Did you know that the world’s
most valuable diamonds are
red? Only the wealthiest
people can afford them. Think
about this: God owns all the
diamonds in the world. How
rich He must be!
Diamonds come in many colors:
red, yellow, orange, green,
blue, pink, purple, brown,
gray, black, and white. How do
they get that way, and where
do they come from? Click the
diamonds to find out.
Where: Yellow diamonds are found in the ground all around the world.
Why: A fancy yellow diamond gets its color from small amounts of nitrogen in its crystal structure (lattice).
Where: Mostly South America and Western Australia
Why: Like yellow diamonds, orange shades come from nitrogen in a diamond’s crystal.
Where: Mostly South America or Africa
Why: Green diamonds come from rocks with radioactive material inside (such as thorium or uranium). When radiation enters a diamond, it can knock electrons or carbon atoms out of place. The lattice changes, and so does the color of the outer layer of the diamond.
Where: South Africa, India, Australia
Why: Blue color comes from boron trapped in a diamond’s structure.
Where: Almost all pink diamonds come from Australia’s Argyle Diamond Mine.
Why: Intense heat and pressure changes the diamond’s crystal lattice, turning the diamond pink.
Where: Brazil, Angola,
the Congo, Borneo, Australia
Why: Brown is the most
common natural diamond
color. Great pressure deforms
the diamond’s structure. This
changes the way a diamond reflects
light and creates popular brown
diamond colors known as chocolate,
cognac (KOWN-yak), and champagne.
Where: South Africa, Russia, Australia
Why: Purple diamonds likely get their color from an unusual amount of hydrogen.
Where: Australia, South Africa, India, Russia, and Brazil
Why: Gray diamonds have a high concentration of hydrogen and also sometimes some boron.
Where: Brazil and the Central African Republic
Why: Black diamonds have usually been tainted with graphite, pyrite, or hematite.
Where: Australia, Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Venezuela, South America
Why: These are different from colorless diamonds. They contain irregularities that change the way light passes through. The color of white diamonds might remind you more of milk than water.
Where: Most come from Australia’s Argyle Diamond Mine. Some have been found in India, Russia, and South America.
Why: No one is sure. The red might come from the way the diamond’s carbon atoms are twisted. This is called “carbon distortion.”