Natural fancy colours are “truly nature’s aberrations”, says diamond expert Richard Vainer. They only form when conditions are on the edge of ‘possible’ for diamond formation, this can create shifts in the crystal structure, or when impurities such as nitrogen (which colours diamonds yellow) or, more rarely, boron (which colours the diamond blue) are present. In the most desirable colours they sell for many times the price of white diamonds. White diamonds have become more and more commoditised; fancy colours are much more akin to the “fine art or the antiques market,” says Vainer.
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