You hear certain diamonds being referred to as “fancy” diamonds, but what does this mean? Fancy diamonds are those that are richly colored rather than the traditional clear or white.
While some diamonds are colored in a laboratory, fancy diamonds are naturally colored by elements like nitrogen and boron. These cause impurities in the stone from high pressure placed on the stone during formation. If these “impurities” appear in large amounts, the fancy diamond will demand a high price.
When these diamonds are graded, the first characteristic to take into account is the stone’s hue. Colors range from yellow, blue, brown, pink, red and more. After color comes the intensity of that color. Most commonly used is the GIA scale from the Gemological Institute of America, which starts at faint, and moves through very light, light, fancy light, fancy, fancy dark, fancy intense, fancy deep and fancy vivid. Fancy vivid diamonds are the richest in color, giving them the highest value.
Just like all diamonds, fancy diamonds will also be given grades on cut, clarity and carat. The cut of a diamond will impact its brilliance and ability to reflect light, making it important in the stone’s value. Clarity is less important for colored stones as it is for clear ones, but the less inclusions the better. Finally, carat is the weight and size of the diamond; in general, larger stones will be valued higher.
Courtesy of WiseGeek