How Many Natural Colors Of Diamonds Are There?
While most people think of white diamonds as the default and some people are familiar with the other colors of natural diamonds, few people realize how many options exist for choosing their diamonds. How many natural colors of diamonds are there? Gemologists divide diamonds into an impressive 27 colors!
The Different Natural Diamond Colors
Below are some of the colors that naturally occur in diamonds. The range of colors means there's an appropriate diamond, regardless of personal aesthetic or occasion.
White diamonds are the most common and used for engagement rings and gifts for special occasions due to their glamorous sparkle. Some people opt for a different main stone for their engagement rings but often incorporate smaller diamond accents.
Compared to the translucent appearance of white diamonds, black diamonds block most light from traveling through the gem because of their high density. They are still faceted and are becoming more popular for engagement rings. Black and white diamonds are also quite complimentary.
These diamonds often have a darker center less dense than black diamonds with slightly darker facets than white diamonds. Salt-and-pepper diamonds look silky and speckled gray, thanks to multiple white and black inclusions in the stone.
Yellow diamonds occur the most frequently in nature next to white diamonds. These diamonds take their appearance, which can be pale or vibrant, from nitrogen in the carbon that absorbs blue light but transmits yellow.
Pink diamonds are well-known, perhaps because of how rare this color naturally occurs. For diamonds to appear pink, they must experience stress that displaces the carbon atoms within the crystal. This transmits only red light. However, the weak light transmission created a pink appearance.
Even more rare than pink diamonds are red diamonds. The same process that creates a pink diamond must occur. However, light transmission is only rarely strong enough to create a truly red diamond.
The reason why some diamonds appear orange is unknown. Still, diamonds come in shades of true orange and those that skew red or yellow.
A diamond appears blue when some of its carbon atoms have been replaced by boron atoms that block red light. Even a low concentration of boron atoms can produce a noticeably blue diamond.
Rarer green diamonds similarly absorb red light, but it's through the presence of radioactive mineral grains that knock carbon atoms out of place or the presence of nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel atoms within the crystal.
Violet diamonds are considered separate from purple diamonds because of their distinct smoky, lavender color that occurs when hydrogen atoms replace carbon atoms in the gem.
Diamonds that have a more vibrant purple color are categorized separately from violet diamonds. Rare purple diamonds occur when the center contains enough purple to impact the diamond's overall appearance.
Brown diamonds, including the trademarked "Chocolate" diamonds, occur more commonly in nature than any other diamond color! This is because plastic deformations cause concentrations of brown along glide planes in the crystal, giving diamonds their rich appearance.
The beauty of diamonds is that each one is truly unique thanks to the interplay between atoms and pressure, resulting in the complete 27 natural diamond colors.
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