History of Fancy Coloured Diamonds

Fancy coloured diamonds have been treasured and worn for centuries. The Rajah of Agra gave a Moghum Emperor named Babur the light pink Agra diamond in 1526 as a gift. Babur treasured this gift and wore it in his turban for many years after that. However, it is not until much more recently that these stones have been available to consumers. In the past these stones were so rare that only royalty and those who were wealthy could afford to purchase them.

Fancy coloured diamonds have been prized throughout history for their rarity. Fancy coloured diamonds come in many colours and hues. From light pink to a vivid rose, from shades of orange, green, and yellow to brown or black, or even red and blue, fancy coloured diamonds are impressive to see. The most commonly coloured fancy diamond stone is yellow. Blue and green diamonds are very rare. However, most rare of all are pink and red diamonds.

image

The colour of diamonds comes from the conditions that were present when the diamond was formed. Nitrogen causes yellow diamonds and Boron will cause a diamond to be formed with either a blue or steel grey colour. If there is radiation present at the time of a diamond being formed, the stone will turn out to be green. These stones are rated by the intensity of their colour. The more intense and pure their colour, the higher the value and the more they cost.

Up until the 16th century, fancy coloured diamonds came from India. Eventually these diamonds were also found outside of India in South America and Africa. They were sold by local merchants to the English, French, Portuguese, and Dutch traders. These stones were then taken to cutting centres in India, Paris, London, or Amsterdam.

One of the most popular fancy coloured diamonds is the Hope Diamond. It is a 45.52 carat stone that is a dark greyish blue colour. This stone is one of the most sought after gemstones of all.

Another popular fancy diamond is the Tiffany diamond. This stone was mined in 1877 in South Africa and is 128.54 carats. The tone is a beautiful canary-yellow.

Today, Africa is the number one supplier of fancy coloured diamonds. Other countries that produce fancy coloured diamonds include Brazil, Australia, Venezuela, Russia, South America, and Canada. Both collectors and connoisseurs started to give more and more attention to these colourful stones. Fancy coloured diamonds, especially those that are blue and red, have reached their peak in popularity and in price.

« Back to the Diamond Information Centre