Why aren’t all diamonds white in colour?
Imagine holding a beautiful diamond in the palm of your hand. What is the very first characteristic you envision the diamond to have? For most individuals, the very first thought that jumps to mind is a sparkly colourless gemstone you usually find on an engagement ring. This traditional idea of a diamond is not easily formed – the magnificent gemstone was created more than 3.3 billion years ago due to super-heated, high pressured carbon molecules that are close to the earth’s core. But did you know that not all diamonds are white in colour? Diamonds come in a variety of natural fancy colours.
What exactly are coloured diamonds?
Natural Fancy Colour diamonds are extremely rare and beautiful
When it comes to the formation of a natural fancy colour diamond the stone is created in the same way as a colourless diamond. However, there is one unique difference; during the crystallising process, foreign particles such as radiation and gas molecules get trapped in the stone. This in turn influences the colour of the diamond in a very unique way. Each colour depends on the different types of minerals and molecules that were present when the diamond was formed. Here’s a list of the different colour diamonds you will find in nature:
Natural red and pink diamonds, the rarest of the rare
Natural pink and red diamonds are extremely rare in nature
There’s nothing more beautiful than a rare pink or red colour diamond. But where exactly could one find a unique diamond like this? Of all the natural fancy colour diamonds, red diamonds are considered to be the rarest – only twenty to thirty stones are known to exist worldwide. The extremely rare red colour diamond can only be found in Africa, Australia and Brazil. The red colour of the stone is caused due to traces of boron and nitrogen. A pink diamond is essentially also formed in the same way as the red stone, but the colour is less rare. Unlike the red diamond, the intense pressure and heat of the stone leads to a distortion in the crystal lattice that takes in green light causing a pinkish hue in the diamond.
Grey and blue colour diamonds
Grey and blue diamonds get their colour from the chemical element, boron
Did you know that grey diamonds get their colour from a hydrogen defect causing the diamond to absorb equal quantities of all light wavelengths? Some of the fancy grey diamonds get their colour from the chemical element boron, which is the same case for the colour blue. Boron causes the carbon in the crystal structure to bond, leading to the colours red, yellow and green to be absorbed in the colour spectrum. Currently, it’s not well-known why boron created both grey and blue colour gemstones, but the results still remain fascinating.
Violet and purple colour diamonds
Violet diamonds can be found in the Western Australia
Even though a pure violet-coloured diamond is not as uncommon as a fancy red colour gemstone it’s still considered to be extremely rare. The one of a kind diamond, which belongs to the purple diamond family is believed to be formed due to hydrogen in the crystal lattice. Scientists, however, believe the colour comes from colour distortion. One thing is for sure, we can’t get enough of the unique violet and purple colour range of diamonds.
Yellow and orange colour diamonds
Nitrogen is said to be responsible for the yellow or orange hues in a diamond
When it comes to the beautiful hue of the yellow and orange diamond, the element nitrogen is considered responsible. During the formation of the diamond, nitrogen atoms are formed in a way that blue light gets absorbed, giving you the yellow colour. The colour orange is formed due to specific nitrogen atoms grouping together and absorbing both blue and yellow spectrum light.
Black diamonds reflect no form of light
Like most of the colour diamonds on the list, black diamonds are also considered to be extremely rare. But what makes them so special? The gemstone is naturally filled with dark inclusions (also known as graphite), and the reason why they appear dark is because their structure prevents them from reflecting any form of light. The diamond is, however, essentially made of pure carbon, much the same as a colourless gemstone.
Just when you thought diamonds couldn’t get more beautiful than they already are, nature provides us with a gorgeous array of natural fancy colour gemstones. Not only do you get diamonds in different colours, but they also have a very unique element to how they were formed. Just as your personality is unique, so is every natural fancy colour diamond formed in nature.