The Colors of Love

The classic colorless solitaire is so last year. Today’s trendy brides are opting for gems in a rainbow coalition of hues.

Yellow diamonds are at the top of the trend list; they’re the most popular choice for engagement settings after colorless diamonds. They range in color from palest yellow to an intense shade of gold; the more vivid the color, the more expensive the diamond. Diamonds that have a more golden-brown cast are known as champagne or cognac diamonds.

After yellow, pink is the most popular choice among colored diamonds. The majority of natural pink diamonds come from a single mine in Australia, which legend holds was discovered by a trio of women who were fishing nearby. Like yellow diamonds, pink diamonds range in intensity from pale to vivid.

For the truly unconventional bride, sporting a black diamond clearly bucks tradition. Black diamonds are sometimes called carbonado, which means “carbonized” or “burned” in Portuguese. These rare gems are most often found in Central Africa and Brazil, and some scientists theorize that black diamonds originated in outer space. No matter what their origin, black diamonds have an otherworldly beauty.

Pick a color—any color—and there’s probably a diamond to match. Hues other than yellow and pink may be harder to find, but they’re out there, and your favorite jeweler should be happy to track down your favorite color. The different shades come from different elements that are present when the diamonds are formed. Diamonds come in almost every color, including red, orange, blue, purple, green, grey and even “chameleon,” which appears to change color when exposed to variations in light and heat.

Colored diamonds fall in two categories: natural and lab-created. Naturally occurring colored diamonds are extremely rare and can cost thousands or even millions—yes, millions—of dollars per carat. Synthetically colored stones are created by exposing diamonds to intense heat and light or radiation, or by coating them with a substance that changes the color. Some color treatments are considered permanent; others are not. So if the diamond you’re considering is artificially color-induced, be sure it comes with a lab report from either the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). The report will note any treatments done to the diamond.

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