Rare Blue Diamonds: The Pro Color Guide to Natural Intensity Levels

By Michael Fried

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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.

Origin of Blue Diamond’s Color

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. The mesmerizing color of the blue diamond, on the other hand, comes from the presence of boron within the diamond’s mostly carbon composition.

Many blue diamonds are Type IIb diamonds, which account for only 0.1% of the world’s color diamonds. Their level of rarity makes blue diamonds even more suitable for diamond collectors, investors and enthusiasts.

Blue diamonds belong to the family of Fancy Color Diamonds, the name for diamonds that exhibit a rich color. Assessing a blue diamond’s value is based on its 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat), with Color being the most important factor by far.

Blue Diamond’s Intensity Levels

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 is an example of a beautiful stone with a modifying color. Even stones like these are considered exceptional.

Blue Diamond’s Rarity and Prices

Blue diamonds are among the rarest of the Fancy diamonds—just after red diamonds. Some claim, based on their very high prices, that pink diamonds are more rare than blue, but that’s mostly due to increased demand rather than reduced supply.

As one of the rarest diamond colors available, blue diamonds are usually incredibly expensive. That being said, certain color combinations such as those that lean more gray than blue can be more affordable. For example, this 0.50 Carat Fancy Gray Blue Pear Shape Diamond is priced at $32,100. Compare that to this 0.54 carat, Fancy Intense Blue Radiant Shape Diamond that’s priced at $220,500. While there are differences in quality between the stones (such as IF Clarity compared with SI1 Clarity), the gap spans almost $200,000.

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.

Blue Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

Style 1: Halo setting

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

Style 2: Tension setting

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

Style 3: Three-stone setting

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. The geometric pattern created by the two trillion side stones brings out the exceptional color of the center stone.

Popular Jewelry Settings for Blue Diamond

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

Blue diamond ornate earrings inspiration: Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Flower Earrings

Blue diamond pendant inspiration: Round Sapphire & Diamond Drop Pendant (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.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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