A perfect diamond without any impurities or imperfection will be colorless and completely translucent, reflecting any incoming light in brilliant white flashes and sparkles. But as beautiful as a white diamond can be, it may not be the right choice for your diamond wedding band. Naturally colored diamonds, ranging in color from common yellows to the rarest reds, are becoming more and more popular for use in wedding rings due to their individuality and potential for breath-taking beauty. But what causes a diamond to form with color, and how does that affect its quality? Read on to learn more about the basic chemistry behind any diamond ring.
Understanding How Natural Diamonds Form
Natural diamonds, as opposed to synthetic ones created in a lab, were formed billions of years ago within the molten mantle of the Earth. Carbon molecules subjected to high pressure and heat eventually condense into a highly pure and structurally sound lattice known as diamond. If enough carbon is affected, it forms a rare, gemstone-quality diamond. In most cases, however, it isn't only carbon that gets caught up in the process or the lattice created is not structurally perfect. These are the conditions that foster the development of naturally colored diamonds.
Adding Color Through Chemical Impurities
When other molecules and elements are present in a diamond, they often distort the color. The most common of these are yellow diamonds, which are the result of varying concentrations of nitrogen within the lattice. Although pale yellow diamonds may be less valuable than their white counterparts, more intense coloring quickly surpasses them in value. Other diamond colors caused by chemical impurities include blue and black, which are thought to be caused by extra boron and graphite, respectively.
Deriving Color From Structural Flaws
Diamonds may also exhibit color by bending light as it passes through them, essentially filtering out certain parts of the visible color spectrum to leave behind a pink or red hue. These lattice imperfections lead to some of the most beautiful and valuable diamonds on the market. Red diamonds are incredibly rare and some of the most expensive gemstones available for purchase, while pink diamonds are somewhat more common but still coveted for romantic jewelry like diamond wedding bands.
Comparing Naturally Colored Diamonds to Artificial Ones
There are ways to induce color in white diamonds or enhance naturally colored diamonds through artificial means, though they will always be less valuable than natural diamonds of a similar quality. This is typically achieved by briefly irradiating the gem along a specific wavelength, which forces changes in the chemical structure of the diamond to arrive at the desired hue. Green diamonds undergo this process naturally as they rise to the surface of the Earth. Whether or not you want the relatively affordable vibrancy of an artificially colored diamond or choose to invest in the uniqueness of a natural one, your wedding band is all but guaranteed to be both memorable and meaningful.
For further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as George Thompson Diamond Co.