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How Do Diamonds Obtain Their Colours?

29 June 2020

Most people choose gold as the main material for pieces of jewellery because of its overall value and characteristics. However, a lot of them also prefer pieces of jewellery that are decorated with diamonds. Diamonds are gemstones that are constantly linked to the idea of expressing devotion or showing off status symbols by incorporating them into rings, necklaces, and other fine jewellery items. These gemstones are favoured by people since they are durable, rare, beautiful, and culturally significant.

Characteristics of Diamonds

Diamonds, which have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years, are gemstones that are formed beneath the Earth’s surface. They are created by applying enormous pressure and heat to carbon. A huge quantity of diamonds is deposited in igneous rocks, which are mostly brought to the Earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions.

Four notable characteristics of diamonds that people usually look at are carats, cut, colour, and clarity. Carats pertain to the weight of the diamond, with one carat equating to 0.2 grams. The price of diamond increases as the carat size gets larger. Related to the diamond’s carat size is cut. The cut of a diamond is a characteristic that relies heavily on the cutter of the diamond. An ideal diamond cut has great proportions, symmetry, and polish. Colour, on the other hand, may depend on how the diamonds are formed. Clarity is then defined by the diamond’s freeness from flaws or inclusions.

Colour Options for Diamonds

While the overall value of diamonds hugely relies on their characteristics, one characteristic that is simply astonishing to see is their colour. Most diamonds that are out in the market have a yellowish tint, while others are just colourless. Colourless diamonds tend to look like icy blue. Diamonds with a yellowish tint, on the other hand, can throw off different colours. There are instances, however, where diamonds come in eccentric colours like pink, red, purple, and green.

Diamond Colours Formation

As mentioned, diamonds that are formed out of only carbon are deemed to be white or colourless. However, there are certain occasions where they possess a rare and unique set of colours. When elements like nitrogen, sulphur, and boron interact with the carbon during the formation of diamonds, these gemstones will ultimately come out with colours of yellow and blue.

While yellow, green, and blue diamonds are made from the interaction of carbon with other elements, pink and red diamonds do not undergo the same process. Instead, a distortion in the crystal lattice of the diamond is the main reason why they exist. This distortion changes the positions of carbon atoms within the diamond. It also modifies the qualities of light that are being displayed by the gemstone, allowing us to see the diamond as either pink or red. 

Alternatively, natural radiation and other elements that are found underneath the Earth are believed to be the main origin of green, purple, and orange diamonds.

So, the next time you choose a certain colour for the diamond of jewellery, you now know how they are actually formed. If you want help with diamonds, just give us a call at Ken Ross Jewellers.

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