Hue: Pure, spectral (prismatic) color. Hues include gradations and mixtures of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple.
Tone: A color’s position on a colorless-to-black scale.
Saturation: A color’s position on a neutral-to-vivid scale.
Fancy diamond: A diamond with an attractive natural body color other than light yellow, light brown, or light gray.
Treated diamond: A diamond with body color body color induced by some form of artificial irradiation, often in conjunction with controlled heating (known as annealing).
Coated diamond: A diamond colored by a surface coating which masks the body color body color; the coating may be extensive (entire pavilion, for example), but is more often limited to one or two pavilion facets or a spot on the girdle.
Detecting Treated Diamonds
Treatment Clues: Even, medium to dark, vivid green, blue-green, or blue body color.
Treatment Proofs: Umbrella effect, colored pattern following facet junctions, colored ring around the girdle (green, yellow, brown, pink); radioactivity (radium green); brown, disc-like inclusions (radium green); fogs photographic film (radium green); electrically non-conductive (blue); 592 nm absorption line (green, yellow, most brown, pink).
Natural Clues: Darker green or brown naturals or surface spots (light green, brown).
Natural Proofs: Electrically conductive (blue).
When in doubt, always submit colored diamonds to GTL for an origin of color report.
Detecting Coated Diamonds
Examine the surface under high magnification (45x or more) in diffused or reflected light. Pay particular attention to areas near the girdle. The coating may have tiny pits or bubbles, and may be scratched with a probe; an orange filter may help. Other clues include subnormal brilliance and dispersion, an iridescent sheen or a lack of transparency when viewed table-down in the DiamondLite, or an odd look when compared to master stones.
Use the ColorMaster too:
- Create an objective color descriptor
- Establish reliable price comparisons
- Make exact records of colored diamonds, bought, sold, or appraised
- Communicate more effectively and confidently with suppliers