Gemstones are weighed using metric carats. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other three characteristics of a diamond’s 4Cs: clarity, color, and cut.

In the diamond industry, weight is measured to a thousandth of a carat and rounded to the nearest hundredth. Each hundredth is called a point (a 0.25 ct. diamond would be called a “twenty-five pointer”). Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. For instance, a 1.08 ct. stone would be described as “one point oh eight carats”.


A fancy colour diamond can of course range in colour, from various shades of yellow, red, orange, pink, blue, brown, black, green, etc. Fancy diamonds are valuable because of their rarity, and are the only diamonds that are made more valuable because their colour exceeds the common white diamond colour scale.

Fancy colour diamonds are graded based on two factors. The first is their basic hue, such as pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. The second is their intensity. Both colour characteristics form the basis for determining a fancy coloured diamond's value. Usually, the rule of thumb is that, the more intense the colour, the rarer and more expensive the diamond should be.

The diamond colour grading system expresses colour using the attributes of hue (the characteristic colour), tone (the colour’s relative lightness or darkness), and saturation (the strength or weakness of the colour). Using controlled viewing conditions and colour comparators, the grader determines the stone’s colour from one of 27 hues. The fancy grade describes the stone’s tone and saturation with romantic names like “Fancy Light,” “Fancy Intense,” and “Fancy Vivid.”

Fancy colour diamonds have been found in many different parts of the world, where conditions are right for the development of their natural colour.


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