Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gem of the Week: The Canary Diamond

A Canary Diamond Engagement Ring
The Three Graces
As we know, diamonds come in a wide range of colors which, in the gem trade, are referred to as “fancy colored” diamonds. That name has always struck me as peculiar. Calling something “fancy” makes it seem less-fancy. For example, “Fancy Ketchup.” But, I digress. Of course, despite the inelegant name, there’s actually nothing quite as elegant as a colored diamond, and there’s also nothing quite as expensive.

Of the colored diamonds, I’ve always had a special fondness for “canary diamonds,” so called for their intense, “fancy” yellow color. The yellow color comes from the presence of nitrogen atoms during the stone’s compression process. Depending on the level of nitrogen, the color can cary in intensity from a pale yellow (which isn’t much good to anyone because it’s not quite yellow and it’s not quite clear) to a brilliant gold. Sometimes nitrogen will impart a brown color, thus making the currently popular “Chocolate Diamond,” or orange which creates the much rarer “Mandarin Diamond.”

Canary diamonds have long been prized for their pleasing color and cheerful light. When set with colorless diamonds in a platinum setting, they offer an unexpected burst of color which is really a sight to behold. As I’ve mentioned before, when purchasing “fancy colored” diamonds, always make sure that the color is natural. Many colored diamonds (especially blue) have been color-treated or enhanced. You shouldn’t be paying the same price for a color-enhanced diamond that you would for a naturally colored one.

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