Though very rare, there are diamonds
that are pink, orange, yellow ("canary"
color), green, blue, and purple. Each
color has its own pricing structure,
separate from that of the more commonly
seen diamonds that range from colorless
to light yellow, brown, and gray.
Blue and pink diamonds, especially,
are extremely expensive because of
their rarity. When a diamond's color
exceeds a certain tone level, the
term "fancy" is applied,
resulting in names such as "fancy
blue." The pear-shaped diamond
as shown in the photograph on the
next page is
fairly light in tone, but it is a
gorgeous fancy blue.
India was virtually the only source
of diamonds. Most of the diamonds
mined in India were highly transparent
and colorless, but on rare occasions
fancy blues and fancy pinks were found.
The blue Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian
Institute in Washington, D.C., is
believed to be of Indian origin. Diamond
production began in Brazil in 1725;
besides blue and pink diamonds, green
diamonds were also mined there.
fancy blue diamonds are apparently
being mined in limited quantities
from the Premier mine in South Africa.
The key to the beauty of a fancy blue
diamond is a blue color that, even
if light, has very little grayish
coloration. The fancy blue diamond
in the ring shown below is a rare
stone that shows very little grayish
color. In darker blue colors, the
grayish tint becomes stronger, causing
a loss of brightness in the blue flashes
seen in the stone's mosaic pattern.
Because production is extremely limited,
however, finding the ideal fancy blue
diamond is very difficult. This is
a classic example of how the rarity
of a gemstone determines its value.
These diamonds should be pursued as
collectors' pieces rather than as
gemstones to be used in jewelry. Most
of them are from several decades to
several centuries old, kept as heirlooms
and recirculated through auction sales.