As a gift to the Queen, a promise to a lover, or the star of a luxury vintage treasure, the diamond is truly nature’s crown jewel. For years, people coveted what the stone lacked—brilliant and varying color. Now, collectors of fine gems are falling in love with colored diamonds—both natural and laboratory grown—as an expression of their own personal, luxury style.
Natural diamonds are created deep below the earth’s surface, whereby carbon is exposed to extreme heat and pressure over eons of time. Colored diamonds are produced when small amounts of trace elements are present during formation. Color variations exist across an endless spectrum—pink, champagne, cognac, vermillion, azure, even mysterious noir—seductive stones affected by a varied collection of naturally occurring factors producing brilliant results.
Diamonds are classed by what is commonly referred to as the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat. In addition to the 4Cs, the value of a colored diamond relies most heavily on hue, rarity and strength of color. Generally, an uncommon or intensely colored stone will reflect a greater value.
Laboratory grown, or engineered diamonds are produced by an artificial process under a highly controlled lab environment that carefully replicates the conditions under which diamonds are naturally formed. The gems are birthed from a tiny carbon seed made of pre-existing diamond, and exposed to extreme pressure and heat. Carbon atoms are arranged in a diamond crystal structure identical to naturally occurring diamonds, with color occurring by the inclusion of minerals during the deposition process. Lab grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties of mined, yet cost upwards of 20-30% less. Created without the heavy environmental and human burden commonly associated with traditionally mining, colored, cultured stones have become an increasing popular sustainable and socially conscious choice.
When it comes to diamonds, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. A gemstone should be as colorful as the wearer, and reflect her own personal style story. Let Braswell and Son’s graduate gemologist and GIA trained staff assist you in choosing the perfect colored diamond or stunning, luxury vintage piece.