Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are…
… And then one day, man found mother earth's most precious 'twinkling wonder.' Yes, you guessed it correct – 'Diamonds.'
Natural or fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare to find, making them more precious and expensive than colorless diamonds. It is estimated that only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural color. Diamonds that contain color are known as fancy colored diamonds and can be found in almost any naturally occurring color, including yellow, green, purple, blue, orange, and pink.
About Pink Diamonds
How pink diamonds get their color remains a mystery. Unlike other fancy colored stones, pink diamonds do not seem to derive their color from the presence of impurities.
One theory states that these diamonds got their peculiar hue due to the enormous pressure they underwent during formation. This phenomenon is called plastic deformation, and scientists believe that this process is behind the origin of the pink diamond's color. However, others think it could be related to a seismic shock that impacted the stone's molecular structure.
More than 90 percent of the world's supply of natural pink diamonds was from a diamond mine called the Argyle Mine in Western Australia (now closed). Other deposits are found in India, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, and Canada.
The 4 C's of Pink Diamonds
Pink Diamond Color Grading
Color is the most critical characteristic of pink fancy-colored diamonds and will affect the price of a stone more than any other factor. In the world of fancy colored diamonds, slight color differences can result in significant differences in the price per carat.
Experts consider hue, tone, and saturation to assess the color.
- Tone refers to how dark or light the stone is.
- Hue is the visible color a stone exhibits.
- Saturation refers to how intense the color is.
Hue: diamonds with a pure pink hue (no secondary hues) are scarce and will command the highest prices of all pink diamonds. Secondary hues include brown, orange, yellow, or purple. Brown is the most common and holds the least value. Orange can create a beautiful rose gold tone, and purple is the rarest secondary hue.
Tone: Lighter tones of pink can be pretty stunning, and medium tones can achieve a higher saturation. Very dark pink diamonds often have intense brown secondary hues and aren't highly saturated.
Saturation: Few pink diamonds display high saturation. However, gems with very low saturation will appear brown or grey.
The GIA color grading system represents the diamond's depth of color and saturation. For example, faint pink diamonds will have a very light pink tint, while Fancy Vivid pink diamonds will be a deep, saturated pink on the other end of the spectrum. Color grading provides a scale for pricing and allows the customer to pick the saturation they want.
The GIA grades for pink diamonds are :
- Very Light
- Fancy Light
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Vivid
- Fancy Deep
- Fancy Dark
The ideology that works with most fancy colored diamonds is, the darker and richer the color, the more expensive the diamond is. Also, the presence of a secondary tone impacts the stone's value.
Most pink diamonds often contain modifying or secondary colors; these include purple, orange, and brown. The last color mentioned in a GIA report is the dominant color. An adjective describes the color when the secondary color is slight, and a noun describes it when it is more apparent. Therefore, a purplish-pink diamond is primarily pink with a slightly modifying tone of purple, but a purple-pink diamond has a more noticeable purple tint, although still mainly pink.
Argyle, the company that mines most of the world's pink diamonds, has its own grading scale for assessing color in pink diamonds.
- pink (P)
- purplish pink (PP)
- pink rose (PR)
A number then describes the intensity of color. For example, 1 is the highest saturation, and 9 is the faintest pink. Compared to GIA terms:
- fancy vivid or fancy deep would have a value of 1 to 3
- fancy intense from 3 to 6
- fancy from 6 to 7
- fancy light at 7
- Light, very light, and faint stones are an 8 or 9
Pink Diamond Clarity
The clarity of pink diamonds is graded the same as colorless diamonds (FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2.). Still, this characteristic is not as critical for fancy-colored diamonds because the color within the diamond tends to hide flaws and inclusions. Stones with fewer flaws are more expensive; however, paying top dollar for a flawless stone isn't necessary.
You can find reasonably clean stones in the SI1-SI2 clarity range that don't have inclusions visible to the naked eye; fancy-color diamonds in the VS and VVS clarity categories tend to be more expensive but may not offer a visible difference.
Pink Diamond Cut
Cut refers to the quality of the cut and how much brilliance it creates and light it reflects - cut is essential when pricing colorless diamonds because they are prized for their sparkle.
However, with colored diamonds, this is not the case. Colored diamonds are not cut for the best brilliance or sparkle; instead, they are cut for the most color.
When talking about colorless diamonds, a round brilliant cut will be most expensive; however, in fancy colored diamonds, you won't find many round brilliant cuts. This is because a round brilliant cut moves light through the diamond and makes it appear whiter - and you don't want that with a colored diamond. Instead, cushion cuts and radiant cuts are much more common because they maintain the stone's color.
The cut grading of a fancy color diamond is not a crucial aspect of its value, but this does not mean you should settle for a low-quality cut; you should still avoid poor symmetry and bad polish.
Pink Diamond Carat Weight
Any pink diamond above 0.2 carats is considered large, and gems over 1 carat are exceptionally rare. With pink diamonds, the price increases exponentially with the carat size. For example, A .50 carat stone might retail for $50,000 while a 2 carat stone could sell for $500,000.
Pink Diamond Pricing
Did you know that Ben Affleck proposed Jennifer Lopez with a 6.1-carat pink diamond in 2002? Since then, along with the marketing efforts, prices of pink diamonds have risen exorbitantly.
Among other colored diamonds, pink diamonds stand out as luxurious and prestigious. However, the reason they are so expensive lies in the fact that they are the second rarest in the colored diamond category (red being the rarest).
These magnificent stones are highly rare, with only a few produced yearly. Therefore, high-quality pink diamonds are one of the most expensive and coveted natural colored diamonds.
A pink diamond can cost more than 20 times the price of its white equivalent.
Pink diamond's price and value increase exponentially with an increase in its size and color intensity. In simple words, color and carat weight have the most significant impact on a pink diamond's price. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear budget before looking for pink diamond jewelry.
Another thing that significantly impacts the pricing is the presence of a secondary hue. A pink stone with a secondary tone would be priced lesser than pure pink ones. For example, pink diamonds with brown secondary colors are worth the least, orange secondary colors are in the middle, and pink diamonds with purple secondary colors are the rarest and most expensive.
Pink Diamonds for Engagement Rings
Pink exudes feminity, modernity, elegance, beauty, romance, and charm. With their astounding hue, pink diamonds make for stunning engagement rings.
Pink diamonds are diamonds, so they have the same level of durability; with a rating of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, a pink diamond engagement ring has no problem withstanding the test of time.
Engagement Ring Settings for Pink Diamond
Pink diamonds make gorgeous engagement rings. Here are some settings to consider:
- Three-stone setting: Pink diamonds can be paired with side stones to increase the ring size appearance and hence the ring's sparkle. It is an excellent idea if the diamond size is less than 0.50 carat.
- Halo setting: A halo setting made of small round brilliants can enhance a central pink diamond's color and size appearance. Another option is to use tiny pink diamonds in a halo around a central colorless diamond.
- Double halo setting: With a double halo setting, adding a second layer of small stones to the ring can highlight the pink diamond even more.
Pink Diamond Metal Choice
- Rose gold is an exceptional metal choice because it enhances the diamond's color.
- White gold or platinum will add contrast and make your pink diamond stand out.
- A yellow gold setting can make a fancy orangey-pink diamond appear more orange-toned.
If Pink Diamond is beyond Your Budget - Pink Diamond Alternatives
As you know, these little wonders are the priciest and rarest of all the fancy colored diamonds, so purchasing a pink diamond is not easy.
If you have set your heart and eyes on a pink diamond and feel disappointed that it is out of your budget, other gemstones can be great alternatives to a pink diamond.
Lab-created Alternatives (also known as synthetic, man-made, created and cultured) Diamonds
As the name suggests, lab-created stones are created inside a laboratory. Under precisely controlled conditions, these labs simulate the natural process which makes a diamond, but for a shorter period.
These lab-grown stones are the same chemically and physically as natural stones, except that they are grown in a lab.
A lab-created diamond saves you a considerable amount of money when compared to the price of its natural counterpart. However, its resale value will also be lower. If you want to purchase a lab-grown pink diamond, make sure the cut quality and clarity are good. Don't compromise on these factors for a synthetic stone. Similarly, a lab-created sapphire can help you cut down on price without compromising quality.
Treated or Enhanced Stones
A colorless or faintly colored diamond can undergo various treatments to give the stone a desired color. Here, the stones are real; the only difference is that they have color added or enhanced artificially.
High Pressure and High Temperature Treatment
Inexpensive brown diamonds can be put into a high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) environment. However, HPHT pink diamonds often retain a strong secondary brown hue.
Diamonds can receive radiation treatments, producing pink colors with extreme heat. Care should be taken if the setting needs repair, as even a jeweler's torch can alter the color of such gems.
Heating and cooling diamonds in a controlled environment can also produce pink diamonds. This process can be performed after irradiation or on its own. As with radiation treatments, annealed diamonds can change color when heated. Therefore, keep these diamonds from strong heat sources.
Some diamonds may receive coatings to mask unattractive colors. Since coatings are susceptible to wear, buyers should be cautious when cleaning, polishing, or resetting a coated gem.
These crystals contain traces of chromium which gives them a pinkish purplish shade. Like pink diamonds, pink sapphires are one of the most popular in their group. They are rare compared to other gemstone varieties but not as rare as pink diamonds.
- Color: Both pink diamonds and pink sapphires come in various shades. The shades of pink sapphire is generally brighter than those of pink diamonds.
- Pricing: Pink sapphires are generally less expensive than pink diamonds. The pricing of pink sapphires is pretty simple; the more vivid a shade, the higher the stone's value.
- Durability: Both pink diamonds and pink sapphire are durable stones. They do not get scratched easily and are suitable for long-term use, making them a perfect choice for engagement rings. Sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Browse the stunning selection of pink sapphire jewelry on Etsy.
A member of the beryl family (along with emeralds), Morganite sits at 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. Morganite stones are color-treated with high heat to develop their hues of pastel pink, peach, purple, and orange. Morganite is known for its light, seductive coloring, and dazzling sparkle.
Browse beautiful pink morganite jewelry on Etsy.
Moissanite ranks second to diamond in hardness. While a diamond is a 10 on the Mohns hardness scale, moissanite sits at 9.25. This is a lab-grown stone, as its naturally-occurring counterpart is extremely rare. This stone offers more fire and brilliance than a diamond, with the light reflected giving off a rainbow of colors.
Etsy has a good selection of pink moissanite jewelry.
How to Save Money Buying a Pink Diamond
- Buy below a weight class (i.e. 0.90 carat diamond instead of 1.00 carat diamond).
- Do not discriminate lower clarity diamonds but rather think of the location of the inclusion and conceal it with a smart setting.
- Use a rose gold setting to complement and intensify the color; then you can opt for a lighter colored (and therefore, cheaper) pink diamond.
- Reduce the size of the central pink stone and use a halo of colorless diamonds to increase the size of the jewelry.
- Brown to brownish pink and orangey-pink color diamonds are much cheaper than pure pink and purple-pink.
- Light-colored diamonds are magnificent. Consider going for a fancy light grade or lower. You'll still get a romantic pink tint for less than half the price.
How to Buy a Pink Diamond
Here are the steps to buying a pink diamond:
- Start with budget - diamond pricing varies so much that you will want a budget in place before you start.
- Decide what cuts and shapes you prefer.
- What carat size are you wanting? Anything below 1 carat will be most affordable.
- Go to James Allen or Blue Nile and browse colored diamonds to estimate cost and sizes.
- Decide on a cut or shape and carat size.
- Be sure to purchase from a seller that includes GIA certification.
Where to Purchase Pink Diamonds?
With all that listed above, you can be sure to buy your dream stone. However, purchasing a diamond is neither a daily task nor an easy affair. Therefore, it is imperative that you buy your stone from a reputable and trusted vendor and receive a stone's certificate of authenticity from a certified third party. Make sure the diamond you are buying is certified by the GIA.
We strongly recommend buying diamonds from James Allen. They are the most reputed sellers who provide GIA certificates with their diamonds. In addition, they are the leader in online diamond sales. They provide excellent pricing with 18+ years of experience and a prime focus on customer satisfaction. They also have the highest tech diamond imagery in the industry, making it easy to search and preview diamonds accurately.
Another excellent online seller is Blue Nile. Blue Nile provides exceptional diamond buying tips and unbiased diamond and jewelry education guides. In addition, diamond and jewelry experts are available 24/7 to answer all questions.
Blue Nile stands behind its products with industry-leading Diamond Certification, secure delivery, 30-day returns, and lifetime guarantees.
Visit Blue Nile today!