9 things you need to know before you buy a pink diamond

Pink is gaining popularity in the fashion world these days and eyes are turning towards pink diamonds. Although pink diamonds are exceptionally beautiful and highly coveted, they are also among the priciest and rarest of all the colored diamonds. Little wonder these are often linked to royalty and celebrities.

This can make purchasing a pink diamond overwhelming!

But as with any important purchase, information will be your best friend. In this article, I am going to outline the top 9 factors you need to know about pink diamonds before you make that big purchase!

  1. Pink diamonds are very expensive

Among the range of colored diamonds, pink diamonds stand out as a prestigious and pricey stone. You will see them on the hands of wealthy celebrities, linking pink diamonds to luxury. Pink diamonds have also made an impression in the biggest and most well-known auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s and can cost hundreds of thousand dollars per carat.

You might be wondering:

Why so expensive? The answer to this rests in how rare the stone is and how difficult it is to find a high quality pink diamond. In fact, it is the second rarest in the colored diamond family.

According to the GIA, “Of the millions of diamonds mined each year, only .001 percent can qualify as fancy colors and only a handful can achieve the top grades of Intense and Vivid.”

Think about it.

Pink Diamonds are just a slight fraction of this .001 percent, so you can well imagine how valuable it would be. Little wonder that owning a pink diamond is considered an addition to your investment portfolio.

Take a look at these randomly selected pink diamonds listed on the James Allen website. As you can see, they retail for approximately $100,000 per carat.

Pink diamond price

  1. Pink diamonds are scarce

As I’ve stressed already, pink diamonds without a doubt are one of the scarcest of colored diamonds and can be found in only a few of the diamond mines present in the world.

The mine that produces the largest number of pink diamonds (an estimated 90%) is the famous Argyle Mine of Australia.

Argyle pink diamonds, that have a vibrant and intense color, are coveted by many and owned by few making them one of the best investments you could have.

  1. Pink diamonds have mysterious color origins

Diamonds are assessed based on the four main attributes – cut, color, clarity and carat weight.  When it comes to colored diamonds, the most important of these is, you guessed it, color. Colored diamonds get their hues from trace elements present during their formation. Specific elements cause specific colors – nitrogen for yellow diamonds and boron for blue, for example.

So what element is behind the hue in pink diamonds?

Interestingly, nobody knows for sure. Unlike other colored diamonds whose color origins are known, pink diamonds are a mystery and to date, we don’t yet know what causes a pink diamond.

However, there are scientific evidences, showing pink diamonds contain high pressure graining that result in a compressed internal structure. This is called Plastic Deformation and scientists believe that this process is behind the origin of pink diamond’s color.

  1. The color combinations of pink diamonds

It goes without saying that the most valuable among pink diamonds are those that have the most intense and purest color pinks. However, pink diamonds are often found with other secondary hues.

These include purple, brown, gray, orange and even brownish-purple. Of these, probably the most popular is purplish pink.

Check out the image below taken from Leibish that shows an overwhelming range of pink diamonds color combinations.

Pink diamond color chart

Does the range of pink diamond colors end there?

No, because we must also consider the intensity of the color when evaluating the stone. You could have a faint purplish pink and a fancy deep purplish pink and this would equal to two different colors and different value.

The intensity grading scale of pink diamonds range from Faint to Fancy Deep. The GIA scale for the different grades is:

Faint Pink, Light Pink, Very Light Pink, Fancy Pink, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Intense Pink and Fancy Deep PinkGIA pink diamond color chart

When you purchase a pink diamond, the exact color of the stone will be described with the intensity, secondary color(s) and the primary color listed in the color description. For example, your stone might be fancy light brownish pink or fancy intense brownish orangy pink.

  1. The value of pink diamonds

Unlike colorless diamonds that are valued based on the 4Cs, for fancy colored diamonds color has a direct correlation to value.

Because pink diamonds are one of the rarest diamonds, there is no surprise that prices tagged to pink diamonds will make your jaw drop. The value of pink diamonds may differ according to the color combinations of the stone.

Purplish pink diamonds command higher prices while brownish pink stones are much more affordable. Bear in mind that the word ‘affordable’ here is relative and is still very high compared to other gemstones.

As a rule of thumb, prices go up with the color intensity level of pink diamonds. Pink diamonds that are graded intense or vivid are very valuable. When combined with secondary colors, the rarer the secondary color is, the higher also the price.

What about the other 3Cs you ask?

With pink diamonds, the price increases exponentially in relation to the carat size. A .50 carat stone might retail for $50,000 while a 2 carat stone could sell for $500,000.

Clarity is important when considering colored diamonds but not as crucial as it is for colorless stones. As color tends to hide flaws, even stones with lower clarity levels can still retail for high prices.

Case in point, check out this fancy vivid purplish pink triangle cut .76 carat diamond that is currently listed on James Allen. As you can see, the clarity is not great at all. In fact, on the site, the clarity of the stone is omitted. And yet the stone is priced at $80,000! This tells you a lot about just how much a pink diamond is worth.

Pink diamond clarity

In terms of the cut of the stone, when it comes to colored diamonds, the focus of the cut should be on maximizing the color of the stone. What matters the most is the color and not the brilliance.

While the brilliant round cut is the most popular for colorless diamonds as it brings out the brilliance of the stone, for pink diamonds fancy cuts work best for the optimal color of the stone to shine through.

Shapes such as radiant, cushion, heart, triangle and marquise, for example, are best for colored diamonds. They hide flaws and flaunt color.

  1. An affordable option to natural pink diamonds

Synthetic diamonds (also called man-made, lab-created, lab-grown or cultured diamonds) are becoming increasingly popular among shoppers with this trend expected to keep growing. These are stones that are created in a lab following a ‘recipe’.

But aren’t synthetic diamonds fake?

No. Synthetic diamonds are the real thing, and are chemically, optically and physically similar to naturally mined diamonds. The only difference is that they were created in a tightly-controlled lab by scientists in a short amount of time, and not formed through natural geological processes over millions of years.

However, those with vested interests try to undermine the value of a synthetic diamond so you will come across terms such as ‘imposter’ ‘fake’ and ‘false’ in relation to synthetic diamonds. This, for me, is unfair discrimination.

First of all, for most of us who don’t have money to burn, a mined pink diamond is impossible to acquire. But a synthetic diamond is much more affordable and is normally priced at around 5% of the price of a mined pink diamond.

In addition to this, you know for sure that your synthetic pink diamond is conflict free, environmentally friendly and also ethical. What’s not to love!

Lab diamonds are graded in the same way as mined diamonds. Look for a report from an independent grading lab such as GIA or IGI. They will contain information of the 4Cs as well as details of its origin.

Just make sure that you know your stone is indeed a lab-created pink diamond. The last thing you want is to be paying the sum equivalent of a mined pink diamond for a synthetic stone.

  1. What are enhanced pink diamonds?

Unlike synthetic alternatives, an enhanced pink diamond is a stone that has been altered from its natural condition in order to improve its physical appearance and characteristics and/or minimize its flaws. There are a lot of standard enhancement methods out there that most diamonds go through before getting onto the market.

Color enhancement treatments are the most common. For example, irradiation artificially irradiates the diamond to enhance its optical properties (irradiation can also occur in nature so not every irradiated diamond is a treated diamond). Another method is the clarity enhancement procedure called laser drilling that removes black carbon inclusions contained within diamonds. Fracture filling which renders internal cracks of diamonds less visible, is also sometimes carried out on pink diamonds.

Generally, enhanced pink diamonds are sold at a lower price compared to their untreated or unenhanced counterparts.

  1. Pink diamonds in engagement rings

While colorless diamonds have always been popular for engagement rings, colored diamonds are having their moment now as more and more couples are turning towards unique and diverse ways of symbolizing their love. Pink, without question, is among the most popular of colors for engagement rings.

And with good reason.

It is a feminine color that exudes class, creativity and beauty.

On a practical note, pink diamonds are extremely durable and scratch-resistant, and are perfect for daily wear.

If your heart is set on pink but a pink diamond is beyond your budget, there are other gemstones available on the market that can be good options, such as pink sapphires and morganites. While it is true that fire and sparkle of a pink diamond is often unmatched by these stones, the prices can be very attractive and make them great alternatives to a pink diamond.

If you want to compare pink diamonds with pink sapphires, check out our article on the topic.

  1. How to purchase Pink Diamonds?

Whether you purchase your stone online or at a physical store, always ensure that you receive a certificate of authenticity from a third party for your stone. GIA is considered to be consistent and extremely strict when issuing diamond certificates and you cannot go wrong with them.

Also, buy your stone from a well-established reputable vendor with good customer service and after-sales services. Check the returns policy as well just in case.

While James Allen does often have a good inventory of pink diamonds, Leibish is our top pick for colored diamonds. Also check out Brilliant Earth for lab-created alternatives.

If you would like more information, read our reviews on James Allen and Brilliant Earth.

And finally, for the trivia lover…. the most famous pink diamonds in the world

Daria-i-Noor, worn by many kings until retrieved by the Persian army in 1739 and brought back to Iran, is one of the famous examples of Pink Diamonds. It is a table-cut light pink diamond weighing 186 carats.

Another famous pink oval brilliant-cut diamond that was the centerpiece of the wedding tiara of Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran is called Noor-ul-Ain. It weighs 60 carats and is believed to be discovered in one of the largest mines in the world, the Golconda mines located in India.

The Steinmetz Pink, a fancy vivid, mixed oval cut pink diamond, was found in Southern Africa. It is enormous in size weighing 59.60 carats. It also has an exceptional clarity grading of Internally Flawless making it one of the finest pink diamonds in the entire world.

Also famous are the 25.02-carat pear-shaped fancy pink diamond called The Rose of Dubai that was sold for $6 million dollars and the fancy intense pink stone Graff Pink Diamond that weighs 24.78 carats and was sold for a smashing $46.16 million dollars at Sotheby’s auction house.  Graff Pink currently holds the most expensive diamond sold at an auction in the entire world.