Fancy DiamondsA diamond is a diamond is a diamond, right? Sorry, it's not that easy. If you're thinking of buying a diamond then a quick glance through a few jewelry stores or online gem merchants will reveal a large range on sale. One term frequently used in catalogues is fancy diamond.
What Are Fancy Diamonds?A fancy diamond can loosely be defined as a cut stone that varies from the traditional clear, simple cut gemstone This therefore covers two distinct uses of the word:
ColourWhen people talk of "a fancy diamond" they are usually referring to the colour of the stone. Although clear diamonds are by far the most common, they can be found in many different colours including blue, yellow and pink - even black.
When found naturally these different colours are produced by impurities in the chemical composition of the stone and the exact nature of the impurity will determine the precise colour. Many "plain" diamonds actually have tiny traces of impurity but the change in colour isn't enough for them to be considered "fancy".
The price of a fancy coloured diamond will depend of the rarity of the particular shade, the intensity of the hue and the subjective aesthetic appeal of the colour. For instance natural blue diamonds are rare and very popular, so a natural diamond with a strong blue colour is likely to be too expensive for most people to buy. Prices also vary with fashion. It used to be that brown diamonds were unpopular, however in recent years there's been a rise in demand for chocolate diamonds.
Because of the rarity of natural coloured diamonds many fancy colour stones on the market have either been artificially created or coloured.
CutAnother use of the word fancy is as in "a fancy cut diamond". Here the stone itself can be of any colour, what is important is the style in which it has been cut.
Deciding which cuts count as "fancy" is a difficult question, in many ways it's a matter of history. In the early days of gem cutting, certain cuts simply weren't possible. Some people would classify any shaoes other than the round brilliant as "fancy".
In general a fancy cut tends to have less lines of symmetry than a plain cut. They are often produced from natural stones that are in themselves highly aysmmetrical and not suitable for a plain cut without considerable wastage. The choice of cut is determined partly by the shape of the stone and partly by market demand.