We think of diamonds as eternal and classic – the epitome of endurance and stability. So it may be surprising to learn that tastes in diamonds do also fluctuate. Sometimes it has to do with shapes becoming more or less fashionable. And sometimes it even has to do with qualities. For instance, I color diamonds happen to be incredibly hot right now.
Why would one color grade become suddenly so dominant? After all, there is a whole alphabet of diamond color grades to choose from (well, all except ABC!) It doesn’t really have anything to do with fashion. It is actually a trend driven by value. I color diamonds are those that fall near the middle of the near colorless range (GHIJ). In terms of cost, they do not carry the significant premiums of comparable diamonds in the colorless range (DEF). Yet they are white – or at least not yellow.
An additional aspect that is steering the market to I colored diamonds (or even lower colors for that matter) is the rapid growth of interest in ideal cut diamonds
. Diamonds cut to ideal proportions and with top light performance tend to appear whiter due to the greater amount of ambient light returned to the eye. And ideal cut diamonds look a little bigger than ordinary diamonds which is another bonus. Buyers who understand this and are seeking out ideal diamonds are able to compromise slightly more on body color without diminishing the apparent color of the diamond. By making just the right compromises it is possible to greatly enhance the value possible from a given budget. So, if getting more brilliance and fire was not reason enough to go with an ideal cut diamond, then the color and size advantages might seal the deal!
One other little factor that many people use to their advantage is to look for an I color diamond with fluorescence. Blue fluorescence
, if it is not too strong, can also help a diamond with a little body color look slightly whiter. Diamonds in the near colorless range with medium blue fluorescence can look a color grade whiter in appearance. Too much fluorescence and the stone can take on a milky look. And they can be off putting to some people when seen under a black light such as in a discotheque as they glow most prominently. So moderation is the key when it comes to the potential benefits of fluorescence!
When shopping for diamonds, there are many considerations. Clarity, carat weight, cut quality
and cost are all important factors. But one thing is pretty clear; many buyers today are finding the “best bang for the buck” in terms of color is squarely in the near colorless range.