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Sarine Profile > Guide to Diamonds > White vs. Colored Diamonds



White diamonds are the classic option for diamond engagement rings. But today, fancy colored diamonds are growing in popularity. From gorgeous pink, to bright blue and sunshine yellow, fancy colored diamonds are definitely a unique and personal choice that reflects your true personality.


The Inside Story

There are so many factors that go into the worth and price tag of a diamond. By now, most people know about the 4Cs of diamond buying: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. But while these determine the price of a white diamond, colored diamonds have a completely different set of rules. In fact, the general determination of worth in colored diamonds is quite the opposite of white diamonds.
For white diamonds, lack of color equals maximum brilliance and shine, raising its monetary value. For colored diamonds, the depth of color is the determining factor when it comes to value.

When it comes to pricing, in general, fancy colored diamonds are more expensive than white. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Colored diamonds that don't have a strong depth of color may be worth less that a smaller white diamond with no imperfections. The same is true of colored diamonds that are more commonly mined, such as yellow or brown. Until recently, brown diamonds were used primarily in other industries, as they were not deemed ‘worthy' of jewelry. Currently, brown diamonds, renamed and rebranded as chocolate diamonds, are increasing in popularity.

Of course, the rarity of a stone will also play a huge part in determining its value, and here again, colored stones, as a whole, win out. White diamonds can be found relatively easily in comparison, but colored diamonds, which are created when chemicals penetrate the diamonds during formation, are much harder to come by. But while the yellow and brown are relatively common, other colors can be much harder to come by. The rarest and most valuable diamond colors are pinks, blues and greens, with red topping the list as the absolute rarest of any diamond.

Pink diamonds, which come primarily from the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, are due to be exhausted by 2020. This factor alone has driven up both their rarity and their price. Currently, they are 1150 times as expensive as the finest white diamond, which is internally flawless and has the highest color rating.

One of the benefits of colored stones as opposed to white stones is that they present a level of uniqueness that is not as prominent as a white stone, letting individuals express their individuality and style. The color also hides inclusions better, so while a white stone with inclusions loses value, a colored one will not. And as the color is permanent, the inclusions can remain hidden through the entire life of the diamond.

Finally, fashion and trends make a difference to a stone’s values. While white diamonds will always remain popular due to tradition, colored stones are currently in vogue, thanks in large part to major trendsetters in the Hollywood scene. Nobody will forget Jennifer Lopez’s pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck, fashionista Paris Hilton’s yellow engagement stone, or Carrie Underwood’s canary engagement ring. Thanks to an obsession with celebrities, the spotlight on colored diamonds has also driven up their price. And in fact, two of the most famous diamonds in the world are colored diamonds: the yellow Tiffany Diamond and the brilliant blue Hope Diamond.

So which diamond is the winner in the war of colored versus white? White rarity and current fashion dictate colored diamonds as the winner, tradition, overall availability and ease of purchase may just give the white a small edge.