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.
Are Colored Diamonds More Expensive?
Despite the fact that colored diamonds are exceedingly rare, accounting for fewer than 0.1 percent of all mined diamonds (some argue less than 0.01 percent), there is a wide range of diamond colors available at far lower prices than white diamonds.
So, when it comes to pricing – and the basic economic concepts apply here as well – supply and demand determine the prices of various colors of fancy colored diamonds.
The supply in this scenario is mostly governed by the rarity of the diamond’s color and the difficulty of obtaining it.
Human nature influences the trend when it comes to demand, with people seeking what they can’t get and what no one else has (meaning the more rare and amazing colors of colored diamonds), as well as fashion trends.
Consider when Paris Hilton was proposed to with a massive canary yellow diamond engagement ring, or when Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a 6 carat pink diamond ring. The demand for such gems grew as a result of these two events. And that surge in demand resulted in a temporary price increase.
Are Yellow Diamonds Expensive?
Again, it depends. You may be able to purchase a yellow diamond you love, and that suits your style, for less than you imagine, given that they are indeed very rare. The key to finding such a diamond is often working with a colored diamond specialist (like Asteria Diamonds) to help you find the yellow diamond(s) that meet your needs (and desires).
Which Diamond Color is the Rarest of All?
Red diamonds are the most valuable because they are the rarest. They only come at a Fancy intensity, with purplish (purplish red diamonds) and brownish color modifiers. Pure red diamonds are nearly impossible to find. The Mousaieff Red, a 5.11ct Pure Red diamond, is the most well-known red diamond.
Red diamond prices are difficult to compare because there are significant disparities between them – even with the same certificate, two purplish red diamonds might be priced at completely different levels — depending on how red the diamond is.
Another intriguing fact about red diamonds is that they are so uncommon that the price of the diamond rises even if the red color is the modifier, or secondary 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.