When most of us think of diamonds, we think of that classic white, sparkly stone, but diamonds actually come in as many colors as you can think of. These colorful diamonds are created by the presence of other minerals during their formation and changes in pressure. We’re not 100% sure, however, as no one has ever actually seen a natural diamond being formed. Different minerals produce different colors.
The most common diamond colors are brown and yellow, but other rarer colors do occur, including pink, blue, green, orange, and red. These are extremely uncommon, and only a few in tens of thousands will be colored. These diamonds can sell for millions of dollars and are some of the most valuable materials in the world. You can buy colored diamonds in rings, necklaces, Cartier watches, bracelets, and any piece of beautiful jewelry you want.
Orange diamonds are among the rarest of all and are caused, along with their yellow counterparts, by nitrogen. Nitrogen completely absorbs blue light, which produces the diamonds’ orange shade.
Boron is a mineral that we’re actually exposed to in our everyday lives. It’s found in several foods and helps us build strong muscles and bones. It also helps us concentrate.
In diamonds, boron bonds to the carbon that the diamond is made from. This causes the stone to absorb all other colors except for blue, which makes the diamond appear blue/gray.
Green diamonds are formed right at the end of the diamond’s creation process, just as they are about to emerge from the earth’s crust into the sunlight. The green color is formed as the stones absorb naturally occurring radiation, which causes them to reflect green.
Purple diamonds are somewhat of a mystery, as we simply don’t know exactly what causes it. We do know that there’s some sort of distortion of the carbon crystals involved, and that hydrogen is probably also part of the process, but there’s no hard-and-fast answer. All we know for sure is that they’re stunning!
Brown, Red, Pink
These colors of diamonds are all formed the same way. They are essentially just different hues of the same color. Their color is created by intense (and we mean intense) pressure and heat, that acts on the diamond while it’s still buried deep underground. Distortions in the way the crystal is formed absorb green light, which makes the diamond appear either pink, red, or brown, depending on the final formation.
As well as naturally occurring colors, it’s possible to treat diamonds to create color. These diamonds are hugely increasing in popularity as the demand for colored diamonds continues to grow, and more people look for a truly unique stone.
Color-enhanced diamonds are created using a process called High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT). They are usually colored diamonds where the color is paler or less developed, as this makes them less desirable to customers. The color is artificially changed or enhanced so the diamond can be sold.
Photo | Bigstock
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