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Three-quarter-carat radiated brown diamond with white diamonds in a yellow gold pendant — Tobin
By T.J. Salsman | STAFF
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Color me dazzled
By Kathleen Ostrander

Sophisticated, elegant, chic and trendy, colored diamonds have become all the rage now that they are gracing the necks and fingers of more and more celebrities.

"J. Lo wears a colored diamond somewhere and that's what people start looking at," said Carl Giganti of Giganti and Giganti. In this area, said Giganti as well as other city jewelers, you don't have people buying colored diamonds the size of robin eggs to wear.

"Sure, we can get them here, but it would be awhile before they would sell," he said.

What people are buying and looking for, he said, are pieces that have colored diamonds either as an accent or as a centerpiece with naturally colored diamonds, too.

Colored diamonds occur naturally, explained Jim Roach of Be Iced. Intense pressure along with the introduction of natural elements into the process make diamonds take on a colored hue.

"Colored diamonds have been around for years," Roach said.

"Celebrities have worn canary or yellow diamonds - but we are seeing more of the rose and also the brown or champagne colored."

It is rare to see a colored diamond set in anything but a platinum or gold setting, explained Shane Luttrell of Lutrell Jewelers. "They just don't look as nice in silver or sterling silver. Yellow is the most accepted of the colored diamonds," he said. "It is more recognizable as a diamond, so that's the most popular of the colored diamonds," he said.

Brian Denney of Denney Jewelers said all different cuts of colored diamonds are popular. Jewelers must take care to put the colored stones into a setting that makes them look the best. Round and pear-shaped seem the most popular, but a squarer cut seems to suit yellow diamonds well.

Customers at Denney's as well as at some of the other jewelry stores can pick a stone and a setting.

Evan Hart at Tobin Jewelers said many of the companies that market jewelry lines are now utilizing colored diamonds. A popular item at his store is the so-called eternity band. Eternity bands have diamonds around the entire ring instead of just on the front, and they can be paired with eternity bands of other colors.




The cut
Round - the most popular modern shape because it is versatile and shows a nice sparkle.

Princess - It's the trendy alternative to round. Its angles and facets also show a nice sparkle.

Oval - flattering and elegant - it makes even the shortest fingers look attractive.

n Emerald - a rectangular cut that screams glamour because it's best used with a larger cut.

The 4Cs
Cut - Cut refers to a gem's reflective qualities. The more a diamond looks like it is emitting light, the higher the "bling" factor.

Clarity - Diamonds are rated based on a lack of flaws. A diamond with no internal or external flaws is FL. Internally flawless would be an IF rating.

Color - the most valuable diamonds are without color. This rating goes from D (completely colorless) to Z (cloudy and tinted.)

Carat - refers to the weight. The price of a diamond rises exponentially with carat weight.

Certification of colored diamonds is based on:

Hue - more than one word can be used in the description. If a diamond is described as yellowish-brown, the second color listed is considered the predominant color.

Intensity - refers to how strong the stone color is and whether or not the stone is light or dark in color. Intensity descriptions include: light, dark, faint and normal. Exceptional colored diamonds are sometimes referred to as fancy.

Yellow diamonds
Fancy yellow diamonds are colored by nitrogen impurities in the stone. The Gemological Institute of America grades fancy diamond color by quantifying saturation, hue and value using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.' Letters are also attached to the designation starting at M  and ending at Z - but Z is not the highest designation.

Faint - M

Very Light - N to R

Light - S to Z

Fancy Light - Start of 'Fancy'


Fancy Dark

Fancy Intense

Fancy Deep

Fancy Vivid - Highest Saturation

Pink diamonds

Pink diamonds are caused naturally by microscopic imperfections within the gem structure. 1PP is the highest quality designation for pink diamonds, having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.

1PP to 8PP - Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest

1P to 8P - Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest

1BP to 8BP - Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest

PC3 to PC1 - Champagne 3 is darkest

C8 to C1 - Cognac 8 is darkest

Blue diamonds
Blue diamonds are graded from Fancy to Fancy Vivid, with Fancy Vivid being the highest. The grade range is Fancy, Fancy Light, Fancy Deep and then, Fancy Vivid. Natural blue diamonds are caused by boron replacing carbon.

Diamonds can be irradiated and heated to make them yellow, blue or green. The price of colored diamonds made so by synthetic means is considerably less than colored diamonds that occur naturally.


Story published Friday, November 7, 2008 ( Volume 3, Number 6 )

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