The 4 C's: Colour

Not all diamonds shine with cold colourless light, like sharp shards of ice.  Diamonds come in a variety of hues, and colours play a major part in determining a diamond’s value: if you have seen Titanic, you know what we are talking about.



Unlike what Titanic might lead us to believe, coloured diamonds are not always the most valuable. It all depends on which colour— and how much of it – you are dealing with. Some colours add value to the diamond, thus the more intense the hue, the better.  Other colours detract from the diamond’s value; in these instances, less colour is preferable. As often is the case with precious stones, it all depends on rarity.

Diamond colour is ranked on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Most diamonds are light yellow or brown, often referred to as champagne or cognac diamonds. These stones are less valuable than their colourless counterpart. Diamonds that rank from M to Z on the colour scale will have a hue that can be discerned by the naked eye. Since colourless diamonds are considerably rarer than yellow or brown diamonds, they are much more valuable. But some coloured diamonds are the most expensive diamonds in the world.

Pink diamonds and blue diamonds, for example, are extremely rare. One example? The Hope Diamond, in the image, has been making its way through the hands of kings, lords, celebrities, and jewellers since 1668. It is now exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum, where its vibrant blue colour will keep on mesmerizing for a few more centuries.