Choosing a blue diamond for your engagement ring is a great idea as blue diamonds are rare, beautiful, and valuable stones. Their spiritual and psychological significance greatly enhances their charm, intrigue, and uniqueness. Since blue represents confidence, honesty, and truth, a blue diamond set in a silver, gold, or platinum ring radiates positive energy.
Blue also represents inspiration, peace, intuition, and spirituality. So presenting a blue diamond to your beloved or purchasing one for yourself indicates your appreciation of these qualities.
Blue Diamonds – Know the Facts
Blue diamonds are diamonds that have all the properties of colorless diamonds except that they are blue. They get their color from the traces of boron in their crystalline structure. They belong to a family of diamonds commonly referred to as “fancy color diamonds,” which contain diamonds of different colors such as green, pink, red, green, and others.
The following are some interesting facts about blue diamonds:
- Just like traditional diamonds, blue diamonds are graded according to the four Cs—clarity, color, carat, and cut.
- The Hope Diamond is one of the oldest blue diamonds in the world, weighing 45.52 carat and believed to have its origins in India.
- Blue diamonds come in hues ranging from green blue to gray blue, but pure blue diamonds are the most valuable.
- Only natural blue diamonds are valuable and rare.
- Blue diamonds developed in laboratories are called enhanced diamonds and do not have the value of natural blue diamonds.
Real Blue Diamonds vs. Enhanced Blue Diamonds
Real or natural blue diamonds are purely the results of natural activities spanning millions of years, without any human interference. Each natural blue diamond has a unique hue; and no two blue diamonds are alike. This uniqueness and rareness of natural blue diamonds gives them their value.
The difference between natural blue diamonds and enhanced blue diamonds is huge indeed. A natural blue diamond is a unique work of art by nature. An enhanced blue diamond is just an imitation of less value, nothing more.
While natural blue diamonds are few and far between, enhanced blue diamonds are created in hundreds and thousands in gem laboratories. Unlike natural blue diamonds, they are priced low. The two markets cannot be compared as they are totally different.
You may never be able to find or even afford a natural blue diamond. But you can easily find and afford color enhanced diamonds. Although they are not the real stuff, they are definitely reminiscent of the real stuff, which is all that many buyers want. Moreover, buyers can remind themselves that color enhanced diamonds are natural colorless diamonds made to acquire their blue hues through lab procedures.
How Blue Diamonds Are Made
Nature takes millions of years to complete a rare and valuable blue diamond. When the diamond is being formed in the depths of the earth, traces of boron get trapped in its crystal lattice. Boron is capable of absorbing yellow light and reflecting blue colors.
As we already mentioned, blue diamonds come in a variety of hues. Each diamond has its own unique hue, which it does not share with any other diamond. As a result, we have pale blue diamonds that resemble the clear sky, steel blue diamonds that look like the blue sea, and so on. In fact, gemologists give blue diamonds special names according to their hues. We, therefore, have midnight diamonds, navy blue diamonds, royal blue diamonds, and baby blue diamonds.
Colorless diamonds are subjected to color treatments to give them the desired blue hue. These treatments do not alter the original properties of the diamond. A color treated diamond remains just as tough and scratch resistant and you can wear it every day without fear of damage.
The following are two of the most common ways of artificially creating a colored diamond:
- High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)– Colorless diamonds are treated to high temperature and high pressure to imitate the natural process of creating a diamond within the depths of the earth. When a colorless diamond is treated to high pressure and high temperature in the laboratory, its color changes. Once the color is changed, the stone is polished. The procedure lasts just a few hours, but can be used to create diamonds of varying hues, including blue.
- Irradiation – This procedure subjects a diamond to high-energy particles that misplace its carbon atoms. Since this changes the physical properties of the diamond, its color also changes. When the diamond gets the desired hue, it is then heated. This artificial method of creating colored gems is safe and permanent.
Tips to Cut Costs While Buying Blue Diamonds
Natural blue diamonds are extremely rare, and this makes them very expensive and difficult to obtain. You may even find it impossible to find a natural blue diamond that you can afford. In this case, you can buy color enhanced blue diamonds.
Many people hesitate to buy color enhanced blue diamonds because they think that they are not real diamonds. In fact, color enhanced diamonds are real diamonds made to undergo a laboratory procedure to not only give them the desired hue and color, but also remove blemishes and inclusions. After undergoing this procedure, the diamond remains a diamond and does not lose its original qualities in any way. Purchasing such color enhanced diamonds is a great way to save money.
However, you should buy color enhanced diamonds only if they are graded and certified at reputed gemology labs such as IGS or GIA. A gemologist’s certificate gives you all the important information about the stone you would like to buy. An enhanced diamond is less expensive than a nature blue diamond, and a certificate will save you from overpaying jewelers who take customers for a ride.
If you want to save even more money, you can consider buying a synthetic blue diamond or a blue diamond created in a lab. These are not natural colorless diamonds that have been made to undergo a color enhancement procedure. Instead, they are lab grown diamonds that are made of the same stuff as natural diamonds.
The benefits of buying lab-grown blue diamonds are many, as follows:
- They cost anywhere between 20% and 50% less than natural blue diamonds.
- You can rest assured that they are absolutely conflict free as they were made in labs.
- Since they have not been mined, they are eco friendly. You can rest assured that you are not contributing to any harm to the environment when you are purchasing them.
- They may not be as romantic, intriguing, rare, and valuable as natural blue diamonds, but they are definitely just as beautiful.
- You can easily buy a large blue diamond without breaking your budget.
Again, if you are buying a blue diamond created in a lab, you must ask for its grading certificate as it will give you authentic information about the stone’s 4Cs.
Natural Blue Diamonds – Guide for Serious Buyers
If you are serious about buying a natural blue diamond, you must first understand that natural blue diamonds are very rare. Even jewelers who have been in the business for several years do not come across a natural blue diamond.
Only 0.01% of the 12 – 14 million diamonds that are polished every year are fancy colored diamonds. And only 80% of that 0.01% is yellow, brown, black, or gray in color. Blue, red, purple, orange, green, and pink diamonds are extremely rare, which is why every diamond enthusiast is always looking for them. The market gets only 2 – 4 blue diamonds every year, and only 50 of them have been sold at auctions worldwide from 1999. You can buy a natural blue diamond only if you are lucky enough to find one.
Blue diamond 4Cs
And if you are one of those lucky people who have actually found a natural blue diamond, here are the blue diamond 4Cs you must know:
Color of Blue Diamonds
Blue diamonds are expensive because of their color. Gem testing labs take three criteria into consideration while testing the color of a blue diamond—hue, tone, and saturation.
- The hue the dominant color of the diamond—blue. The diamond diminishes in value if it has secondary hues such as black, violet, or gray.
- The tone is the way in which light penetrates into the diamond and its impact on the hue. Blue diamonds can, therefore, display tones such as very light, light, medium light, medium, dark, and very dark.
- Saturation is the intensity of the diamond’s color. The value of the diamond increases with its saturation.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has classified blue diamonds into nine intensities of colors:
- Faint blue
- Very light blue
- Light blue
- Fancy light blue
- Fancy blue
- Fancy intense blue
- Fancy vivid blue
- Fancy deep blue
- Fancy dark blue
As previously mentioned, natural blue diamonds are also given special names such as Royal Blue, Baby Blue, Midnight Blue, and Navy Blue depending on their hues.
- Carat – Diamonds with an intense blue color cost more per carat. Also, heavier diamonds cost more per carat. The rarest of rare blue diamonds weigh more than 3 carats and their price per carat is very high indeed.
- Clarity– Gemology laboratories represent clarity in the following scale, which includes six groups with a total of nine grades:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 & VVS2)
- Very slightly Included (VS1 & VS2)
- Slightly Included (SI1 & SI2)
- Included (I1 & I2)
- Cut– This refers to the way a diamond is cut and shaped to make it appear brilliant and beautiful. You don’t even have to be an expert to distinguish between a bad cut and a good one. Buy a diamond with a cut that enhances the beauty of its color and makes it sparkle and shine.
- Cost – The Most Important C
A one carat blue diamond can cost you $6,800 – $11,200, provided it has obtained its color in a laboratory. The price of lab-grown blue diamonds or color enhanced diamonds are either equal to or slightly less than colorless diamonds.
On the other hand, if you want to buy a natural blue diamond, you have to pay at least $100,000 per carat or even more.
Browse this list of most expensive blue diamonds in the world to get an idea of exactly how much they cost:
- The Hope Diamond, which is 45.52 carats and grayish blue in color, costs $250 million.
- The Heart of Eternity, a vivid blue diamond weighing 27.64 carats, costs $80 million.
- The Wittelsbach-Graff is an internally flawless, deep blue diamond weighing 31.06 carats. Its estimated cost is $80 million.
- The Imperial Blue is a flawless deep blue 39.31 carat diamond, which costs $79 million.
- The Blue Heart is a deep blue VS2 diamond weighing 30.62 carats. Its present cost is $61 million.
- The Blue Moon is a vivid blue, internally flawless diamond weighing 12.03 carats. It was sold on Nov 11, 2015 for $48 million.
- The Mouawad Blue is a pear-shaped, fancy blue diamond. Weighing 42.52 carats, it was purchased in Nov 1984 for $4.6 million.
- The Zoe Diamond is a vivid blue diamond weighing 9.75 carats. It was sold for $32.6 million in 2014.
- The Idol’s Eye is a 70.21 carat, light blue diamond with an estimated value of $30 million.
- The Winston Blue is an internally flawless, vivid blue, 13.22 carat pear-shaped diamond that was sold for $24 million on May 15, 2014.
As you see, you have to be a millionaire if you want to buy a one carat natural blue diamond. Smaller stones, however, are a bit more affordable. On an average, you have to pay $50,000 for a 0.5 carat light blue diamond and $135,000 for a 0.5 intense blue diamond.
The prices vary according to the four Cs, and you just have to shop around for the best deals.