When most people hear the word "diamond", they immediately think of a ring with a colourless diamond in it. Sales of coloured diamonds are on the rise, however. Women are deliberately choosing jewellery more often with coloured diamonds. They are particularly unique and valuable because of their scarcity. How are they formed, how should you wear them, what are the most famous examples, and are they a good investment?

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What different coloured diamonds are there?

Coloured diamonds are diamonds with a certain hue, which are a result of the presence of a particular naturally occurring element. Some coloured diamonds are rarer than incoloured variants, making them particularly unique and valuable. Natural coloured diamonds can be blue, yellow, purple, pink, red brown, green or black.
The different colours of diamonds arise from differences in the atomic structure. The difference in atomic structure has to do with impurities in the diamond: another naturally occurring element is compressed along with the carbon.

  • If boron were present when forming, the result will be a grey or blue diamond.

  • The presence of nitrogen produces a yellow diamond.

  • Diamonds get a purple colour in the presence of high levels of hydrogen.

  • A distorted crystal lattice can result in pink, red or brown diamonds.

  • Green diamonds are colourless until they rise almost to the earth's surface. There, they are exposed to natural radiation. The diamonds absorb this radiation and so turn green.

  • There is some doubt about black diamonds, but their colour is probably influenced by graphite.


The way they are formed sees to it that every coloured diamond is unique. Every coloured diamond has its own hue. As a result, they are generally more valuable than colourless ones.
Necklace with a sapphire instead of a blue coloured diamond - BAUNAT

Blue diamonds

The colour of blue diamonds is caused by boron particles trapped in the carbon lattice structure. This substance absorbs red light, which gives the precious stone its blue colour.

Blue diamonds come in all different shades. The Hope Diamond is one of the most well-known blue diamonds.

Sapphires are a lovely alternative to expensive blue diamonds, like the one set into this necklace here.

View this beautiful sapphire necklace here

Butterfly ring with brown coloured diamond - BAUNAT

Brown diamonds

Brown diamonds get their colour from distortion in the crystal lattice when they are being formed. Brown diamonds range in colour from champagne to chocolate.

Because their colour makes the diamond sparkle less than a colourless one, brown diamonds are less expensive than other coloured diamonds.

View this butterfly ring from the Monarca collection

Ring with yellow diamond by BAUNAT

Yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds get their colour from the presence of nitrogen in the crystal lattice. The more nitrogen, the more yellow the diamond.

The most well-known yellow diamond is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond. It is one of the largest there is, and among other things, Audrey Hepburn wore it in a necklace on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s film set.
BAUNAT ring with a ruby instead of a red diamond

Red diamonds

Red diamonds are the rarest coloured diamonds. As a result, little is known about how these diamonds are formed. The red diamond probably has some unusual distortions in its crystal lattice.

The Moussaiëff Red Diamond is the largest and most expensive red diamond, at 13.9 carats.

Rubies are a fine alternative to red diamonds, which are extremely rare.

View this ruby ring here

Ring with pink diamond by BAUNAT

Pink diamonds

Pink diamonds are also extremely rare. Just 1% of diamonds are coloured pink. This is because the colour only occurs under very specific geological conditions.

The most famous pink diamond is the Pink Star. At no less than 59.6 carats, this gemstone is valued at more than €67 million.

Pink diamonds are a lovely alternative to a colourless diamond in, for example, an engagement ring.

View this unique pink diamond ring here

Man's wedding ring with black coloured diamonds - BAUNAT

Black diamonds

Black diamonds get their colour due to the presence of graphite in the crystal lattice structure. As a result, it is also not as hard as colourless diamonds. This precious stone is also known as the carbonado, due to its colour.

Black diamonds are very popular with men, set into a wedding ring, for example. The black colour means these diamonds do not sparkle as much, making them look trendier.

The most famous black diamond is the Black Amsterdam Diamond.

Order your black diamond ring here

Purple diamonds - BAUNAT

Purple diamonds

Purple diamonds are not varieties of pink or blue diamonds. A completely different substance is found in the crystal lattice, namely hydrogen.

The most famous purple diamond is the Royal Purple Heart. At 7.34 carats and I1 clarity, it is the largest diamond of its kind.
An emerald ring is a fine alternative to green-coloured diamonds - BAUNAT

Green diamonds

Green diamonds get their colour from absorbing radiation as they emerge from the ground.

One of the most famous green diamonds is the Aurora Green Diamond. The 5.03 carat diamond is set in a halo ring with pink diamonds.

Emeralds are an alternative to green diamonds. Since coloured diamonds are so scarce, they are also very valuable. Emeralds can be a more economical choice here.

Browse our emerald jewellery here

The most popular coloured diamonds

A good number of diamonds with fancy colours are sold at auction. At the start of 2019, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) put together a summary of the 2018 auction year. According to this certification laboratory, no less than $1.1 billion worth of fantastic diamonds, coloured gemstones and jewellery were auctioned off.

Large pink and blue diamonds continued to do especially well, attracting the highest bids. One highlight was certainly the sale of the Pink Star at Sotheby’s.

The scarcest coloured diamonds

Red diamonds are the scarcest - BAUNAT
Yellow diamonds are the most common variety of "coloured diamond"; blue and green diamonds are much scarcer. Red diamonds are the scarcest. In total, there are between 20 and 30 worldwide. They are also quite small, at less than 0.5 ct. each. Pink diamonds are perhaps the most popular, but due to their scarcity you pay a small fortune for them. Year after year, auction houses report record prices per carat for pink diamonds.

The price of coloured diamonds

As only 2% of the worldwide supply of diamonds is coloured, the investment returns on coloured diamonds continue to increase exponentially. Even smaller ones are still an investment, but fortunes can be paid for the larger diamonds. Thanks to their scarcity, coloured diamonds are a significant but very lucrative investment in a particularly stable commodity. Whether they are worn or locked away in the safe: time is a coloured diamond's best friend.

It can be said of colourless diamonds: the paler the colour, the more expensive they are, because the rarer and more sought after they are. Diamonds with a fancy colour are valued differently. If a colour is rare, such as red, the reasoning goes: the more intense the colour, the more it is worth.
The more intense the colour, the more it is worth
But rarity is not the only thing which determines the price of coloured diamond jewellery. Fashion trends play a role, too. Sometimes just a Hollywood star being proposed to with a pink diamond ring will boost the popularity of that particular colour.

The popularity and price of coloured diamonds have been on the rise worldwide for some time, due to their rarity, but also thanks to Asian investors. According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) - the not-for-profit coloured diamond index - coloured diamonds appreciated in value by an average of 157.4% from 2006 to 2014. By comparison, asking prices for colourless diamonds increased "only" 62.4% in the same period.
Woman sketching a ring. At BAUNAT you can have your jewellery made to your own design

Where can I buy rare coloured diamonds?

Come to BAUNAT if you are looking for a coloured diamond. We have included black diamonds, yellow diamonds, and one pink diamond in our online range. Contact our experts for more information. Even if you are looking for a different diamond from the ones currently on offer on our website.

Read about how you could design your own jewellery

Our experts can then make jewellery to your own design, incorporating the diamond you have chosen. We always recommend you be guided by an expert. They will help you choose the jewellery, find the right gem size and adapt the style to match other jewellery. Do you not have time to visit our showroom? Then why not chat online with our jewellers, for help and advice.

Browse various coloured diamonds

You've now been introduced to the world of coloured diamonds. Would you like to know more about a particular colour, or find out which are the most famous diamonds in each colour? Then read our other articles below.
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