Rare Coins, Fine Jewelry & Precious Metals
Twery's Logo Dark font

Assessing Colored Diamonds’ Quality: How Does It Differ?

Table of Contents

People often ask our appraisers at Twery’s if the same criteria are used for assessing the value of colored diamonds as for white “colorless” ones. So-called “fancy color diamonds” are those not in the normal color range. They can be worth as much as five or six figures per carat. Extremely rare one can be worth much more.

A diamond’s color is determined by elements that it’s exposed to during formation. For example, red and pink diamonds result from the presence manganese. Yellow diamonds are caused by nitrogen. Green diamonds result from irradiation, for example, if they originated near radiated rocks.

So how is a colored diamond’s value assessed? There are a number of factors that the experts at Twery’s look at. As with all diamonds, of course, carat weight impacts the value. However, here are two other key factors unique to fancy color diamonds that help determine their value:


Basically, the rarer the color, the more valuable the diamond. Diamonds are named for the primary color present. Those with two equally-present colors are named for both, like “orange blue” or “purple pink.” Even small differences in color can have a significant impact on the diamond’s value.

  • Red diamonds are the rarest of the colored diamonds, with fewer than 20 stones actually certified as red. Fewer than 20 stones have so far been certified as red diamonds. Some have been valued at as more than $1 million per carat.
  • Blue diamonds are also very rare. They vary significantly in color from faint to deep blue.
  • Pink diamonds are quite rare – particularly those with a high intensity as opposed to the more pastel ones.
  • Green and also purple diamonds that have no modifiers or secondary hues are rare. However, most have some other colors in them.
  • Yellow diamonds are more commonly seen. However, those with a high intensity (known as “canary” or “fancy vivid yellow”) can be rare and, therefore, more valuable.
  • Brown diamonds are the most common of the fancy colored diamonds. They’re more commonly known as chocolate diamonds or by names such as champagne, coffee.


The intensity of the diamond’s color also is a factor in its value. The intensity is graded and can run anywhere from “faint” to “intense.” The cut and size of the stone can impact the intensity of its color. Generally, larger diamonds have a more intense color. Certain cuts can also intensify the color. Fancy diamonds are more likely to be cut into unique shapes than colorless diamonds.

If you have some colored diamond jewelry that you’re considering selling, it’s essential to bring it to a reputable dealer like Twery’s. Our professionals are trained and experienced in grading and appraising colored diamonds to consider all of the factors discussed above and provide an accurate appraisal of your jewels. Call or contact us online or come visit us at our Greenacres location to find out how we can help you.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top