An Expert Guide to Natural Blue Diamonds
Everything you need to know about the price and rarity of natural blue diamonds
Everything you need to know about the price and rarity of natural blue diamonds
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This article is about Blue Fancy Color diamonds. If you are looking for information about buying diamonds online at Blue Nile please read our full review here.
We strongly recommend buying a blue diamond from a vendor who provides high-quality photos, like Leibish & Co. or James Allen. Color can vary significantly even within a specific color grade, and we want to make sure you’re getting the most for your budget. In our experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices and customer experience in the Fancy Color Diamond market. They also provide a high level of expertise when it comes to pairing the diamond with a jewelry setting.
A blue diamond is a real, natural diamond with a noticeable blue tone due to the presence of boron in the diamond’s carbon structure. Blue diamonds range in color from light blue to deep blue often with a secondary hue like violet, gray, or green. Blue diamonds are not treated or enhanced to get their color, they are found below the earth’s surface with their natural blue coloring.
Blue diamonds are found only in a few mines in the world: the Cullinan mine in South Africa, the Argyle Mine in Australia, and the Goloconda mine in India. The carat weight and intensity of blue color dictate how much a blue diamond is worth. Because of blue diamonds’ rarity, they’re usually more expensive than white diamonds and other fancy color diamonds and the large pieces are often put up for auctions.
Blue diamonds are real, natural diamonds that form beneath the earth’s surface over billions of years. These diamonds are not color-treated or enhanced to get their blue color—it is natural. The mesmerizing color of the blue diamond comes from traces of boron in the diamond’s carbon composition.
Though often confused, sapphires are entirely different gemstones than blue diamonds. Sapphires are a member of the corundum family and contain traces of titanium, iron, magnesium, copper and chromium.
Most blue diamonds are Type IIb diamonds, which account for only 0.1% of the world’s color diamonds. There’s a spectrum within blue diamonds, though. They range from light to deep, vivid blue. Most diamonds also have a secondary hue that alters their color to be more green or gray, for example.
Depending on the color intensity, blue diamonds look like pale blue gemstones, vibrant blue stones or a mix of two colors like blue and purple. Secondary hues add tint and character to the stone. No matter where a stone falls on the blue diamond color chart, it’s bound to be a stunning, rare gem.
Blue diamonds belong to the family of Fancy Color Diamonds, the name for diamonds that exhibit a rich color. A blue diamond’s value is based on its 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat), with Color intensity being the most important factor.
The strength of a diamond’s color is referred to as the color intensity level. Each Fancy diamond has different intensity levels by which it’s evaluated. For blue diamonds, the grading scale includes Faint Blue, Very Light Blue, Light Blue, Fancy Light Blue, Fancy Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Deep Blue and Fancy Vivid Blue. Fancy Dark is also a possibility if a secondary color is present.
Every blue diamond is considered rare, but pure colors (ie. those without a secondary modifier) are even more unique. Pure blues are hard to obtain, however, and some color combinations are quite stunning. Gray-blue and green-blue are the most common secondary colors for blue diamonds but there are many color combination possibilities. This 0.46 Carat Fancy Gray Blue diamond from Leibish & Co. is an example of a beautiful stone with a modifying color. Even stones like these are considered exceptional.
Blue diamonds are rarer and more expensive than every other fancy color diamond—except for red diamonds. Blue diamonds are incredibly rare and can only be found in three areas of the world: Australia, South Africa, and India. The more intense the color of the blue diamond is, the more rare and expensive it is. Blue diamonds with a high carat weight such as 2 or 3 carat are even harder to come by, and thus extremely expensive. For instance, this 2.35 carat Fancy Green Blue Cushion Cut Diamond from Leibish & Co. costs $420,100.
Some claim—based on their very high prices—that pink diamonds are more rare than blue, but that’s due to increased demand rather than reduced supply. Blue diamond’s level of rarity often makes them a target for diamond collectors, investors, and enthusiasts.
Looking for to really impress someone special? National Jeweler reports that “Sotheby’s has announced it will sell a group of eight fancy blue diamonds valued at more than $70 million total across its Magnificent Jewels auctions this year and into the spring.” The auctions will take place through spring 2023.
The price of a 0.3 carat light blue diamond costs $15,700 on average. The price of a 0.5 carat light blue diamond is $26,280 on average. Deep blue and vivid blue diamonds cost much more—around $75,000 for a 0.25 carat diamond. As you increase in color intensity and carat weight, blue diamond prices extend beyond $100,000, $200,000, and more. For instance, this 0.84 Fancy Intense Blue Marquise Diamond from Leibish & Co. is priced at $336,100. A blue diamond’s value greatly increases with more intense color.
Certain color combinations like those with more gray than blue can be more affordable. For example, this 0.50 Carat Fancy Gray Blue Pear Shape Diamond from Leibish & Co. is priced at $32,100. Compare that to this 0.54 carat, Fancy Intense Blue Radiant Shape Diamond also from Leibish & Co. that’s priced at $210,775. While there is a difference in shape between the stones, the gap spans almost $180,000.
Smaller blue diamonds, like those below 0.3 Carat, are more affordable and can be used to make a special jewelry piece if paired with other stones.
Figuring out how much a blue diamond is worth is challenging because the prices range dramatically based on color and secondary hue. Because blue diamonds are so rare and unique in their specific color, it’s virtually impossible to determine a blue diamond price per carat. That’s why it’s important to assess each blue diamond to determine if it’s a good value.
If you’re in the market for a blue diamond and want to know if you’re getting a good deal, reach out to our experts for personalized advice.
While fancy blue diamonds may be out of the price range for most people, you may want to consider a lab-created fancy color diamond if you want to find an affordable gift. Blue Nile has recently partnered with DeBeers to bring you their Lightbox Lab-Created fashion jewelry line.Check out what Blue Nile has to offer here.
There are a variety of engagement ring settings that help make a blue diamond stand out. The best settings for blue diamonds are outlined below.
Enhance the beauty of your blue diamond by surrounding it with other diamonds. Add side stones to increase your ring’s carat weight.
Halo setting example: Fancy Gray Blue Pear Diamond Dress Ring from Leibish & Co.
Place your blue diamond in center stage with a tension setting. Isolating the starkly colored diamond can help to make its color pop.
Prong setting example: Tension set Vivid Fancy Deep Blue Emerald Cut Diamond from Leibish & Co.
Flank either side of your blue diamond with small colorless diamonds. You’ll increase the brilliance of your ring without taking away from the blue diamond’s color.
Three-stone setting example: Fancy Gray-Blue and White Diamond Three Stone Ring from Leibish & Co.. The geometric pattern created by the two trillion side stones brings out the exceptional color of the center stone.
Besides an engagement ring, you can place a blue diamond in a pendant or a pair of earrings.
Build a piece of jewelry that has meaning and significant value. Choose a pendant necklace or set of earrings to match the personal style of the wearer.
Blue diamond stud earrings inspiration: Fancy Gray Blue Round Brilliant Earring Studs from Leibish & Co.
Blue diamond ornate earrings inspiration: Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Flower Earrings from Leibish & Co.
Blue diamond pendant inspiration: Round Sapphire & Diamond Drop Pendant from Leibish & Co. (Note: this is a sapphire, not a blue diamond)
Find the best looking blue diamond for your budgeting by selecting from the Leibish & Co. or James Allen collections. If you have questions about purchasing a blue diamond, contact our diamond experts.
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