The Rarest and Most Expensive Diamond Colors

Even though most people think of colorless stones when they picture a Diamond, these amazing gemstones come in all different colors.

And colored Diamonds are rare as less than 2% of all Natural Diamonds are classified as colored Diamonds but within the world of colored Diamonds, some colors are rarer and in most cases more expensive than others.

In this post, I’m going to list the rarest Diamond colors and how much these colors can sell for based on historical sales data but this list isn’t going to be in order of rarity as there isn’t enough information available as to how many carats of each color have been mined, so let’s get started…

Brown Diamonds – Up To $9,900/ct

A Fancy Brown Diamond
Fancy Brown Diamond

One of the least desirable colors in Diamond is brown, even though there have been many attempts by marketers over the years to make them more appealing, including:

  • Calling lighter brown stones ‘Champaign’ Diamonds
  • Calling darker brown stones ‘Chocolate’ Diamonds

This did help them become more attractive to buyers but they still aren’t anywhere near as desirable as many of the other fancy color Diamonds.

In terms of rarity, pure brown Diamonds are quite rare and I only found a few examples that had been graded as Fancy Brown by the GIA (including the one pictured above).

Most of the brown Diamonds on the market have secondary colors (known as modifiers), with the most common being yellow, orange and pink.

The highest price per carat I could find was achieved by the 40.45-carat, Fancy Dark Brown Diamond in the next image.

A Fancy Dark Brown Pear Cut Diamond
Fancy Dark Brown Diamond

Chameleon Diamonds – Up To $66,000/ct

A chameleon Diamond
8.88 Carat Chameleon Diamond

Chameleon Diamonds aren’t the best-looking Diamonds as they possess a combination of colors that can include Brown, Green, Yellow and Grey and the combination will depend on the stone.

For example, the stone might have a greyish green color like the one pictured and to be honest, none of the color combinations as attractive as many of the other fancy color Diamonds, so what makes Chameleon Diamonds so rare and expensive?

The reason is that they do something that no other Diamond does, which is they can temporarily change color and this happens in one of two ways:

  1. Classic Chameleon Diamond – When the stone is gently heated, it becomes darker before returning to its original color when it cools down
  2. Reverse Chameleon Diamond – When left in a dark space, the stone becomes lighter and then gets darker when exposed to light

We still don’t know why this happens and it only occurs in Natural Diamonds but these are very rare and this makes them very desirable amongst collectors.

Colorless Diamonds – Up To $280,000/ct

The Grisogono Diamond
The De Grisogono Diamond

I bet you are a little surprised by this inclusion but there is a type of colorless Diamond (known as a Type IIa) that are rare.

Type IIa Diamonds make up less than 2% of all Natural Diamonds and are the purest of all Diamonds as they contain no measurable amount of Nitrogen or Boron.

And while Type IIa Diamond can produce other colors such as Pinks and Browns but for this section I am just looking at the colorless variety.

Another unique thing about Type IIa Diamonds is that they can form extremely large crystals, which is something that doesn’t happen with the more common Type Ia Diamonds (also known as Cape Series Diamonds) and all of the large colorless Diamonds, including:

  • The 163 Carat De Grisogono Diamond (pictured above)
  • The Cullinan Suite of Diamond
  • The Koh-I-Noor

Are Type IIa Diamonds and pretty much all D – F color Diamonds over 10ct will be Type IIa.

The Cullinan 1 Diamond
The Cullinan I Diamond

White Diamonds – Up To $4,300/ct

A Cushion Cut White Diamond
A Cushion Cut White Diamond. Img Credit: Lebish

Even though colorless Diamonds are often referred to as ‘white’, they aren’t actually white but you can get fancy white Diamonds.

These differ from colorless ‘white’ Diamonds as microscopic inclusions cause light to scatter within the stone, which gives the stone an almost milky appearance.

Some people describe this appearance as ‘opalescent’ as they do look similar to white opals that have a faint play of color.

Even though they aren’t the most popular or desirable, they are very rare, so much so that I only found 4 that had been sold through the three main auction houses, with the most expensive selling for just over $4,300/ct.

Gray Diamonds – Up To $103,000/ct

A fancy gray emerald cut diamond

Another Diamond color that most people don’t know about are Fancy Gray Diamonds.

Gray is more commonly seen as a modifier for Blue Diamonds rather than as a color on its own and this is why pure Gray Diamonds are very rare, especially ones that are colored by impurities within the crystal (trace amounts of boron and hydrogen).

When this rare color is combined with a good weight, it often results in an expensive stone as Fancy Gray Diamonds can sell for 5 or even 6 figures a carat, such as the 10.67 carat, Fancy Grey color, SI1 clarity Diamond pictured above, which sold for $1.1 million in December 2022.

Yellow Diamonds – Up To $163,000/ct

The Graff Yellow Diamond
The Graff Vivid Yellow Diamond

Even though Yellow isn’t the rarest color found in Diamonds, it is a very desirable one as many examples have a very eye-catching, bright yellow color.

Like the Colorless Diamonds I talked about earlier in this post, Fancy Yellow Diamonds can be found in very large crystals, which result in large faceted stones, such as the 100.09-carat Graff Vivid Yellow Diamond in the picture, which holds the record for:

  • The Most Expensive Yellow Diamond ($16.3 Million)
  • The Highest Price Per Carat Yellow Diamond ($163,000)

But the Graff Vivid Yellow isn’t even close to being the largest Yellow Diamond, with The Red Cross Diamond, a 205.07-carat Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond being one of the largest Fancy Yellow Diamonds to ever be sold at auction.

Another notable Yellow Diamond is the Golden Canary Diamond, which is a 303.10-carat Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow Diamond that was originally 407.5-carats and known as The Incomparable Diamond, which was one of the largest faceted Diamonds in the world.

The Red Cross Diamond
The Red Cross Diamond

Purple Diamonds – Up To $338,000/ct

Fancy Purple Diamond

Purple is one of the rarest colors found in Diamond, especially pure Purple as evidenced by the fact that I only found a handful that had sold at auction.

Most of the Purple Diamonds that have been sold are Pinkish Purple.

Unlike some of the other colors mentioned above, Purple Diamonds only form as small crystals, which result in smaller faceted stones, with most examples weighing less than 1.5 carats.

The best example I could find, which is known as the Purple Rain Diamond and also happens to be the Most Expensive Purple Diamond is the 1.99-carat, Fancy Intense Purple Diamond in the picture above (even though it looks quite pink in the picture).

Orange Diamonds – Up To $2.4 Million/ct

The Orange Diamond
The Orange Diamond

Orange is one of the most beautiful (in my opinion) and rarest colors that is found in Diamonds.

Like many Fancy Yellow stones, Orange Diamonds usually have a bright, vivid color that most definitely attracts the eye but unlike their yellow counterparts, Orange Diamonds are usually much smaller, with many of the finest examples weighing less than 10 carats.

The notable exception to this is The Orange Diamond which weighs 14.82-carats.

The Orange is also the most expensive Orange Diamond ever sold, fetching an incredible $35.5 Million in 2013.

This very special example also skews the price per carat figures as well, as the $2.4 million/ct is a lot higher than the $400,000 – $700,000/ct achieved by other top-quality Orange Diamonds such as The Golden Flame, which is an 8.92-carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange Diamond, which sold for $455,000/ct.

Green Diamonds – Up To $3.3 Million/ct

The Aurora Green Diamond
The Aurora Diamond

Green Diamonds are very rare and many are also very different from all the other colors listed in this post.

I’m not going to get too scientific but the green color in many Natural Green Diamond is caused by the Diamond being exposed to radiation in the Earth’s crust and in many cases, the color only slightly penetrates the surface of the Diamond and can easily be removed when the stone gets cut and polished.

This is why it takes a very skilled Diamond cutter to preserve the Green color in the Diamond as there are only a small number of Green Diamonds where the color runs through the whole stone, with the Dresden Green Diamond being the most famous example.

This makes Green Diamonds very rare and also very expensive, with the 5.03-carat, Fancy Vivid Green Diamond, known as the Aurora Diamond being the most expensive when it sold for $16.7 Million ($3.3 million/ct) in 2016, with other top-quality examples selling for upwards of $500,000/ct.

Pink Diamonds – Up To $5.1 Million/ct

The Williamson Pink Star
The Williamson Pink Star Diamond

Now we get to arguably the most desirable color found in Diamond, which is Pink.

And not only is Pink an extremely desirable color but they are also very rare, especially as the Argyle Mine is Australia, which was the world’s main source of Pink Diamonds has now closed.

This combination of being very desirable, rare and no major source has seen the prices of Pink Diamond skyrocket in recent years.

This is why Pink Diamonds currently hold the record for:

  • Most Expensive Diamond – This is held by the Pink Star Diamond, which sold for $71 Million in 2017 and at 59.60 carats, it is also one of the largest Fancy Pink Diamonds in the world
  • Highest Price Per Carat – This is held by the 11.15 carat, Williamson Pink Star, which sold for $5.1 Million/ct in 2022

Many within the industry predict that Natural Pink Diamond prices will only continue to grow.

Blue Diamonds – Up To $4 Million/ct

The Blue Moon of Josephine

Blue Diamonds rival Pink in terms of desirability and rarity, which has resulted in some Blue Diamonds holding world record prices, such as:

  • The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond – This set a world record price for a Diamond when it sold for $57.8 Million in 2016, it was also the first Diamond to sell for more than $50 Million
  • The Blue Moon – This held the record for the highest price per carat at $4 Million/ct

There is also something that makes Blue Diamonds unique amongst Fancy Color Diamonds, which is that the color is caused by the presence of the element Boron in the crystal structure and they are known as Type IIb Diamonds and only Blue Diamonds are Type IIb.

Blue Diamonds are also very rare, with only a small number found each year and this number gets even smaller when it comes to larger stones as the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond being one of the largest Blue Diamonds, yet many of the 10 Most Expensive Blue Diamonds weigh less than 20 carats.

The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond

Red Diamonds – Up To $2.7 Million/ct

The Argyle Phoenix Red Diamond
The Argyle Phoenix Red Diamond

And last but definitely not least is the rarest Diamond color, which is Red.

Only a small number of pure Red Diamonds have ever been found and like Purple Diamonds, they don’t form as large crystals and nearly all Red Diamonds weighing less than 2 carats once they have been cut and polished.

There are two most notable Red Diamonds that weigh more than two carats, and they are:

  • The 2.11-carat Argyle Everglow
  • The 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red Diamond – which is the largest Fancy Red Diamond in the world

But you may be surprised to see that the rarest Diamond color isn’t the most expensive, with the $2.7 Million record price per carat set by the 1.56-carat Argyle Phoenix Diamond in 2024.

The Moussaieff Red Diamond
The Moussaieff Red Diamond

This is partially because of the smaller size and they aren’t as aggressively marketed as notable Blue and Pink Diamonds when offered at auction.

But this would likely change if The Moussaieff Red Diamond was put up for auction as it would probably smash all price per carat records!

Conclusion

That was a fun list to make! And it is interesting to see that just because a color is rare, doesn’t always make it the most expensive color as Red Diamonds are the rarest color but Pink Diamonds are the most expensive.

There are also rare colors such as White Diamonds that aren’t that expensive (in terms of Diamonds) as they don’t really give a wow factor that many of the other fancy colors give, especially in the case of Chameleon Diamonds as they really aren’t very eye-catching.

I hope you enjoyed reading through this post and more importantly, it answered your question as to what the rarest and most expensive Diamond Colors are.

I'm Paul Haywood FGA DGA, the owner and founder of Haywoods Gems, I'm a fully qualified Gemmologist and Diamond Grader from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

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