12th June 2010
Move over white – diamonds in rainbow hues are now on everyone’s wish list!
The Hope Diamond is probably the most famous coloured diamond in the world. The gray-blue stone (and its infamous curse) is sequestered inside the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. But there are many other coloured diamonds on the open market, and they’re increasing popular, both as something to wear and something to invest in.
The sheer rarity of coloured diamonds has made them incredibly desirable today — in fact, they command the highest prices at jewellery auctions. From engagement rings to collar necklaces, fancy, or coloured, diamonds are now in high demand by everyone who can afford them. That list includes Hollywood celebrities, Russian oligarchs, Saudi princes and regular consumers who want something special. And jewellers have taken notice. Diamonds in every shade are getting the royal treatment from princess to marquise cuts, with pieces coming from all quarters, from avant garde designers like Theo Fennell to conglomerate De Beers.
If a flawless, white diamond is a rare thing, a flawless, coloured diamond is even rarer. Only one in every 10,000 diamonds is a coloured stone, and only 4,000 carats are available on the world market at any one time. Traces of boron turn a diamond blue, while nitrogen creates yellow stone. A flawless red diamond is practically non-existent. That’s why the Moussaieff Red, a 5.11 carat diamond and one of only five graded in the world, is worth more than $20 million.
Following red in order of rarity are orange, green, blue, pink and yellow, yellow being the most widely available and thus the most affordable. Now brown diamonds are the latest to strike collectors and jewellers’ fancy. They run the gamut from golden champagne to deep cognac. “There is an interesting trend towards yellow and light, golden colours which are warm and sympathetic and need not stretch one’s pocket,” says jewellery designer Theo Fennell. “They also can lend themselves to more original designs than traditional white.”
Graff, considered one of the best jewellers in the world and subject of our programme The King of Diamonds, has 60 percent of the world’s yellow diamonds – in 2006, they sold the Golden Maharaja (65.57 carats) and the Rojtman Diamond (107.46 carats). They say they have seen rising interest from customers in yellow, pink and cognac diamonds.
Yellow diamonds have always been popular, especially in the US, according to De Beers, and pink diamonds have really come on in the past few years. They appeal to connoisseurs and collectors – maybe for a special occasion, such as a wedding anniversary. “There are so many variations in the pink and blue shades: lilac pink, baby pink, grey-blue, pale blue….not all of them are that rare, but each is certainly unique,” says a spokeswoman for the company. “Clients are looking for a stone of character.”
It’s that character that has made coloured diamonds so popular in retail and for collectors. Individuals can therefore choose the shade and hue that best fits their personality, their wardrobe and their mood. Would you expect anything less?