By: Diane Nicole Go, GIA Graduate GemologistDiamonds are one of the rarest and most valuable of all gems. And while a colorless diamond is more popular, the colored ones are just as rare, if not rarer and sometimes even more valuable. From canary yellows, to warm cognac browns, pale blues and even candy-colored pinks, diamonds that come in hues other than colorless are categorized as Fancy Color Diamonds. Pink Diamond is one of these sought-after colors. These diamonds can come with tinges color to it—overtones of brownish pinks, purplish pinks or even orangey pink ones that look peach, while the pure pinks ones are quite rare. And just like all other stones, the intensity or saturation of pink can vary, from a light rosy hue to a vivid, almost red color. While pink diamonds used to be a rare commodity, deposits in the Argyll Mine somewhere in Western Australia have made it more accessible to the public. Pink diamonds have a feminine charm and allure that make it a popular choice for jewelry, and when set on rose gold metal, the pink color becomes more pronounced. Find out why Pink Diamond made it to the list of Jewelry Trends for 2019, and why you should own one too!
Physical Properties of Pink DiamondDiamond is the hardest gemstone on earth, with a 10 ranking on the Mohs scale of hardness. Nothing can scratch a diamond besides another diamond. Unlike the other gemstones, which are made up of more than one element, a Diamond is made up of just one element: Carbon. This makes it a rare and very pure stone. Diamonds form in a high pressure, high temperature environment— 100 miles down at the Earth’s surface. They may have the same chemical composition as Graphite, but its special crystal structure and formation process set Diamonds on a whole other level compared to the soft material you find in pencils. While colorless diamonds are assessed based on the lack of color, using the D to Z scale, with D being the highest level, Fancy Color Diamonds are ranked based on the intensity of its color. The more vivid and saturated color it has, the more valuable it is. The cause of the pink color is still subject to further scientific investigation, but there are theories on how it could have happened. Some people claim that it’s a result of immense pressure during its formation, while others attribute it to a distortion on its crystal pattern or lattice caused by a seismic shock. Either way, experts have ruled out the presence of trace elements, which is usually the cause of color in other Fancy Color diamonds. Pink Diamonds are graded based on its color, using the scale created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
2. Very Light
4. Fancy Light
Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep or Fancy Dark
(no photo)Do note that grade is not just a one-size-fits-all—rather, it even has ranges within, which make it difficult to assess unless you’re an expert. Aside from hue, or its color, the darkness and lightness of the stone (tone) along with its intensity (saturation) are important points to consider in assessing color.
Why go Pink?In celebration of Women’s Month, pink stones such as Pink Diamonds have increased in popularity. Here’s why you should wear pink (and not just on Wednesdays!):
- Pink = Love
- Unique Statement Piece
Care and CleaningThe only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. With that being said, diamonds can scratch other gemstones with a lower hardness, like sapphires and rubies, which is why it should always be stored separately from other jewelry pieces. Although a diamond’s surface is almost invincible, it isn’t as tough as it looks. Diamonds, like all other stones, have areas that are more vulnerable, particularly in cleavage planes where atoms aren’t as tightly bonded. When hit at that weak spot, diamonds can get chipped, or worse, cracked. This can happen when the stone is being set, or even during everyday use, especially in high-impact pieces like rings and bracelets. The simple way to protect a diamond piece is not to unnecessarily knock it onto something. Diamonds are grease-magnets, to the point that even oil from one’s skin can dull its sparkle. In order to preserve its brilliance, do not touch the stone as much as possible. Use a lint-free cloth to clean if needed. Diamond jewelry can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, but this is not advisable for stones that are enhanced or filled, since the filling can be dislodged. Proceed with caution when using an ultrasonic cleaner. Commercial jewelry cleaning solutions can also be used, but just avoid any harsh solvents. Soapy water with a mild soap is still the safest and most recommended method for diamond pieces, though you can also send it to your jeweler for periodic cleaning. But don’t worry—diamonds are generally easy to maintain and clean, compared to other gemstones.
Choosing the Right Pink DiamondJust like any other gemstone, the value and quality of a Pink Diamond is assessed based on GIA’s 4 C’s: Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat.
- Clarity: Unlike Colorless Diamonds, people are generally more lenient with the grade for Fancy Color Diamonds, since color is its main selling point. Most Fancy Color Diamonds have lower clarity grades, and therefore more inclusions and patterns on them, but that is usually sacrificed for a better color. Some people, however, would prefer a Fancy Color Diamond with a high clarity grade and better color, but this definitely fetches a higher price.
- Color: The pink hue of a Pink Diamond is its main charm. Faint colors are more affordable compared to the Fancy Vivid, richly saturated colors, which are more valuable than the former. Pink Diamonds with other color tinges—overtones—such as brown, orange and purples occur more often than pure pink tones. Depending on your budget, the more intense the color, the more expensive it is.
- Cut: Just like clarity, cut can sometimes be sacrificed just to prioritize the color. Expert cutters have a way to bring out the color of a Pink Diamond, which include cutting it shallower, or smaller—just to bring out its pinkness. However, there is still a market for a well-cut, well-proportioned stone, but this is rare and expensive.
- Carat: It does not always follow that the bigger the stone, the more expensive it is. There are, after all, many other factors to consider (like the 3 other C’s). Color is king here, so this is often compared side-by-side to its size. Since Pink Diamonds are rare, big sizes are also hard to come by.