While most diamonds are usually considered to be clear and colorless gems, there are actually many different colored varieties, including blue diamonds. Being among some of the most rare and coveted colored diamonds in the world, blue diamonds are generally difficult to find. Fortunately, with beautiful synthetic and treated options on the market, they are becoming more readily available and offer a fantastic alternative to their colorless counterparts.
Blue Diamonds: What You Need To Know
Blue diamonds are one of the most rare and valuable of the fancy colored diamonds and like fine art, they are a sign of prestige and elegance. One of the most famous blue diamonds is the Hope diamond, which is housed in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This diamond is rare not only for its mere size, but also for its deep blue color. While people may have high expectations for deep blue diamonds, many of the stones fall within the light grey or green-blue or fancy light blue color schemes.
Many jewelers report that blue diamonds are incredibly difficult to obtain these days, particularly the deeper and more vivid blue colors. Because of the scarcity, prices are steep–ranging from $35,000 for a 0.16 carat fancy vivid blue to $266, 000 for a 0.67 carat fancy deep blue diamond. Fortunately, there are beautiful options on the market which are beautiful and substantially more affordable.
Treated Blue Diamonds
One popular and more affordable way to obtain the coveted blue diamond is to purchase a color treated diamond. Many diamonds need some type of color enhancement or treatment in order to get a more desirable color. One treatment called irradiation alters the structure of the stone and changes its color. Another treatment known as HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) “fixes” imperfect stones, making the colors more beautiful. Yet another treatment uses a thin coating of color on the stone which can help change the hue, making it appear a more rich and deep color.
It is important to note that some color treated diamonds (particularly the diamond coating technique) can fade or have a change of color after awhile. It’s not always the case, but be sure to ask what kind of treatment the stone has had and what warranties are available. And, most importantly, be sure to view the diamond grading certificate to ensure you aren’t charged for a natural blue diamond when it simply a color treated diamond.
Synthetic Blue Diamonds
Another affordable and increasingly popular option is to purchase a synthetic diamond (also referred to as cultured or lab created). Made out of carbon and grown in a laboratory which mimics the same growing conditions of natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds are a beautiful and affordable alternative. It will pay to shop around online to see availability as larger sizes with the deepest shades of blue may be more difficult to come by. However, patience will pay off due to the significant savings when compared to natural blue diamonds.
Blue Diamonds in Wedding and Engagement Rings
- For best color contrast, it is recommended to set a blue diamond in a white gold, platinum or palladium.
- If you are fortunate enough to have a natural blue diamond, the rare and priceless stone should be placed in a secure setting.
- Don’t be afraid to try synthetic or color enhanced diamonds. Alternately, any number of other types of blue gemstones can give a similar look without the high price tag.
- As always, the 4 C’s apply with fancy colored diamonds.
- Stores that carry natural blue diamonds require some research–Leibish & Co is a good place to start. For synthetic blue diamonds, try an online search. Chances are, you’ll find stores like Takara Diamonds, Chatham Diamonds or D. Nea Diamonds.
- Still interested other blue gemstones such as sapphire, topaz and other blue gems? View more information here.
Photos courtesy of d. Nea and Takara Diamonds.