Once a gem reserved for the rich and famous, colored diamonds are increasingly falling into the hands of mainstream consumers.
“From colored diamonds splashed across the pages of fashion magazines to celebrities on television to women and men flaunting them at high-society events, these stones have accumulated a strong following,” said Gino DiGeso, director of the Natural Color Diamond Association.
In the very high-end of the spectrum, colored diamonds are fetching record prices at auction. At a Christie’s auction, a 13.22-carat pear-shaped blue diamond sold for $23.8 million, setting a world auction record of $2 million per carat.
When it comes to mass marketing, jewelers are tapping into this segment and making these colored gems more attainable for the average consumer.
Josh Holland, spokesperson for online jeweler Blue Nile, said that when looking for the most affordable colored diamonds, consumers typically go with fancy yellow diamonds, followed closely by brown or “champagne” diamonds.
Holland also explained that criteria such as cut proportions and clarity, which is important when purchasing a white or colorless diamond, is less relevant when purchasing a fancy colored diamond.
“Fancy colored diamonds are primarily cut to emphasize their color,” Holland said. “This contrasts with colorless diamonds that are cut to maximize sparkle or brilliance, which in some instances can actually detract from the natural color of a fancy colored diamond.”
Holland emphasized that consumers should be sure fancy colored diamonds are independently certified, just like other diamonds. Blue Nile’s fancy colored diamonds, for example, are graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
“Shoppers should do their research before making a purchase,” Holland said. “They should also comparison shop at jewelers, both online and off, to find the best price.”