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A Guide to Natural-Colored, Rustic Diamonds

A Guide to Natural-Colored, Rustic Diamonds

When most people think of diamonds, they envision clear, colorless stones with precision cuts that reflect light to create a brilliant sparkle. While this might be the most well-known style of diamond, it’s far from the only option. Modern handcrafted jewelry contains rustic and natural-colored diamonds available in a wide range of beautiful hues. 
Diamonds don’t have to be flawless to be absolutely stunning. From a rustic diamond ring with a salt and pepper appearance to natural stone jewelry in subtle champagne or translucent cognac, each item is unique in its own way. Before ordering your next piece, get to know more about natural-colored and rustic diamonds, how they are created, and why natural-colored diamonds and modern rustic jewelry has become so popular.

What are Natural Colored Diamonds?

There is a reason that most diamonds are colorless. Natural-colored diamonds are very rare with approximately 1 colored diamond for every 10,000 colorless stones. Colored diamonds are formed when deformities or impurities occur in the stone’s lattice of carbon atoms, creating a distinct color formation not seen in your average diamond.
Some of the rarest and most valuable-colored diamonds are those that are pure in color, heavily saturated or even in tone. To determine value, natural-colored diamonds are assessed and graded based on nine categories.
From least valuable to most valuable:

1. Faint
2. Very light
3. Light
4. Fancy light
5. Fancy
6. Fancy dark
7. Fancy intense
8. Fancy deep
9. Fancy vivid

What are Rustic Diamonds?

Rustic diamonds refer to stones that contain many inclusions. Inclusions are the small characteristics found internally and externally. Once treated as cast-offs by diamond cutters, these rough crystals have now been embraced by jewelry designers. After being faceted and polished, the imperfect stones are just as gorgeous as their clean and colorless counterparts. Rustic diamonds can be purchased in both raw and custom shapes.
The shape is not the only thing that makes rustic diamonds unique. These stones can also be found in a wide variety of colors, with one of the most popular being salt and pepper. The imperfections found on rustic diamonds are caused by extreme heat and pressure when the stone is still under the earth’s surface. The beautiful patterns created are what make these gemstones extremely special and truly one-of-a-kind.

Types of Colored Diamonds

The color of a diamond directly affects its retail price and value based on the standard grading system. Some of the most commonly seen diamond colors include:

Yellow Diamonds

Natural yellow diamonds gain their pale color through nitrogen impurities in the diamond lattice. Nitrogen is about the same size as a carbon atom when incorporated into a diamond’s atomic structure. If a diamond is resident in the mantle for an extended period of time, the nitrogen can aggregate to create a group of three nitrogen atoms and a vacancy. This process forms a color center that absorbs light and creates a yellow stone.

Brown Diamonds

Brown diamonds have an old-world charm that can transform the look of custom engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry. Approximately 98 percent of all mined diamonds have a brown tone, making them one of the most common natural stone colors. Diamonds can develop a brown hue when there is a deformation of the diamond lattice during the stone’s growth or expulsion from the mantle. Variations of the brown diamond like ‘champagne’ and ‘cognac’ emerged in the 1990s, taking the jewelry industry by storm.

Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds may look lovely and purposeful, but they are also created due to a deformation of the diamond lattice. Diamonds can develop a pretty pink tone as they grow in the earth’s mantle in areas where mountains have formed, or tectonic plates collided. Finding natural pink diamonds can be challenging due to their rarity and highly sought-after appearance. These diamonds can also be found with secondary colors, such as pink-brown and orange-pink.

Blue Diamonds

Blue diamonds are one of the hardest to find in jewelry stores. These exceptionally rare stones fetch extravagant prices due to their brilliant coloring caused by infinitesimal levels of boron impurities. Blue diamonds are in short supply, with one of the most well-known stones being the Hope Blue Diamond. These gemstones can sometimes be found in secondary colors like grayish-blue or greenish-blue but fancy vivid blue is the most valuable.

Green Diamonds

Naturally colored green diamonds form their unique color through irradiation. What makes green diamonds different from other naturally colored stones is that the color is usually only surface-deep due to having occurred after the stone has formed. Like blue diamonds, green gemstones are both rare and valuable. 

Black Diamonds

Black diamonds are exceptionally rare and can be extremely tough to find anywhere in the world. These stones are colored by dark inclusions or from high impurities that are numerous and evenly distributed throughout the diamond. There are different types of black diamonds, such as natural large black diamonds like the Black Orlov. 

Red Diamonds

The exact cause of coloring in red diamonds remains a mystery to researchers, making naturally colored red stones highly elusive. It is considered the rarest color of all the fancy color diamonds and can be found in modifying shades. Red diamonds are often a combination of orange and purple. Therefore, it’s not unusual to find red diamonds with secondary colors like brown, purple, or orange.

Orange Diamonds

Like many other naturally colored diamonds, orange stones are fairly rare. The intense color and size of these gemstones make orange diamonds a popular option for rings, necklaces, and other gemstone jewelry. Many orange stones can be found with secondary colors like pink, yellow, or brown. However, pure, vivid orange diamonds can be a tough find.

Shop Naturally Colored, Rustic Diamonds & Modern Rustic Jewelry

At Chinchar Maloney, you’ll discover an impressive selection of rustic, naturally colored diamonds that are untreated and hand-selected by our experienced designers. Choose from countless rings, engagement rings, earrings, necklaces, or bracelets, or build your own custom ring by picking from a variety of loose diamonds and gemstones. Shop our handmade modern rustic jewelry today to find the perfect piece for your collection.