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What Are the Rarest Diamonds

Aside from exquisite beauty, what makes Fancy Color Diamonds so incredibly unique is how rare these precious gems actually are. There are a small number of diamond mines throughout the world that are known for the unique colors they manage to produce.

 

However, of diamonds already so scarce, there are a few colors which are so rarely found that the singular stones in the market are highly sought after by collectors and diamond enthusiasts.


There are only 12 different colored diamonds. However, as a result of 9 different intensity levels, 90 secondary hues, over 230 color combinations, and the various options of sizes, clarity, and cut – the different types of colored diamonds available are endless. Even still, Fancy Color Diamonds only represent less than 0.1% of all colorless diamonds produced each year!

 Some Rare Fancy Colored Diamonds - Yellow, Blue, Pink, and Red

The most popular colored diamonds, Yellow, Blue, Pink, and Red 

 

The Most Common Colors


Without any doubt, both Yellow diamonds and Pink diamonds have the highest market demand, even though there is a large price difference between the two. As a result to the abundance of Yellow diamonds found, they are a lot less expensive per carat than Pink stones. Interestingly enough, depending on the color intensity, many yellow diamonds are less expensive than their colorless counterparts.

 

 Yellow diamonds color scale

Yellow Colored Diamonds starting from Cape colors (4 stones on the left are from the U-V through X-Y-Z range) continuing to Fancy Light Yellow , Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Vivid Yellow and Fancy Deep Yellow

Pink Diamond Color Scale

Each different intensity grade of pink diamonds. From left to right: Faint Pink, Very Light Pink, Light Pink, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Pink, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Vivid Pink, and Fancy Deep Pink


More than the popular colored stones, there are a number of selected color diamonds which are considered so scarce, that the sale is often secure with a client before the diamond even arrives at the company’s headquarters. Furthermore, the price tag attached, obviously depending on the diamond characteristics, can sometimes reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.


Rarest Colors in the World


Some of the most magical diamonds are often purchased from major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. However, there are a number of fancy color diamond dealers where these unique pieces can sometimes be sourced. Still, even from these companies it isn’t every day that the rarest colors pass through their inventory. So what are the rarest colored diamonds?


Red Diamonds


Of the various different colors, Fancy Red Diamonds are by far the rarest. They are not often found, and sourced from very few locations around the world.

 0.18 Carat, Fancy Purplish Red Diamond, Pear, SI20.22 Carat, Fancy Red Diamond, Radiant, SI10.34 Carat, Fancy Purplish Red Diamond, Radiant, SI2

Fancy Red Diamonds are the extremely rare, which makes each one a collectors item


Two of the most famous Red diamonds are;

 

  • The Moussaieff Red: a 5.11 carat, Fancy RED diamond with an IF clarity grade. This magnificent stone is known as the largest internally flawless red diamond in the world.
  • The Hancock Red Diamond: A 0.95-carat, Fancy Purplish Red, Round Brilliant Diamond. Although it is slightly less than a carat, this stone remains one of the most famous red diamonds of all time due to its color.


Some of the most expensive red diamonds ever sold at auction were;

 

  • The Moussaieff Red, which was purchased back in 2001 for nearly USD $8 million dollars (1.6 million per carat).
  • The Hancock Red, was sold back in 1987 for approximately USD $880,000 (USD $926,000 per carat). With the rise of fancy color diamond prices over the past 15 years, that diamond would be considered worth a lot more today.

The Moussaieff Red Ring

 The Moussaieff Red diamond ring. Set with the famous 5.11 carat, Fancy Red with an internally flawless diamond clarity grade


Blue Diamonds


There are a number of discrepancies whether Pink or Blue Diamonds are considered the second rarest, but there definitely appear to be more Pink Diamonds available in the market.

 0.57 Carat, Fancy Gray Blue Diamond, Marquise, SI10.67 Carat, Fancy Deep Blue Diamond, Heart, VS21.10 Carat, Fancy Grayish Blue Diamond, Pear, IF

Fancy Blue Diamonds, although not the rarest color it is most often connected to royalty


Two of the most famous Blue diamonds that exist are;

 

  • The Hope Diamond: a 45.52 carat, Fancy Deep Grayish-Blue diamond with a VS1 clarity grade.

 

  • The Wittelsbach Graff: a 31.06 carat, Fancy Deep Blue diamond with an IF (internally flawless) clarity grade.


Some of the most expensive Blue Diamonds ever sold at auction were;

 

  • The incredibly unique Wittelsbach Graff diamond was sold in 2008 for an astonishing USD $24.3 million!

 

  • A 7.03 carat, Flawless Blue Diamond which was sold in 2009 for approximately USD $9 million dollars.

 

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

The Famous Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond


Pink Diamonds


With the second highest market demand, Pink Diamonds are known now only for their incredibly feminine and passionate colors, but also for their remarkable investment potential.

0.16 Carat, Fancy Intense Purplish Pink Diamond, Pear, SI10.36 Carat, Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink Diamond, Radiant, SI10.19 Carat, Fancy Intense Pink Diamond, Emerald

After Yellow, the vivacious colored Pink Diamonds have the highest market demand


Two of the most famous Pink Diamonds that exist are;

 

  • The Graff Pink: a 24.78 carat, Fancy Intense Pink diamond. This stone has been determined to have potential flawless characteristics, which is extremely rare.

 

  • The Steinmetz Pink: a 59.60 carat, Fancy Vivid Pink, Internally Flawless (IF) stone.


Some of the most expensive Pink Diamonds ever sold at auction were;

 

  • The Perfect Pink, a 24.78 carat holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond at auction, selling for the princely sum of approximately USD $46 million.

 

  • A 5.00 carat, Fancy Vivid Pink Cushion-cut diamond sold for approximately USD $2 million per carat. This was the highest price per carat ever paid for a diamond at auction.

 The 5 carat Fancy Vivid Pink, Cushion and the 24.78 carat, Graff Pink Diamond Rings

The 5 carat Fancy Vivid Pink, Cushion and the 24.78 carat, Graff Pink Diamond Rings

 


Orange Diamonds


One of the beauties of color diamonds is that no one single stone is better than another. It is simply which colors most prefer. Orange diamonds are an extremely rare color and very beautiful, only they happen to have a relatively low market demand.

 0.25 Carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange Diamond, Round, VS21.01 Carat, Fancy Deep Brownish Yellowish Orange Diamond, Oval, SI11.44 Carat, Fancy Vivid Yellowish Orange Diamond, Cushion

An extremely rare color that is often sought after by diamond collectors


Two of the most famous Orange diamonds are;

 

  • The Pumpkin Orange: a 5.54 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange, Cushion-shaped diamond.


The Pumpkin Orange was sold on October 30th, 1997 at a Sotheby’s auction for approximately USD $1.3 million.

 

The Pumpkin Orange Ring - Courtesy of Harry Winston

The Famous Pumkin Orange Diamond


Green Diamonds


Contrary to other colors, it is almost impossible to identify if any type of artificial enhancement was done on a Green diamonds in order to enhance the color. Therefore, most cutters leave an untouched ‘natural’ along the Girdle of the stone, which is considered acceptable and does not reduce the clarity grade of the diamond.

 0.14 Carat, Fancy Intense Green Diamond, Radiant0.19 Carat, Fancy Deep Bluish Green Diamond, Princess, VS20.17 Carat, Fancy Intense Green Diamond, Marquise

Various different shades and shapes of natural fancy green diamonds


Two of the most common Green diamonds are;

 

  • The Ocean Dream: a 5.51 carat, Fancy Deep Blue-Green, Shield-shaped diamond.

 

  • The Dresden Green: a 40.70 carat, natural Green, Pear-shaped diamond.


Of the most expensive green diamonds sold at auction, there was the Vivid Green Diamond, sold at Sotheby’s in 2009 for USD $3.08 million.

2.52-carat Fancy Vivid Green Diamond sold at Sotheby

The 2.52 carat, Fancy Vivid Green Diamond sold at Sotheby's

Image credit: Sotheby's

 

Contributor: Benji Margolese

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