As colored diamonds continue to surge in popularity with both investors and those seeking to make use of them in jewelry which of the colored diamonds is most expensive is a perfectly reasonable question to ask. The difficulty is that the answer is not crystal clear and the answer actually changes over time.
Colored Diamond Value Basics
A diamond’s cut is usually considered to be the attribute that affects a diamond of any kinds beauty the most, but it is generally accepted that color is the second. However, fancy colored diamonds are in a class all of their own.
The Gemological Institute of America, the body considered the ultimate authority in such matters, identifies 27 hues, and awards stones grades of fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy deep, fancy vivid or fancy dark. These grades describe the saturation level and color tone each stone offers.
Unlike colorless, traditional diamonds the other three Cs – clarity, cut and carat weight, although they remain important and can affect value in the case of the most expensive fancy colored diamonds it is primarily all about the color.
The Current State of the Colored Diamond Market
The current state of the diamond market for fancy colored diamonds is a complex one and one that depends, in terms of pricing, on just what a buyer is buying the diamond for.
According to the Diamond Investment & Intelligence Centre, red, blue, pink and yellow are currently the best colors for those purchasing for investment purposes while green, purple, violet and orange are best left to collectors and those looking for stunning diamond jewelry.
However, just because a colored diamond is very rare – as they all are – does not necessarily mean that they make the best investment. Green diamonds are in fact, for example, actually rarer than blue or pink and are second only to the storied red diamond in terms of scarcity, so it would be natural to assume that they should be worth more. However, as the demand for green tends to be lower potential buyers may not be willing to pay as much for a green diamond and diamonds of any kind can only be sold for what the market will bear.
This thinking is changing though, as some investors are revising their ideas about green diamonds and are taking a ‘buy lower, sell higher’ position as the demand for colored diamonds increases.
The Problem with Pink Diamonds
Some people think that pink diamonds are fairly common, at least in terms of fancy colored diamonds, as they have, after all, been seen in a large number of ‘celebrity’ engagement rings over the past several years and have therefore been written about a great deal. However, they always were very rare and that situation is about to heighten.
The vast majority of the world’s pink diamonds were mined from a single location, the Argyle Mines in Australia. However, with the supply facing exhaustion the mines are set to close in 2020, so demand and prices are expected to surge once that happens as the pink diamond will become a very scarce, and more valuable, commodity than ever before.
The change is, in fact, already underway. Between 2000 and 2015 Rio Tinto, who own and operate the Argyle Mines, saw the prices paid for its annual tender of pink diamonds increase 15% every year, with the average reaching $1 million USD per carat.
So, the answer to the question which of the colored diamonds is the most expensive, as you can see, is likely to never be set in stone (pardon the pun) but with careful market research the one thing that is not in doubt is that as investments they remain a very solid choice.