We love things that are rare because maybe it makes us feel special to own something that not everyone has or because it is valuable. Diamonds are special. They are a beautiful phenomenon just in themselves, but coloured diamonds are exceptionally unique and rare. For every 10000 colourless diamonds there is only one coloured diamond and this special gift of nature is formed under a mindblowing natural process that takes millions of years to form. Coloured diamonds are made up of carbon atoms and are formed under extreme heat and pressure just like classic diamonds. Then how did they turn out to be this unique? Let us understand how the diamonds get their colour.
Simply put, during the crystallisation process when a foreign particle reacts with the carbon of a diamond, it affects the process and changes the colour. The presence of different minerals or particles creates different colours with different densities from mild to vivid. Brown and yellow are the most common colours, while pink, blue, orange, green, red, and violet are extremely rare. To be considered a coloured diamond, the diamond must be notified when it's in the face-up position. A unique natural process with different particles and atoms creates different colours. Let's understand how.
❖ Red : A vivid red-coloured diamond is extremely rare.When the diamond is subjected to stress under the earth's surface, the planes of carbon atoms get displaced with the force which causes the red wavelength of light to be selectively transmitted when the light passes through it. The diamond appears pink when the transmission is weak, but a red diamond is considered the most valuable of all.
❖ Orange : The defects that make a diamond orange have not been determined with clarity yet because it sometimes varies from one orange diamond to another orange diamond. They are commonly observed to selectively absorb blue light and selectively transmit orange light.
❖ Blue : There is only one light blue shaded diamond in 200000 diamonds and there are even a few with deep, rich blue. Blue coloured diamonds are made when the chemical elements of boron get trapped inside the crystal lattice of the diamond which is formed at extreme depths. Boron causes selective absorption of red light and selective transmission of blue. The "Hope Diamond" is the world's most famous blue diamond found in the Golconda mines of India.
❖ Green : Green colour develops when the carbon atom of the diamond gets in contact with the high-energy radiation emitted by the nearby radioactive minerals. The radiation dislocates the position of carbon atoms and this defect makes the crystal selectively absorb red light and transmit green. The presence of hydrogen, nitrogen, or nickel is also found within a green-coloured Diamond which may also play a role in the formation of the coloured crystal.
❖ Pink : A pink diamond is made the same way the red one is made. The crystal is exposed to stress, which dislocates carbon atoms and causes selective transmission of red light. When the transmission is weak, the diamond appears to be pink.
❖ Yellow : Yellow is common in naturally coloured diamonds. They are formed when nitrogen atoms replace a carbon atom in the crystal lattice This causes the diamond to selectively absorb blue light and selectively transmit yellow light to make it appear yellow
❖ Grey : Grey diamonds are formed When in the making period a diamond comes in contact with hydrogen or boron atoms. Due to this interaction, the atom structure changes, and a grey colour Diamond is formed with different intensities and gues according to the portion of each type of atom.
❖ Purple : Purple diamonds are super rare. They are believed to be formed in presence of high concentrations of hydrogen. The longer the hydrogen is present near the crystal during the formation process and the higher the concentration of it, the deeper and more vivid the purple colour will be.
All of these coloured diamonds are extracted in raw rock form from the rock and then are processed to make fine spectacular gems of high value. Among these red, green, purple, and orange are rarely followed by pink and blue but the most loved ones are Blue, green, pink, and purple.
All of these coloured diamonds are valued in millions and are a rare treasure.
The beauty, intensity of colour, and rarity decide the price of a diamond. The rare ones like red, orange, or violet are valued at millions of dollars per carat while some coloured diamonds can be affordable like brown or grey. The density of colour, the hue, uniformity of it, the diamond's face, the size of the diamond, and its cut are all important factors to make them desirable and it is taken into consideration to mark the price.
The answer is yes, the technology of today's era has made it possible. Some naturally coloured diamonds are treated to enhance their colour and some coloured diamonds are entirely produced in the lab from scratch.
With the rise in popularity and demand for coloured diamond across the world the market for treated diamond has evolved immensely. Treated diamonds are natural, real diamonds. The diamonds that are faded or very light in colour are treated to enhance their beauty by making the colours bright and dark. For example, a pale yellow diamond can be treated to turn into vivid yellow or altogether a different colour like red, blue, or green. In the same way, a natural colourless diamond can also be treated and turned into a coloured one.
A coloured diamond is one of the most beautiful gifts of nature to mankind. It shows us how defects or imperfections can result in such beautiful treasures. Their history is rich and the future seems bright. They have been cherished and desired for hundreds of years and we think their charm will be here to stay for thousands more to come!