Do you ever wonder how those gorgeous colored diamonds get their special hues? The process actually occurs naturally in the Earth, though some colored diamonds are so beautiful they look man-made. While traditional, colorless diamonds can be very expensive, rarer colored diamonds are even more valuable.
Colored diamonds are formed in much the same way as regular diamonds. The only difference is the presence of another element that causes the diamond to change slightly at the molecular level and produce uncommon colors.
Brown, pink, and red diamonds are formed when extra heat and pressure is applied to the normal process of diamond formation. Intense heat causes the crystal lattice to distort slightly, and gives the diamond the ability to absorb green light, which in turn produces a red, pink, or brown diamond.
Gray and blue diamonds owe their coloring to the presence of boron in the diamond formation process. The boron bonds to carbon molecules, which causes the crystal structure to have the ability to absorb yellow and green light, which results in a blue or gray coloring.
Green diamonds form a little differently; their process is similar to colorless diamond formation, except that at the end of their underground life, just as they are about to reach the surface of the earth, they absorb naturally occurring radiation, which causes the diamond to reflect a green hue.
Orange and yellow diamonds occur when there is an abundance of nitrogen present during the formation process. Nitrogen bonds with the crystal structure to allow the diamond to absorb blue light, which causes the diamonds to appear yellow or orange.
Scientists are unable to watch this process occur firsthand, so it’s a little unclear how some diamonds get their color. Purple diamonds, for example, are believed to occur when there is a presence of hydrogen in the formation process, but it’s hard to say for sure.
At Frank Pollak & Sons, we’ve been the premier purveyor of fine diamond jewelry in New York City for over a century. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing some truly remarkable specimens pass through our doors. Want to find out what your diamond jewelry is worth? Give us a call, or stop in today for an evaluation.