Here’s a hint, they also the rarest diamonds

The price of a typical diamond is based on the famous 4 C’s: Diamond Cut, Diamond Color, Diamond Clarity and Diamond Carat Weight.  The different grades and weights of each of these elements determine the price of a diamond. For example, a one carat diamond and a two carat diamond may cost the same if the color and clarity of the smaller diamond are far superior to the color and clarity of the larger diamond.  (Learn more in our Diamond Buying Guide)

It’s All About the Color

Diamonds also have natural differences in color– not only the measure of how colorless a diamond is, but also the natural presence of pink or blue in the diamond.   The intensity of color, whether the color is faint or vivid, adds greatly to the value of a diamond.  Given the differences of size, clarity and color, what types of diamonds are the most expensive?

The most expensive types of diamonds per carat are the kinds that are the rarest.  The rarest diamonds in the world are the naturally colored diamonds, called fancy colored diamonds.  Of these colored diamonds, vivid red diamonds are the most expensive.  At this time, there are fewer than twenty diamonds certified as red, and they seldom appear on the market.  The largest red diamond, the Kimberley Red Diamond, weighs 1.61 carats and is radiant shape.  It is estimated to be worth two million dollars.  To compare, a 1.61 carat D color radiant shaped diamond may cost around $20,000.

Faint, Light, Fancy or Intense?

The most expensive type of diamonds that is more readily available on the market today are pink diamonds.  Pink diamonds receive a grading for the intensity of their color, such as faint pink, light pink, fancy pink, or intense pink.  The pink color may also combine with a secondary color to be graded as fancy intense purplish pink, or fancy light orangey pink.  The most expensive pink diamond, a 5 carat fancy vivid pink cushion shaped diamond, sold for 10.8 million dollars in 2009.

Most fancy colored diamonds, including natural red and pink diamonds, have been found at the Argyle mine in Australia.  Only rarely are colored diamonds found, and the scarcity of these types of diamonds makes them the most expensive types of diamonds.  When this source of fancy colored diamonds is exhausted, the prices will likely continue to climb steadily higher, making fancy colored diamonds a valuable investment.

Because the demand for these special diamonds far exceeds the supply, some diamond manufacturers color diamonds artificially.  The original diamond, before enhancing the color to red or pink, is usually an inexpensive brownish color.  If you see a relatively inexpensive fancy color diamond, beware!  Check thoroughly that it is actually a diamond, and that the color is natural.  Only purchase red, pink, or other fancy color diamonds from a reputable diamond dealer.

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