It's been over 70 years since the GIA has created the methodology of diamond grading based on their 4 C's and it became the industry's standard for evaluating diamonds. The 4 C's are diamond's cut, clarity, carat weight and color.
While it is the combination of all that sets a diamond's quality and value (a diamond's price), most professionals are unified that it is the cut that is most important.
The reason is simply because what good is a big diamond (Carat) if it doesn't sparkle. And what good is a diamond with good Color if it completely dull. Therefore you'll always be recommended to buy a diamond with at least good cut (in rounds) as well as good polish and symmetry (if not very good).
After all… when you are buying a diamond its because of its brilliance and sparkle… or is it...?
How Color is Tilting the scale of the 4 Cs
The cut is an extremely important parameter… in whites. Without a doubt when you are buying a colored diamond the most important factor that sets a diamond's demand, rarity and value - is its color.
The prices of diamonds (any diamonds) go up in an exponent (as opposed to linear) when it comes to their rarity. Since colored diamonds are much rarer than whites (ratio of 1 to 10,000), the price changes are more extreme.
How Color affects Price of White Diamonds
A 1 carat J color vs1 diamond costs approximately $4,500 and all the way the other side of the diamond color scale, a D color costs $8,000. (6 color levels difference). These are two extremes and we see a 77% price increase.
Keep in mind that the difference is higher when dealing with diamonds that are more rare. This is why when we do the same comparison with a 2 carat diamond the difference is of 140% (increase from $15,500 to $37,000).
How Color affects Price of Colored Diamonds
A beautiful 0.50ct round faint pink diamond costs approximately $4,500 (similar to the 1 carat J vs) and a pure fancy pink diamond (faint, very light, light, fancy light, fancy) with I1 clarity costs $15,000! More than 200% increase even when we lowered the clarity to I1 in order to focus on color. An intense pink with I1 clarity is approximately $50,000 ($100,000 per carat!!!). Ten times more valuable than a faint pink.
Don't forget, these differences are in 0.50 a carat pink. In 1 carat pinks the difference is higher:
1 carat round faint pink with vs clarity costs $12,500.
A 1 carat round vivid pink with vs clarity costs… I don't know…
In all my years I have yet to find one - just name the price and its yours.
So, why do we like faint and light colored diamonds?
Exactly for that reason!
The intensity scale of colored diamonds goes as follows:
Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid.
Nine intensity levels (though not all colors have all levels).
Usually, when people are asking and searching for colored diamonds they start (and often stay) with fancy. In fact - the phrase fancy colored diamonds is pretty much the synonym for natural color diamonds. Sometimes, when the budget does not allow they might consider fancy light.
It is this lack understanding or maybe even lack of knowledge about the existence of weaker lighter tones that causes people to miss a world of diamonds that have a very special beauty – truly missed opportunities.
Light Pink and Light Blue Diamond as Examples
Just look at these pink, blue and green beauties:
When these diamonds are mounted they throw a touch of colorful halo. It can be a romantic pink worm green or lively blue. A touch of personalization, a special twist to the all familiar engagement ring - for a fraction of the price, without the need of settling for clarity or even size.
Light Blue Diamond Price Comparison
$6,000 per carat
$7,500 per carat
$50,000 per carat
$75k-$100k per carat