Fancy Color diamond buying guide
n the first part we’ve talked about the history of diamonds and introduced how they became so desired by man kind. we also mentioned why diamonds are the best investment in our time.
To read part one click here
Fancy Color diamond buying guide – Part 2
One need not be a diamond expert to know that a diamond is defined by 4 characteristics – cut, clarity, color, and carat weight – which are certainly some of the most important considerations when purchasing a diamond. Perhaps one should add another letter to the diamond purchasing equation, a “B” for budget, an often overlooked piece of the puzzle.
Determining the budget for your Diamond Investment
In these tough economic times, savvy shopping is more important than ever, even in the investment game. No matter how much money one has, getting the most for your money is a common denominator for all wealth groups. Diamond education is a very important factor in determining how much diamond you can buy for the money you have allocated to investing.
Thus, if you are willing to compromise in areas such as clarity, color, or cut, you might be able to get more diamond for your money. Then again size doesn’t always matter, especially when it comes to Fancy Colored Diamonds. Small, rare colored Fancies are often more valuable, and expensive, than larger white diamonds.
The First C: Color Grading of Diamonds
Color grading can be somewhat confusing because the term actually refers to the absence of color in “colorless” or white diamonds. However, the factors used to judge white diamonds differ somewhat when grading Fancy Colored Diamonds. In the case of color, this means that, generally, the more color a fancy colored diamond carries (higher tone and saturation) the more valuable it is. Knowing the GIA grading charts is one way to understand how diamonds are judged and as an addition to the consumer’s knowledge base for diamond grading and finding diamonds within the budget.
Grading of Fancy Colored Diamonds
Fancy colored diamonds (FCDs) are graded from faint, lightly colored, to fancy vivid, and everything in between.
The primary factor that creates variation in price of Fancy Colored Diamonds is color saturation and the higher the saturation, the higher the price and value. In general the Intense and Vivid tones are the rarest and the most expensive grades.
It is important to know the grading of fancy colored diamonds is different from “colorless” diamonds. The GIA rates these diamonds in terms of their hue, tone, and saturation. Hue refers to the gem’s color, the actual color – red, blue, yellow, etc. The tone refers to the relative lightness or darkness and saturation, the color depth or strength. Thus, the terms used to describe these diamonds can include “fancy light”, or “fancy intense”, among others.
Fancy color diamonds are graded in two steps. The first factor considered is the stone’s basic hue, such as pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. The second is the diamond’s intensity. Both color characteristics form the basis for determining a fancy colored diamond’s worth.
As a general rule, intensely colored diamonds are more expensive due to their rarity in nature. For example, a fancy light pink diamond costs less than a fancyvivid pink diamond of equal size, shape and clarity. This might be one of the factors to consider when shopping for a Fancy Colored Diamond within your price range.
Clearly the Best – Clarity
The presence and absence of inclusions are another measure of a diamond’s value and is the easiest of the 4 C’s to evaluate and understand. Inclusions can affect the way light enters and exits the diamond thus affecting the sparkle and shine that diamonds are famous for. Obviously, a diamond without, or with few, inclusions, would be more valuable, and expensive, than a diamond with inclusions.
For the budget minded shopper, choosing a diamond containing some degree of inclusions can help save money as most inclusions are not noticeable to the naked eye. Clarity is not as much of a factor in Fancy Colored Diamonds due to their rarity, especially with the less common colors, such as red and pink.
The Cutting Edge – Diamond Cut, the Third C
The cut of a diamond refers to the workmanship of the diamond, the number of facets and the proportion of the arrangement of the facets that optimize the scintillating quality that we associate with diamonds. It is also important since it can enhance the diamond and increase its value.
The cut of Fancy Colored Diamonds is very important, since the cut’s goal is to emphasize the color of the gemstone. The cutting technique for Fancy Colored Diamonds is also different than that for white diamonds.
A Weighty Proposition – The 4th C, Carat Weight
As most people know, the larger the carat weight of a diamond, the more valuable it is. However, carat weight is not an accurate measure of the value of a diamond since there are 3 more aspects (color, clarity and cut) which affect the value. When setting a diamond price, the owner of the diamond takes into consideration all 4 C’s plus additional features such as florescence and certification.
With regards to Fancy Colored Diamonds, weight is certainly of importance, but again rarity is much more important. For example, Red, Blue, Green and Pink diamonds weighing 0.50 carats can cost 20 times more than a 0.50 G VS1 diamond. It’s all going back to rarity – which is the name of the game.
As a diamond buyer, it is your responsibility to understand the diamond pricing and how diamonds are priced if different parts of the 4 C’s are manipulated to make them fit the budget. Knowledge is power and, if you do your homework, you can find a diamond that is within your budget and fits your needs.