With regular diamonds, the ideal situation is for a stone to be completely colourless. However, the opposite is true for Natural Fancy Coloured Diamonds, which are considerably more valuable as the strength of their colour increases. It is also worth mentioning that the rarity of colour plays a major role in the diamonds value. For example, Pink Diamonds are far more rare than Yellow Diamonds and are worth more even if they are considerably smaller in size.

Here are the terms when referring to the intensity grade of Coloured Diamonds (simplified):

  • Fancy Vivid – The strongest colour saturation and brightness.
  • Fancy Deep – Strong colour saturation combined but with a darker hue than vivid.
  • Fancy Intense – Strong colour saturation but less then vivid.
  • Fancy – Lighter colour than both vivid and intense but still bright and colourful.
This image shows the different intensity levels of pink, blue, and green diamonds.

Diamond colour is a Fancy Coloured Diamond’s most significant characteristic. In fact, unlike a colourless (or white) diamond where the 4C's (carat, clarity, colour and cut) are all equally as important, colour is the most important factor in determining the value of a Fancy Coloured Diamond.

Diamond Grading

The colourless diamond grading system measures the amount of colour present in the stone (or rather the absence of colour) and breaks it down into six different categories:

The Colourless (White) Diamond Grading Scale

In fact, the very end of the colourless diamond colour scale is where the Fancy Colour Diamond colour scale begins. The last two groups in the white diamond colour scale are referred to as Cape Diamonds, which are actually Very Faint or Very Light Yellow or Brown Diamonds.

The combination between white and yellow diamonds (at the end of the white diamond colour grade scale)

However, Fancy Coloured Diamonds are graded on a different scale altogether. As opposed to single letter grades, Colour Diamonds are referred to by the actual colours within the stone.

When assessing a Fancy Coloured Diamond, there are two major characteristics that define the colour of the stone.

  • The Colour
  • The Intensity

Defining the Colour of a Diamond

There are twelve different main fancy colours. Coloured diamonds can contain one single pure colour or be combined with one, two, or even three overtones.

The greatest thing about diamond colour is that it never fades. A diamond can be stored for years, and other than simply wiping the diamond clean it will sparkle as much as it did the day it was first polished. Diamonds really are forever.


Approximately one third of all diamonds glow fluorescent under ultraviolet light. While the lack of fluorescence is no indication that a stone is not a diamond, a stone that glows in any way under ultraviolet light definitely is. Stones with lower fluorescence are more desired but this factor does not have a major affect on the diamonds overall value.

The History of Colour Grading

The Fancy Coloured Diamond grading scale was developed by the GIA in the mid-1970s. With the growth in popularity of Fancy Colours, the industry required a standardized list in order to better define and understand these stones. Because there are so many colour combinations available, the decision was made to grade Natural Fancy Coloured Diamonds with a description as opposed to a letter.

White stones, on the other hand, are graded on an alphabetic scale. Many years ago people used various colour grading systems including Roman and Arabic numerals to grade diamonds. Others used an 'A, B, and C' scale where 'AA' and 'AAA' would have been given to higher grade stones. In 1953 a man named Richard T. Liddicoat, from the GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) developed a standardized grading scale that measured colourless stones from 'D-Z.' The letter 'D' was chosen as an appropriate start for the scale as not to confuse it with the 'A' that existed prior. Also, since D was the first letter in the word 'diamond' it seemed to fit its position.

Need advice?
Contact me today
Click To Email

Contact Us Today To Receive Your FREE Argyle Pink Diamonds Investment E-BOOK and Video!

Need More Information on Coloured Diamonds? Contact Us Today!

Please explain in further detail how we can help you:

What Our Clients Are Saying

My husband and I chose NCD to assist us in finding the perfect engagement ring that would compliment my style. We mostly dealt with Stephen who was very knowledgeable and really took the time to listen to what I was looking for and offered a really great selection of options to choose from. Thank you Stephen and NCD; I couldn't be any happier with my brand new canary yellow diamond ring. You wouldn't believe the compliments and interest that people give it. I just love it!! Thank you again for everything!

Read MoreMaria M.
Bolton, Canada

I have used Northern Cross Diamonds for the last couple years. I have a full time job, rental properties, stocks and mutual funds, yet I am always looking for new investment opportunities. Meeting and dealing with the professionals on staff (especially Stephen) has pointed out creative ways of maximizing the investment potential within coloured diamonds. They are always there to answer questions when I am curious on making a new investment and the experience has been nothing but great! 

Read MoreAngelo f.
Etobicoke, Canada

I have bought several coloured diamonds from Northern Cross Diamonds.  I have found that Northern Cross gets me the best prices -- even when the diamonds come from another vendor and are listed with the other vendors at a higher price.  Stephen Mitanidis has spent hours of his time educating me on coloured diamonds and helping me to choose diamonds that have the best investment potential.  He has also allowed me to trade coloured diamonds that I own for coloured diamonds that I want and has assured me that Northern Cross will help me to sell my coloured diamonds if I choose to do so. If you buy a coloured diamond, I recommend that you consider showing it to your family members and friends. Most of them will be impressed with how it looks and might want to seize the opportunity to buy one or more before the value of coloured diamonds appreciates further.

Read MoreDavid P.
Toronto, ON


We accept Credit Card, Wire Transfer payments and provide Free, Fully Insured, Trackable Shipping to anywhere in the world.

All of our diamonds are Guaranteed Natural Coloured are GIA certified and 100% Conflict-Free.

30 Day Return Policy

Northern Cross Diamonds fully stands behind every single product that we sell. If you are unsatisfied with any portion of your transaction we will provide a 100% refund of our product within 30 days of purchase. No questions asked and no obligations. That is our promise to you.

Close Window

Purchase or Request More Information on this Diamond

Thank you for your interest in this beautiful one-of-a-kind Investment Diamond. A representative from Northern Cross Diamonds will be in touch shortly be of assistance.

Please note that we accept wire transfers, bank drafts, certified cheques, Visa, Master Card and American Express and of course offer the industry’s longest, 30 Day - No Questions Asked, Money Back Guarantee.

Please explain in further detail how we can help you:

Close Window


Please enter your username and password to login and see our prices.

Register Here For Username and Password

Don't have a username? Please request one below.

Please explain in further detail how we can help you: