19 Jul

How To Buy And Invest In Coloured Diamonds

Table of contents

A diamond ring on a black background.

It’s thought that the first diamonds were discovered in India around 3,000 years ago. It wasn’t until 1477 when their allure was cemented, as the first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy, beginning the tradition that still exists today.

Diamonds remain one of the most expensive and valued precious gems, with the most common coloured diamonds being yellow and brown (champagne and cognac),  while some of the most rare are pink and blue. 

Diamonds sold for their colour are labelled as “fancy” colour diamonds and green, red, pure purple and pure orange are the rarest of ‘fancy’ coloured diamonds. 

The worth of a fancy diamond is determined by grading methods, colour and rarity, which all affect the price and investment or resale value. Let’s delve into the different coloured diamonds and how to buy and invest in one of nature’s most exquisite gifts.

Which Coloured Diamonds Are Available to Buy?

There are several shades of colored diamonds;  yellow, brown, purple, pink, red, blue, and green, to name just a few – they come in all colours of the rainbow.  As a general rule, the more intense and vibrant the colour, the more rare and valuable the diamond.

Brown (Champagne/Cognac) Diamonds

Brown diamonds, also known as cognac or champagne diamonds, are one of the most common types of coloured diamonds and often the least expensive. 

They can range from light to dark, often appearing browner due to the presence of nitrogen during development. The Golden Jubilee diamond is a brown diamond and is the world’s largest cut and polished diamond.

Yellow Diamonds

A yellow diamond isolated on a white background.

Yellow diamonds are discovered all over the world and are the second most common kind of coloured diamond, with nitrogen giving them their yellow colour. Yellow diamonds’ colours range from light to vibrant, with their value determined by the colour’s intensity and vibrance. 

In Australia, the Ellendale Mine in WA was once the source of almost 50% of the world’s Fancy Yellow diamonds. It was shut in 2015 due to mismanagement,  but after changing ownership it looks like it will likely start up commercial production again in the coming year(s).

Orange Diamonds

A selection of orange diamonds isolated on a white background.

Nitrogen gives orange diamonds their distinctive colour, just like yellow diamonds. Natural Orange diamonds are usually modified by yellow, brown and sometimes pink. Orange diamonds with no modifying secondary colour are extremely rare.

Even though these diamonds are rare, pure orange diamonds have a low market demand, and there are too few of them in the world to constitute a genuine trading market; as a result, they are considered specialist collectors’ pieces. . The most famous orange diamond is The Pumpkin Orange diamond, a 5.54-carat vivid orange diamond, sold for $1.3 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 1997. 

Green Diamonds

Because green diamonds are formed when exposed to radiation, it is difficult to tell whether they have been naturally irradiated in the earth, or artificially enhanced with radiation exposure in a lab. When cutting green diamonds, most cutters leave an untouched ‘natural’ along the girdle of the stone to ensure its natural authenticity.

Purple Diamonds

It is rare to locate a pure purple diamond without secondary tones, such as pink or brown. There are very few locations in the world where purple diamonds can be found; the main source is Russia, with occasional stones found in Canada. 

Blue Diamonds

Most blue diamonds in the world originated from the Cullinan Mine in South Africa, and have also been found in Australia and India.Blue diamonds with strong, deep colours are among the most uncommon on the planet, making them extremely valuable. 

Boron is responsible for the blue colour in blue diamonds – the more boron a diamond has, the bluer it will be. Blue diamonds may range in colour from light to dark blue, with grey and green secondary hues. 

Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds are among the rarest diamonds in the world. The Argyle mine in Western Australia provided 90% of the world’s supply of pink diamonds, before closing its doors in 2020, making market demand even stronger

Six pink diamonds on a back background.

Due to their scarcity, pink diamonds are highly prized. Pink diamonds range in colour from the lightest blush pinks, to deep red. Just one out of every million carats that are mined is suitable for sale. Pink diamonds come in a range of saturations and have their own pricing criteria.

Red Diamonds

Red diamonds are the most valuable and rarest of all fancy diamonds, with prices starting at seven figures per carat. The Red diamond can be found in a number of countries, including Australia, Brazil, Russia, and India. 

One of the most famous discoveries in the Argyle mine in Australia was the discovery of red diamonds. Red diamonds contain no impurities and are composed entirely of carbon. 

In 2008, The Moussaieff Red Diamond, weighing 5.11 carats and considered  internally flawless, sold for USD $8 million ($1.6 million per carat). Since then, the prices for red diamonds, in particular Argyle origin red diamonds, have skyrocketed.

Which colour diamond is the rarest?

The rarity and price of a coloured diamond is typically found in the following order: 

  1. Affordable colored diamonds – grey, brown and fancy yellow diamonds
  2. Mid-range pricing – intense and vivid yellow diamonds and orange diamonds
  3. High price range – pink, purple, violet, green and blue diamonds

A fancy red diamond is by far the rarest of all the different colours of diamonds. However their extremely high price point can be inhibitive for most investors, in which case other fancy coloured diamonds can make a more appealing choice.

Pink diamonds have the second highest market demand and are known, not only for their incredible beauty, but also for their exceptional investment potential.

Where can I buy a pink diamond?

Major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s frequently sell spectacular diamonds and rare coloured diamond dealers occasionally source these special items. 

Here at Australian Diamond Portfolio, we pride ourselves on sourcing rare pink diamonds for admirers and investors alike. Our diamonds come with a GIA Coloured Diamond Grading Report and/or an Argyle Pink Diamond Gem Identification & Authenticity Document to verify their authenticity.

Why should I invest in pink diamonds?

There are many reasons that pink diamonds can make a smart investment choice, here are our top two:

  • Consistent growth year-on-year.Pink diamond prices have been delivering an average 10-15% price growth per annum over the better part of two decades.To further add to this, pink diamonds have delivered very strong long-term returns (circa 600% in the past 15-20 years).
  • Demand for pink diamonds has never been higherOver 90% of the world’s annual natural pink diamond supply was mined from one single source: Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia.The mine, in operation since the early 1980s, ceased operations in November 2020 due to an exhausted supply. This only exacerbates the shortage in supply and makes the remaining pink diamonds more valuable and a savvy investor’s choice.

Type Ib diamonds are much rare than Type Ia gems. They have a stronger or deeper hue of yellow or brown than others and absorb green light in addition to blue light. Although nitrogen is present in this category of diamonds, it does not appear as a cluster. Throughout the entire crystal structure, they are scattered and alone.

This form of diamond, which makes up only 0.1% of all known natural diamonds, is characterised by its bright yellow or occasionally brown hue. The visible absorption spectrum lacks distinct bands and is slightly rounded.

If you are considering investing in pink diamonds, the best place to start is our Pink Diamond Guide

This guide has been curated by world experts in the pink diamond industry, to give aspiring investors all the information they need to make a wise investment decision.

Get your Pink Diamond Guide here.  


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