How Do Colored Diamonds Get Their Hue?

There's no doubt that diamonds boast incredible sparkle, shine, and beauty -- but colored diamonds have something extra even beyond that. You've probably seen blue, yellow, or other colors of diamonds and noticed how lovely they are, and you may have then wondered how those diamonds came to be. Are they a product of nature of a product of the laboratory? The answers are below. 

Nature Versus the Laboratory: Where Do Colored Diamonds Grow?

Colored diamonds grow naturally, but they're quite rare. For this reason, they're often created in a laboratory setting. There are a wide range of colors for diamonds, and each has its own unique way of forming in nature. Of course, in a lab setting nearly any color and any level of color vibrancy can be achieved. Keep reading to learn how mother nature creates fancy colored diamonds. 

Red Diamonds: The Rarest of the Rare

Red diamonds are so rare that only around 20-30 natural ones exist worldwide, according to the Cape Town Diamond Museum. Most red diamonds are quite small -- under a carat -- when compared to examples of other fancy diamonds. Red diamonds are formed from carbon, while other colors of diamonds result from various impurities. A red diamond is a brilliant shade of red, looking quite similar to the highest quality rubies. 

Blue Diamonds: The Most Famous of the Colored Diamonds

While many people don't know that red diamonds even exist, blue diamonds are quite well known around the world. Some of the world's most famous diamonds have been blue, including the Hope Diamond once worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor. This brilliant blue diamond is huge, at more than 45 carats. Blue diamonds are created when there is a low nitrogen level combined with a high boron level. However, blue diamonds may also result from high levels of hydrogen or other elements. 

Brown and Yellow Diamonds: The Most Common Fancy Colors

Although fancy diamonds can occur in nearly any color, by far the most common is brown. This is closely followed by yellow. Brown diamonds, sometimes marketed as "chocolate" or "champagne" diamonds, occur when the diamond has a structural imperfection within the diamond lattice, or when a high level of nitrogen is present. Brown diamonds can occur in nearly any color from a deep almost-black shade to a pale brown bordering on yellow. 

Yellow diamonds result from a high nitrogen level. The high nitrogen level overtakes the carbon to cause the vivid yellow color. A yellow fancy diamond is quite sought after, especially if it's the most vivid of yellows. A yellow pear shaped diamond, the Sun Drop Diamond, was sold for over 12 million dollars in a 2011 auction. 

Considering a colored diamond for your love? Talk to your jeweler about the diamonds for sale currently to determine which color fits both your pocketbook and desires!