Traditional white diamonds are commonly found in engagement rings, bracelets and pendants. These diamonds are colourless and are created deep within the Earth’s core. Carbon molecules in the Earth are superheated and pressurized to create these beautiful clear diamonds. In addition to white diamonds, there are a variety of coloured diamonds available.
What are Coloured Diamonds?
Coloured diamonds are created just like white diamonds with one difference. Foreign particles become trapped in the carbon during the crystallization process, which slightly alters the chemical process, changing the outcome of the diamond making process. The result of this is a rare and beautiful diamond with unique colouring, called a natural coloured diamond.
How Do Different Diamonds Get to Be Different Colours?
The trace minerals and particles that are in the crystallization process can change the colour of the diamond. Let’s take a look at how coloured diamonds are formed.
The Red Diamond
Red diamonds get their colour from the pressure and heat in the Earth. While these diamonds are still buried deep in the earth, the crystalline structure develops an ability to absorb green light, which gives the diamond a pink hue. Red diamonds are ultra rare and are more deeply coloured than pink diamonds.
The Blue Diamond
Blue diamonds are caused by a boron impurity. When boron is present, it binds to the carbon molecules and causes the crystalline structure to absorb yellow, green and red light, creating a stunning blue diamond.
The Green Diamond
Green diamonds get their colour as they journey towards the Earth’s surface. As the diamond is leaving the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust, the diamond absorbs naturally occurring radiation. This causes the diamond to absorb yellow and red light and reflect a green hue.
Purple and Violet Diamonds
Scientists have determined that purple and violet diamonds happen due to distortion in the crystalline structure. They believe that hydrogen may be responsible for these gorgeous diamond’s unique colour.
Orange and Yellow Diamonds
Nitrogen is what gives orange and yellow diamonds their colouring. While the diamond is being formed, nitrogen atoms are arranged so that blue light is absorbed. This creates the diamond’s unique yellow colour. In an orange diamond, the nitrogen particles absorb both the blue and yellow light spectrum to create a distinct orange coloured diamond.
What Causes Different Diamonds to Have Different Colour Hues?
Coloured diamonds come in a variety of hues that only nature can create. Coloured diamonds are created when trace minerals are compressed with carbon particles. Additionally, the amount of pressure from the Earth and the radiation levels in the mantle layer of the Earth can also change the colour of the diamond. To create a particular colour or hue, the correct amount of impurities must be present at specific times in the diamond making process. Because scientists are unable to observe the actual process of a diamond being formed, the exact proportions of trace minerals and pressure are impossible to determine. However, science has made it possible to understand the basics of the diamond making process.
For example, scientists have learned that boron is found in blue diamonds, hydrogen is needed for violet or purple diamonds and nitrogen is used to create yellow or orange diamonds. Scientists have discovered that red or brown diamonds are created when the internal structure of a diamond is more compressed. The Natural Colour Diamond Association has found that argyle diamonds are created using ten times the amount of pressure as white diamonds are subjected to.
Although there are only twelve base colours when it comes to diamonds, there are hundreds of colour combinations that can produce distinct colourings in a natural diamond.
What Are Colour Enhanced Diamonds?
Above we have explained how diamonds are coloured naturally. In the recent years, the demand and popularity of these diamonds have increased. With the rise of customization and personalized jewellery styles, a bride-to-be can show off her engagement ring with a coloured stone of her choosing. Because of this, new techniques have been created, including colour enhanced diamonds.
Colour treated or colour enhanced diamonds are white diamonds that have had their colours enhanced. These are not lab grown diamonds. The price of these diamonds increase. The low colour quality of the original diamond is enhanced creating a beautiful diamond men and women will enjoy.
Colour enhancement involves taking diamonds that are not a desirable colour, such as a pale yellow, and enhance their natural colouring from a pale yellow to a vivid yellow or changing their colouring altogether to a blue, red or purple diamond.
High Pressure, High Temperature (or HPHT) methodology is used to create these colour enhancements. The same procedure that is used enhances the colour in the diamonds are also used to “paint” colourless diamonds. This means that inexpensive and very light brown coloured diamonds can be turned into a D colourless diamond.