A Promise of Value

Fancy Colour Diamonds
A Promise of Value

A dash of colour plays a vital role in jewellery and if the precious jewel has diamonds, fancy colour diamonds add not only colour but also same brilliance and sheer glamour. How these fancy lots have garnered so much interest, Kavita Parab finds out.

In November 2015, new world auction record for any diamond of any colour was set when the much talked about exquisite Blue Moon Diamond weighing 12.03-carats, boasting of internally flawless clarity and truly outstanding colour, was sold for staggering $48.4 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction held in Geneva. Another highlight of the auction was a Superb Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond Ring which fetched $13.9 million. This shows that colour diamonds are attracting huge price from buyers amidst the negative price trends for colourless diamonds.


Fancy colour diamonds span the spectrum of the rainbow, and host shades of everything in between. There are twelve main colours with a variety of overtones and shades. Each colour has its own beauty and is because of trace elements such as nitrogen in yellow, boron in blue, as well as, crystal lattice defects causing red and millions of years of natural radiation for green.

Of the ones that are commonly known in order of rarity is yellow diamond followed by brown, colourless then by blue, green, black, pink, orange, purple and red. According to www.gia.edu “Size and shape are two aspects of cut that can influence diamond colour. The larger a diamond is, or the deeper its pavilion, the farther light can travel in it. This can often lead to a richer, more intense colour.”

Argyle pink diamond has always been the centre of attraction. However, a drastic supply shortage is due to occur in 2020 with the closure of the Argyle mine, as per the reports.


If we look at the recent auctions, blue and pink colours undoubtedly pushed up the sale. But this happened at the auction. What about the overall market? “With their sunny shades gleaming everywhere from Hollywood to runways, yellow colour diamonds have become a rage and one of the most coveted stones. For yellow stones cushion cuts are better preferred as it brings out and enormously enhances the yellow colour of the stone,” says Rishabh Tongya, Creative Director, Diacolor.

Starring at the Auctions

Fancy colour diamonds are currently having a good run at the auctions, which gives rise to a question - “Why this sudden interest in colour diamonds?” Harsh Maheshwari, Director, Kunming Trading Company answered for us “Personally at auction markets, I see pinks and blues more often than I see orange diamonds. Orange diamonds are incredibly rare. This year, there is a surge of interest in yellow diamonds. They are quite popular as they are very wearable, and their price point is quite reasonable in comparison to other colour diamonds.”

“Colour diamonds are much rarer; it hence makes sense to invest in something that is not as commonly available in the market. Investors are also looking at diversifying their portfolios and add tangible assets owing to the volatile nature of equity markets,”says Rishabh Tongya.

Market Scenario

According Fancy Color Diamond Index published by the non-profit Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) press release, prices of these diamonds remained stable during the third quarter of 2015, at a time when white diamond prices showed declines of 6 – 10 per cent. The best performing fancy color diamonds were Vivid blues, which showed price increases of up to 6 per cent over the previous quarter.

Between July to September 2015, the Fancy Color Diamond Index remained practically unchanged, despite lower transaction volumes. Yellow diamond prices, especially in the Fancy category, were soft and declined by up to 2 per cent. Blue diamonds showed average price rises of up to 2 per cent, driven by the Vivid category, with certain sizes (1.5-carats, 2-carats and 5-carats) increasing by 5 - 6 per cent over the previous quarter. This marks the most significant quarterly price increase for blue diamonds in the last 12 months. Prices for pink diamonds were on average unchanged.

On a Y-O-Y basis, when compared to Q3 2014, blue diamonds have been the strongest performer among all colour categories with a 3 - 4 per cent price appreciation. The highest single-category Y-O-Y price increase was for 5-carats Vivid blue diamonds at 11 per cent.

Good Investment or???

Fancy colour diamonds have certainly caught fancy of jewellery enthusiasts. “So, are these stones a good investment?” we asked. To which, Rishabh Tongya answered “Colour diamonds are rare natural resources and much coveted for the same reason. To buy something that is desired and has a rarity value attached is always a good investment idea.” While Harsh Maheshwari said “Fancy colour diamonds are one of the safest and simplest choices for storing value. Just like rare works of art, hidden in a safe or worn as jewellery, fancy colour diamonds never fail to keep their promise of value.”

They are holding stable amidst the negative price trend of colourless diamonds. “In recent months, you can see a major shift in demographics due to the economic situation. The United States of America has been on a steady growth and is definitely a major market for colored diamonds, as well as, Australia for specific colors like pinks and yellows,” adds Harsh Maheshwari.


Certification is crucial be it natural colourless or fancy colour diamond. “Colour is very subjective and personal. People are very specific when they are looking for colourless diamonds, but you can’t afford to be as specific when it comes to colour diamonds, because it might just not exist. It is very important to work with someone with experience who can advise you correctly. These days, many people merely look at certificates and use the information the certificate provides to make their decisions,” says Harsh Maheshwari. Seconding his thought, Rishabh Tongya added “While purchasing diamonds one must make sure that an institute of worldwide recognition has certified it. A certificate from an organization of repute will also be an assurance of the price appreciation of the item.”

Fancy colour diamonds have their own charm and fascinate everyone who comes under their spell. These miracles of nature are not only rare but also are renowned for their beauty across the globe. Be it royalties or Hollywood celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham, they all have been fascinated by the natural colour diamonds. They are not only spectacular in their appearance and colour but also a promise of value.

Big Question:

Will colour diamonds be at par with colour less diamonds in the future?

In addition to the rarity of the stone, there must also be a market demand in order for it to see a good value appreciation.

While colourless diamonds continue their strong grip on the markets the demand for colour diamonds has seen a constant rise in the last couple of years and hence demonstrated a greater price appreciation.
Colour diamonds may very well be expected to come at par with colourless diamonds in the coming years.

- Rishabh Tongya, Creative Director, Diacolor

The price of most colourless diamonds is based on a price list used universally throughout the industry. For natural colour diamonds, it is based on market demand. A colour diamond’s price reflects the stones beauty and rarity. Personally speaking, being at par in terms of popularity, or market value is incomparable.

- Harsh Maheshwari, Director, Kunming Trading Company

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