9 January 2019 / Blog
How Do Colored Diamonds Get Their Color?
When most people think of diamonds, an image of a shining transparent gem comes to mind. This is because colorless or white diamonds are the most common type of diamond out there. Structurally and chemically flawless diamonds are completely transparent and colorless.
Howevers, diamonds are not completely flawless, and that’s a good thing. Chemical imperfects and structural flaws can give diamonds a wide array of beautiful colors, and in fact, many colored diamonds are actually far rarer and more valuable than their ¨flawless¨ counterparts. Colored diamonds come in all colors of rainbow, including yellow, blue, orange, green, red, pink, purple, brown, gray, and black.
Why Colored Diamonds are Certain Colors
- Black diamonds- Made from carbon, black diamonds get their dark color from plate-like inclusions of graphite.
- Blue diamonds- Boron gives blue diamonds most of their color. Boron also bonds to carbon in the diamond’s crystal structure, and absorbs yellow, red, and green parts of the color spectrum.
- Green diamonds- Diamonds get a green color from the absorption of radiation which naturally occurs when they are leaving the uppermost layer of the earth’s crust. The radiation causes these diamonds to absorb yellow and red light, reflecting a green color.
- Red/pink diamonds- Heat and intense pressure are the reason that diamonds are a red or pink hue. These factors are the cause for distortions in the crystal lattice that absorb green light, and this gives off a pink hue. Red diamonds get their color the same way, but they are rarer than pink diamonds.
- Yellow/orange diamonds- Nitrogen is the main cause for orange and yellow diamonds. A specific grouping of nitrogen atoms is responsible but it will absorb light in both the blue and yellow spectrums.
- Purple/violet diamonds- Crystal distortion and the presence of hydrogen are the reasons for purple and violet diamonds.