Fancy Orange Diamonds: Science, Beauty, and Rarity

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

Curious about fancy orange diamonds?

You're in the right place. In this Learning Guide, I'll answer the top questions asked about orange diamonds as well as answer some things you may not know, like: 

fancy orange diamonds
  • How do fancy orange diamonds get their color?
  • Are fancy orange diamonds the same as yellow diamonds?
  • How expensive are natural fancy orange diamonds?

How Does a Fancy Orange Diamond Get its Color?

Most fancy orange diamonds in the industry are mined from South Africa or Australia. Australia is the hub for the famous Argyle pink diamonds and fancy brown diamonds as well. Orange diamonds can be called "fire diamonds" or "pumpkin diamonds" as trade names.

An orange diamond gets its color from presence of nitrogen just like yellow diamonds. The difference is the arrangement of nitrogen atoms in the diamond's formation. It's called hyper specific, which absorbs blue and yellow light, leaving an orange color behind.

Are Fancy Orange Diamonds Rare?

A pure orange diamond is one rarest stones in jewelry. Their rarity can be compared to pink diamonds or blue diamond. However, the rarest would be a saffron or a red diamond.

Pure Orange Diamond with no overtones from Leibish & Co.

An orange diamond can be synthetically made and/or treated to enhance color. A colorless lab created diamond can be treated to turn it orange. These are lab grown fancy orange diamonds. They are an excellent way to own an orange diamond of high intensity without at heavy discount from one that occurs in nature.

Natural orange diamonds can also be treated to enhance their color. This is widely accepted as normal and doesn't depreciate their value. However unheated natural orange diamonds are extremely rare and go for prices out of the average person's budget.

The Most Famous Orange Diamonds

There aren't many famous orange diamonds, but there are a couple. 

"The Pumpkin" Orange Diamond

This famous orange diamond weighs 5.54 carats and was discovered by a farmer. The Pumpkin was sold the day before Halloween in 1997. Famous engagement ring designer Harry Winston acquired the Pumpkin for 1.3 million dollars. It was classified as a cushion cut pure orange fancy vivid orange diamond.

It was put into a setting that featured two white diamonds and was worn by famous actress Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars where she was the first African American to win Best Actress.

"The Orange" Orange Diamond

The Orange holds the record for the largest orange diamond at 14.82 carats. It was sold at an auction in 2013 at a price of 2.4 million per carat, for a total of 35.5 million. The pear shaped diamond was graded as a fancy vivid orange diamond with VS1 clarity and classified as Type IA diamond by the Gemological Institute of America.

How Much Is a 1-Carat Fancy Orange Diamond?

The price of a 1 carat fancy orange diamond can vary based on tone, intensity, secondary hues, clarity, and cut quality. The cut quality isn't as important, but you'll just want to make sure all edges are even. Orange diamonds of the highest quality will have a medium tone and higher intensity.

Here's a few examples of what a 1 carat fancy orange diamond with various hues may run you:

1-Carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange Diamond

1-Carat Fancy Intense Yellow Orange Diamond

1-Carat Fancy Deep Brown Orange Diamond

1-Carat Fancy Intense Orange Diamond

Where to Buy Fancy Orange Diamonds

James Allen has a nice collection of fancy orange diamonds. They carry over 140 natural orange diamonds complete with interactive 360˚ video. All of their orange diamonds come with GIA certificates.

The hues of their orange diamonds are mainly orangy yellow or a brown orange color. They don't carry any rare pure orange diamonds. Many of them are closer to brown than orange hues. 

orange diamond inventory James Allen

Almost all of their ring settings are offered in white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or platinum. They also come with a free lifetime warranty that covers ring sizing, prong retipping, and rhodium plating white gold. You also have the option to drop it off at select Jared stores.

blue nile holiday banner

Blue Nile has the best collection of fancy orange diamonds. You'll have more luck finding a fancy vivid orange diamond here. They don't carry near as many light orangy yellow diamonds as other retailers. But you'll definitely find fancy vivid yellowish orange diamonds in their collection.

The biggest downside about their large collection is that a lot of their fancy orange diamonds don't have 360˚ video. If you filter the ones that do, you'll go from 119 fancy orange diamonds to around 51. Out of those, you'll find more brown orange diamonds, but there are some with a hint of red secondary hues.

getting to blue nile orange diamonds

Blue Nile has an excellent reputation as the original online diamond retailers to provide loose diamonds and empty mounting in a short amount of time. They are constantly in competition with James Allen as best online retailer in different areas.

I wish they would improve their warranty options for their jewelry. They only provide a manufacturer's warranty regarding regular maintenance. They will work on your orange diamond engagement ring for a price.

#3 Leibish & Co.

If you're on the hunt for the best looking fancy orange diamonds occuring in nature, Leibish & Co. are the people to go to. They're a specialty retailer, which means their diamonds come with a premium cost.

Of course, when you specialize in the best fancy color diamonds, it makes sense to charge extra. Leibish carries colorless diamonds, but the colored diamonds are the star of the show.

Their inventory of fancy orange diamonds is perfect for collectors. They have over 200 fancy orange diamonds. Majority of their collection is in the fancy vivid orange diamond shades. They have many orange diamonds with red, brown and fancy vivid yellow orange secondary hues.

Their prices reflect the quality of their orange diamonds. They also carry large fancy vivid orange diamonds like this 4 carat fancy vivid yellow orange diamond below:

fancy vivid yellow orange diamond, 4.03 carats

I say the extra cost for Leibish's phenomenal fancy orange diamonds is worth it. Now, the ring setting isn't. If you want a glamorous setting to go with your fancy vivid orange diamond, then by all means. Otherwise, you can find much more affordable settings elsewhere. They allow you to just take home the loose diamond. They don't have any kind of warranty for their settings either.

#4 Brilliant Earth

Every fancy orange diamond at Brilliant Earth is lab-grown. Not a natural fancy orange diamond in sight. Don't expect to find any pure orange diamonds here either. Most of their selection leads towards orange with stronger pink secondary hues. The other portion of their selection also has a good amount of fancy vivid yellowish orange diamonds too.

They have very few fancy orange diamonds with deep hues, but this fancy orange diamond has a beautiful red secondary hue. All of their lab grown orange diamonds are GIA certified.

They offer some of the most beautiful ethically created ring settings. Their engagement rings settings are crafted in recycled gold, which is better for the environment and minimizes the dangers of mining.

Additionally, you can choose to add their Brilliant Benefits plan, a 3 year service plan that will cover all maintenance costs needed.

How Much is an Orange Diamond Worth?

Pure orange diamonds are rare, while orange diamonds with brown orange or yellowish orange diamonds aren't so much. So a fancy vivid yellow orange diamond isn't worth as much as pure orange diamonds.

Still, the price for vivid colored diamonds has increased exponentially over the years. Colored diamonds have sold in auctions at over a 300% increase after a period of time. If you're able to purchase a colored diamond with high saturation, intensity, and uniform color, it will most definitely increase in value.

Diamond jewelry doesn't make the best investment. Fancy color diamonds are the only diamonds worth investing in and reselling for money. Colorless diamonds lose around 30% of their value once they leave the store.

But unless you're planning on selling your fancy orange diamond, the worth of the diamond is more sentimental or better as a collectors gemstone.

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