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Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From?


Natural colored diamonds are extremely rare. The ratio of colorless diamonds to colored diamonds is said to be 1 to 10,000. To be more blunt, it means that a mere 0.0001% of the diamonds that are mined are natural colored diamonds.

Now that we've established that these gems are rare (to say the least), let's explore the globe and see where they can be found.

Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From?Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From?

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The above graphic shows the five most distinctive locations in which colored diamonds are found, but there are still more places out there...

The countries in which colored diamonds are found

  • Angola is famed for low graded white colorless diamonds and cape diamonds. However, pure yellow diamonds (aka canary diamonds) and brown diamonds can also be found.
  • Australia has the world's most famous diamond mine - The Argyle Diamond mine. The Rio Tinto owned mine that was discovered in 1979 is responsible for approximately 90% of the world's supply of pink diamonds. Moreover, the quality and the strong hue that some of the pinks mined from Argyle is world renown. The Argyle Tender, where approximately 50 diamonds are sold every year was the origin of some of the most famous colored diamonds - Pink, Purple, Blue and Red diamonds are sold for millions. However, while the fame of the mine comes from the rarest colors, most forget that the mine extracts notable portion of the world's champagne brown diamonds.
  • Borneo has mainly brown and yellow diamonds but in rare occasions pink, blue or green diamonds can also be found there.
  • Brazil is quite interesting. Most of the colored diamonds that are found there are yellow and brown. These diamonds are also known to have strong fluorescence which gives them a greenish appeal. Interestingly, just the opposite side to these low cost diamonds Brazil is also known to produce ultra-rare red diamonds, blue, green and intense pinks.
  • Central Africa has a relatively small production but among the colors that can be found are natural black diamonds and yellow diamonds. Rare but still possible are pinks, blue and green diamonds.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo is a strong diamond producer. However, most of the diamonds that are mined there are low grade industrial diamonds. The colored diamonds that were occasionally discovered were strong yellows, orange and cognac browns as well as combinations of these colors - yellow orange diamonds
  • Sierra Leone's mining industry takes a major role in the country's economy and the diamond export's portion accounts for about 46% of their export revenue. According to Wikipedia, In 2009 the government recorded exports of 400,480 carats. Out of which 143,620 carats were industrial grade diamonds and 256,860 were gem quality diamonds - the opposite of above mentioned Congo that more than 80% of their diamonds are industrial grade.

    The yellow diamonds that are mined in Sierra Leon's Zimmi mine are extremely rare and have practically invented a category of their own - Zimmi Yellow Diamonds – are vivid yellow diamonds with a strong saturation that does not resemble any other yellow diamond. In fact, regular vivid yellow diamonds seem pale next to the ones from Zimmi mine. And they are priced accordingly, approximately 1.5 - 2 times the price of "regular" vivid yellow diamond.
  • South Africa has some of the most famous diamond mines and is of the utmost importance especially in the niche of colored diamonds. The most famous mine is the Premier mine that was purchased by Petra Diamonds and changed its name to the Cullinan mine after one of the most famous diamonds in the world. If you've been following our blog during the past three years then the name Petra Diamonds and the Cullinan Mine is not new to you. The most interesting diamonds, mainly blue but also oversized whites, that were found over the last few years were from the Cullinan mine. It is obvious now that the Cullinan mine is the most important source for natural blue diamonds of the highest quality.
  • The Hope Diamond
    India is very well known as a leader in the diamond industry but less for its mines and findings.
    However, the two most famous diamonds in the world were mined there - the Hope Diamond and the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.

Colored Diamonds Locations by Color

Now let's say you don't want to travel the world searching for colored diamonds but rather wish to dig up a yellow diamond? Wouldn't you like to know where yellow diamonds come from? Or black?

The table below will allow you to do just that – check the origin of colored diamonds based on the diamond's color:

Diamond Color Countries
Black Central Africa
Blue Australia (Argyle), Borneo, Brazil, Central Africa (rarely), South Africa, India
Brown Australia (Argyle), Angola, Borneo, Brazil, Congo
Green Borneo, Central Africa (rarely)
Orange Congo
Pink Mainly Argyle Mine in Australia, Borneo, Brazil, Central Africa (rarely)
Purple Sybir, Argyle
Red Argyle, Brazil
Yellow Angola, Brazil, Borneo, Central Africa, Congo, Sierra Leone

Now that you know where every colored diamond is located on the planet, did you decide where you want to go?

How Colored Diamonds are Made?

How are Colored Diamonds Made?

Knowing where you can find colored diamonds is one part of the equation…

Wouldn't you like to learn more about the mysterious effect that causes them to be so unique in the first place?