Why Choose a Fancy Colored Diamond Engagement Ring?

When you think of a diamond engagement ring, you most often think of colorless, traditional diamonds with great light return to your eye. But that’s not the only type of diamond available.

Fancy colored diamonds are a wonderful option for engagement rings due to their rarity, uniqueness, and personalization options. These diamonds are available in a wide variety of colors, allowing couples to choose a color that holds personal significance for their relationship. Each color carries significance, which you can use to represent the important aspects of your union. They allow for personalization and, combined with metal choice and other design elements, will allow you to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. 

A fancy colored diamond is a type of diamond that has a noticeable hue beyond the traditional colorless or near-colorless range. While most diamonds are valued for their lack of color, fancy colored diamonds are valued for how vibrant and rare their color is. They are graded based on the intensity, saturation, and purity of their color, with the most valuable stones exhibiting rich, vivid hues. These diamonds are graded on a separate scale from traditional colorless diamonds, with color intensity ranging from faint to fancy vivid, depending on the strength of the color.

Fancy colored diamonds are exceptionally rare, with only a small percentage of diamonds mined worldwide displaying noticeable enough color to qualify. They are prized for their beauty and rarity and are most often sold at very high prices to collectors via auction. But not to worry, as there are plenty of fancy colored diamonds available to the general public to collect or be utilized in jewelry pieces, from engagement rings to earrings and necklaces.

Sources of Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are mined in various locations around the world. Here are some of the most common areas where fancy colored diamonds are mined:

  1. Australia: Australia is one of the largest producers of colored diamonds, particularly pink diamonds. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is famous for its production of rare pink diamonds, including the highly coveted Argyle pink diamonds.
  1. Africa: Several African countries are producers of colored diamonds. In South Africa, the Cullinan and Finsch mines have produced blue and pink diamonds. In Botswana, the Orapa and Letlhakane mines have yielded pink, blue, and yellow diamonds. Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Namibia have also produced colored diamonds, including yellows and browns.
  1. Brazil: Brazil is known for producing colored diamonds, including pink, yellow, and brown.
  1. Russia: The Grib diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia has produced pink, yellow, and brown diamonds.
  1. Canada: Canada's Ekati and Diavik mines have produced colored diamonds, including yellows and browns.
  1. India: India used to mine both colorless and blue diamonds, but currently does not. It is still a significant market for colored diamonds, particularly for cutting and polishing.

Fancy Colored Diamond Treatments

While some fancy colored diamonds are mined with the ideal color, some may undergo treatments to enhance their color, clarity, or overall appearance. These treatments are used to make the stones more desirable for mass market appeal. Here are some of the common treatments used:

  1. Irradiation: Irradiation exposes the diamond to radiation in order to change its color. This process can create a range of colors including blues, greens, and yellows. 
  1. High-Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT) Treatment: HPHT treatment exposes the diamond to extreme pressure and temperature conditions to change its color. This process can intensify or change the diamond's color completely. 
  1. Coating: Coating is a surface treatment where a thin layer of colored material is applied to the diamond's surface to alter its appearance. This is often used to enhance the diamond's color. Coated diamonds may require special care to avoid damage over time.
  1. Fracture Filling: Fracture filling involves injecting a filler material into surface-reaching fractures to improve the clarity. This treatment can mask the imperfections, but fracture-filled diamonds may be less durable and require special care during cleaning and maintenance.

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It's important to note that while treatments can improve the visual appeal of fancy colored diamonds, they may also affect the diamond's value and durability. While there’s nothing wrong with owning a treated diamond or gemstone, disclosure of any treatments is essential for transparency. It’s important that any stone you purchase has associated paperwork by a reputable laboratory that indicates any treatments that have been applied to the stone. Not only for transparency, but also because treated diamonds may need to be handled differently by a jeweler in terms of how much heat or which type of chemicals can safely be applied to the stone without causing damage.

Similar to their colorless counterparts, fancy colored diamonds are also available in the lab grown variety.

Lab-grown diamonds are created through advanced technological processes that replicate the conditions under which diamonds form deep within the earth. They have the same physical, chemical, and visual appearance as diamonds mined from the earth, but are grown in controlled lab environments.

In a lab grown environment, nitrogen can be used to produce yellow or orange diamonds, while boron can create blue diamonds. Other colors such as pink, green, and purple may be achieved through additional treatments during the process. You may want to consider a lab grown fancy colored diamond if you are looking for a more ethical option to mined diamonds. These diamonds are also more readily available and affordable than the natural versions.

Color Variations For Fancy Color Diamonds

Now that we have a clear idea of what makes a diamond a fancy color diamond, how they are mined, grown, or treated, let’s now discuss the color variations that are available.

  1. Yellow Diamonds: Yellow diamonds are among the most common fancy colored diamonds. They range in hue from light lemon to intense canary yellow. 
  1. Pink Diamonds: Pink diamonds are extremely rare and coveted for their delicate blush tones. They range from pale pink to vivid pink and can command high prices.
  1. Blue Diamonds: Blue diamonds can range from light sky blue to deep ocean blue. They are among the rarest colored diamonds.
  1. Green Diamonds: Green diamonds can range from subtle mint green to rich forest green. They are rare and their color is caused by natural radiation exposure.
  1. Red Diamonds: Red diamonds are the rarest of all fancy colored diamonds and have a deep, rich red hue.
  1. Purple Diamonds: Purple diamonds range from soft lavender to deep violet. Some of the most famous purple diamonds have been sold at extremely high prices at auctions.
  1. Orange Diamonds: Orange diamonds can range from light peach to deep tangerine. They are fairly rare compared to the other color options.
  1. Champagne Diamonds: Champagne diamonds, also known as cognac or brown diamonds, are more common than other colors and are popular for their earthy appearance.
  1. Gray Diamonds: Gray diamonds display subtle shades of gray, ranging from light silver to charcoal. Depending on how the color is dispersed within the stone, these can also be called “salt and pepper” diamonds, displaying a random pattern of gray, black, and white inclusions which mimic the look of salt and pepper–hence the name. These are unique stones that can make for a very interesting engagement ring
  1. Black Diamonds: Black diamonds are a popular choice because of their dramatic, opaque appearance, and perfect for contemporary engagement rings if you’re looking for an alternative to the colorless diamond option.


Fancy colored diamonds can be a great addition to any engagement ring because they offer possibilities that colorless diamonds do not. Fancy colored diamonds are rare and come in a wide range of vibrant colors, which allows for a truly one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. The wide variety of colors available allows couples to choose a color that holds significance for their relationship and adds a personal touch to the engagement ring. Depending upon the specific color of the diamond, they can hold different meanings, especially in different cultures. They pair beautifully with different metal combinations and allow for almost endless customization.

While the traditional colorless diamond may be the first choice that comes to mind for an engagement ring, fancy colored diamonds offer a colorful alternative. They are available in an array of colors, lending themselves to a deeply personalized piece of jewelry.