but they aren’t the real thing. They are created in labs, by lab techniques that allow gemologists to build a diamond crystal in just a few minutes, instead of mined from the crust of the Earth. If you are looking at colored diamonds for investment reasons, it’s quite obvious that you need to avoid this sort of stones. Always ask about the origin of any gemstone you intend to purchase, and verify the authenticity of the certificate of origin. Now only will this allow you to buy ethically sourced diamonds, but you will also avoid worthless lab made replicas.
Are colored diamonds real? Yes, they are. Whether they are the real, nature-made thing or color enhanced diamonds, they are still real and valuable gemstones mined from the depths of the Earth where they were created millions of years ago. If you want to acquire diamond jewelry that has that special touch, fancy diamonds are perfect both as a gift and an investment.