With Christmas next month (yes, you read that correctly: next month!), you may already be working on your gift list, hoping to pick out gifts that will thrill and delight your loved ones...
Maybe you're thinking to surprise your wife or your mother with a new piece of jewelry but with some sort of twist!
Have you ever considered a colored diamond? Chances are your wife or your mother have traditional white diamonds, but they may not have a colored diamond. Colored diamonds are beautiful and unique and may just be that unique twist you're looking for!
But you might be thinking, "What exactly is a colored diamond?" Good question!
Just like colorless diamonds, colored diamonds or fancy color diamonds are created from a complex process deep within the earth that involves super-heated, highly pressurized carbon molecules that "crush" together to form a lattice-like structure or a diamond!
The key difference with colored diamonds is that during this formation process, certain foreign minerals or particulates get trapped and the results are beautiful, rare, COLORED diamonds.These are called natural colored diamonds.
These different trace minerals and particulates can produce different hues as well as varying intensities of those hues. Here's a basic breakdown of how diamonds actually turn into different colors...
Gray and Blue Diamonds: Blue diamonds get their color from the element boron. When this is present, it bonds to carbon in the crystal structure, absorbing red, yellow, and green areas of the color spectrum, thereby producing a blue or gray hue.
Green Diamonds: Diamonds get their green color as they are about to leave the uppermost layer of the crust by absorbing naturally occurring radiation. This causes them to reflect green by absorbing red and yellow light.
Violet and Purple Diamonds: It appears purple diamonds are a bit of a puzzle to scientists!They believe the purple and violet color comes from crystal distortion. They also conjecture that the presence of hydrogen may be partly responsible for their hue as well.
Orange and Yellow Diamonds: Nitrogen is responsible for beautiful yellow and orange diamonds. When a diamond is forming, nitrogen will arrange in such a way that that blue light is absorbed, which causes it to emit a yellow hue. An even more specific set of nitrogen atoms is also responsible for orange diamonds; this arrangement causes the diamond to absorb both the blue and yellow spectrum light causing the orange hue!
Colored diamonds can come in a nearly incalculable number of variations. Not only do minerals affect a diamond's color, but the variations in pressure during the crystallization process as well as radiation levels in the Earth’s mantle layer can influence hues and intensity levels.
Naturally colored diamonds are very, very expensive. In fact, some of the most expensive diamonds in the world are colored diamonds. Thanks to a rise in popularity and demand for fancy color diamonds, the market for treated and color enhanced diamonds is booming. This makes beautiful colored diamonds more readily available to everyone.
With color-enhanced or treated diamonds, diamonds with less desirable features, e.g. "pale" yellow color, are enhanced to a stunning vivid or bright yellow. Sometimes these diamonds might get a complete make-over and be changed altogether to a gorgeous blue, red, or purple hue!
There are a few ways to "color" diamonds, but one of the main methodologies used to treat diamonds is called High Pressure High Temperature. HPHT treatment is probably the most well known method used to change the color of a diamond permanently. With proper application, HPHT can either lighten the hue or deepen the existing tone of a diamond.
When you subject a diamond to high heat and pressure, it cause changes to take place deep within its molecular structure. The trick is you never know with 100% accuracy what the final appearance will be.
And that is your geological and gemological lesson for today! So, with all this talk of colored diamonds, are you ready to see a few of my favorite selections? Here you go...
We're honored that Mullen Bros. Jewelers ranks #1 in overall customer ratings among all jewelry retailers in our community and we will continue to take care of our neighbors and friends, one jewel at a time!
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