May 16

Natural Pink Diamonds – Your Shopping Guide for these Rare Diamonds

Pink diamonds, unlike 1 carat round colorless diamonds, are truly rare. In fact, pink is one of the rarest colors. Only red diamonds (never seen one) and blue diamonds are more rare.

Given the rarity, pink diamonds are not for the faint of wallet but more affordable ones can be found. First you have to have some understanding of the pink diamond grading scale, which is haphazard at best.

Pink Diamond Grading–a Reader’s Digested Version

Size and clarity are less important than color when it comes to pink diamond pricing. Words like Fancy, Intense, Vivid, Deep preceding the word pink, all tend to mean higher price range. Light, Very Light and Faint adjectives put the prices on the lower end of the scale–and make them more affordable to mere mortals who are not movie stars. I’ve seen faint pink that looks pink enough when set in pink gold to be desirable and faint pink that you can’t even tell it is pink. So a dealer that knows how to choose a pink and set a pink diamond is vital to bringing out the most pink possible and ending up with beautiful jewelry.

A Fancy Intense Pink diamond in a 1 carat size can run run over $100k and on up. A “qualifier” in the color as determined by the GIA can bring the price way up or way down. Add a qualifier like “brownish” in the color pink, like brownish pink, and the price falls dramatically. And many times that qualifier is a good thing because to the naked eye, the brown is not detectable nor unpleasant.

Another qualifier is orange or orangey or orangish. Then there’s purple with grades like purple pink, purplish pink, pinkish purple, pink purple and more. And wait, it gets more interesting and haphazard than that.

Valuable Pink Diamonds & Unusual Shapes

Often, when a cutter is presented with pink colored rough, they’ll cut an unusual shape to get the most carat weight out of the valuable pink rough. That’s because cutters want to make the most money they can from then end product and a carat weight counts toward this goal.

In pink diamonds, I’ve seen a harp shape (like the instrument) , funky pear shapes, a really fat or really skinny marquise and a cleavageless heart (you’ll just have to visualize that one). Others are even hard to describe without photos. You don’t usually see many round pinks in large sizes because cutting a round diamond wastes diamond rough. No one wants pink diamond dust.

The GIA Report–the only report for a pink diamond

You pay the high price of a pink diamond, you should expect NO LESS than a genuine GIA report. It can be a full report or a GIA Color Origin Report. The GIA tests for natural color. And GIA is the gold standard of reports and the only lab that knows colored diamonds. And when it comes to grading the color, you want top notch since little things can make a huge difference in price.

A GIA Color Origin Report is an acceptable report and only reports on color, carat weight and size. Often a cutter will choose a Color Origin Report in an effort to avoid having an I1 clarity grade printed on a report. It’s far less important in colored diamonds, but cutter’s are still aware of consumer emphasis on clarity. I have seen even crater-cracked intense pink diamonds that were at least I2, sell at high prices. And I’ve actually seen a very nice pinkish purple that was I2. It’s all in how they are handpicked by a good dealer. And cut is kind with any diamond brilliance. Clarity issues that would be obvious in a white diamond are many times not a all obvious in a colored diamond.

An examination by a qualified GIA graduate, a GIA gemologist or anything else is not the same as a GIA Report. And any scrambling of those letters to make you think you have an official report is bogus. Any report with an appraised value is NOT a genuine GIA report. You can check the number on the report through the GIA.

The GIA substantiates that the color is natural. Irradiated pinks are not priced on nearly as steep a scale as the natural colored pink diamonds. Irradiated pinks often have a sort of surrealistic color and they are often diamonds that were unpleasant looking as naturals and were therefore nuked to make them sellable.

Shopping for a Pink Diamond

Few jewelry stores or personnel know anything about pink diamonds. That’s because their market is typically people who are buying white diamonds. There are stores that carry more of them. But you’ll find that the prices are in the stratosphere. You are often paying for the address, the atmosphere and chandelier upkeep. So while you might very well get a fabulous product, you will pay out the wazoo for it. Which is fine if you have that kind of disposable income and you like the feeling of being in a swanky establishment .

Regardless, you really have to choose your dealer carefully. Choose one that carries more than two or three colored diamonds. If you’ve done your homework, you might recognize a salesperson who knows less than you do. If you know more than the salesperson, move on. Choose a dealer with a track record and an established reputation for carrying colored diamonds. I often see dealers offering diamonds that are treated and not disclosing this fact. I see dealers using the same photograph to sell a diamond. I see dealers who are “drop shippers” who are offering colored diamonds–dealers who do not look at the diamond but list numbers from a GIA report and they’ve never seen it.

A colored diamond, particularly a pink, is NOT a diamond you want to buy sight unseen for a number of reasons. Fancy colors and fancy shapes can’t be bought sight unseen if you atually want to end up with something you will enjoy looking at.

Buying a pink diamond on a mortal budget
Okay, they are not going to be cheap. But there are ways to get pink for less than outrageous.

Buy a white center and have it set with pink melee in a microsetting (halo setting). Melee are the small diamonds that are bought in groups.

Buy a smaller pink and have it set in a microsetting surrounded by white diamonds to give it contrast and make the ring appear larger.

Buy a pink that is a Light Pink, Brownish Pink and otherwise without the adjectives fancy, vivid or intense. You won’t often see the “brownish” with your naked eye.

Buy a pink diamond band that has a row of little pinks.

Getting a Pink Diamond Appraised

Few sellers know squat about colored diamonds. Even fewer appraisers do. The good ones will use a third party resource to validate particular facts. So ask questions before having it appraised and find out their methodology for appraising rare pinks.

If it comes back appraised double, don’t go feeling great that you made such a great purchase. Ask them to adjust the appraisal so you’re not paying the insurance company outrageous premiums to insure a diamond that would not cost nearly the amount it appraised for to replace. The outrageous appraisal amount might make you feel warm and fuzzy up until you get insurance and realize just how much it will cost you.


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