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Rare Coin
In a commoditized world, many jewelers are discovering the one-of-a-kind charms of yellow, pink, green, and even blue diamonds. For many fancy colors, it’s name your price.

“When there’s a smell of inflation,” says New York fancy color specialist Raphael Maidi of Maidi Corp., “people go to hard assets. For diamonds—at a time when retailers are no longer making margins on the average white stones—fancies are key. When I first got into diamonds, I thought people were crazy, paying fancy prices: half a year’s salary for a 30-point green. I was wrong.”

“I think the industry’s movement downstream into jewelry has helped the public’s love of fancies and acceptance of price,” says Jordan Fine, vice president of New York’s Amgad Natural Diamonds and president of the Natural Color Diamond Association, which has done much to promote these rarest of stones. “After all, what do you do with a 30-point vivid green? If it’s two carats, you mortgage your house. But what about the smaller green, that has a color you’ve never seen before and never will again? We have a lot of smaller fancies that are unusual and very beautiful.”

In the past year, Amgad has moved strongly into fancy color diamond jewelry, taking the lead “from more and more jewelers who either requested outright, or strongly inferred the demand from their clients. It’s a very real trend. Independent jewelers and designers are putting their stake in the fancy ground.”

Amgad’s catalog includes the fancy yellow pieces that have become an industry standard, but many more hail from Fine’s love of assembling rare color combinations. “We’re working on eternity band concepts that mix capes, light pinks, greens, intense yellows, even blacks in the same ring, 24 stones at 20 points or so apiece, or combining two rare fancies for a one-of-a-kind cocktail ring.” He shows me a stunning $16,000 ring that accents a .48 point fancy light yellow of highest make with an exceptionally rare .40 point fancy light blue with a carat or so of melee.

And you have no worry about sitting on that piece? “None whatsoever. There’s been a 70 percent increase in blues over the last two years alone,” he says. “It’s name your price for blues.”

How does a retailer get started in the fancy game? “Probably with yellows, which is probably the only color most retailers have seen, and I think every door should have one or two in stock. The question then is: How do you get past yellow? I think, by working backward. Look at what your customers are spending on their big annual buy. If it’s, say $45,000, there will be so many choices in fancies—some not so obvious,” he adds, showing me a stunning 24 carat champagne emerald cut. “This would be over budget, but it gives you an idea of how wide the palette is. I’d also suggest showing color for something typically white, the diamond engagement ring—an expression of love for someone who loves pink, for example.”


Many jewelers start in yellows with the same supplier they use for their whites. New York’s Abe Mor has made a successful business from fancy yellow diamond jewelry priced on a strict cost plus labor formula.

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Dramatic “Seasons” necklace from Amgad with more than 100 carats of natural yellow, pink, champagne, orange, and green diamonds set in platinum, suggested retail $1.2 million, (888) 632-2583. Model: Melanie Cheskin of Maggie Inc., Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Scott Goodwin.
red diamond
Rare oval fancy purplish red diamond of 2.01 carats from L.J. West, (212) 997-0940.
Necklace with diamonds
Necklace with a 10.04 carat fancy vivid orangey pink heart shape diamond with 30.16 carats of white diamonds in platinum from Cora International, (877) 922-6274.
Platinum and 18k gold ring
Platinum and 18k gold ring with fancy pink and white diamonds from Maidi Corp., (800) 245-3233.
pink, yellow and white diamonds
Pink, yellow, and white diamond pavé flower pin in 18k gold by Manak, (415)
18k gold diamond necklace
Necklace in 18k gold with pear-shaped 1.02 light pink diamond surrounded with .90 carats of pink and white pavé diamonds from a new collection by SES Creations, (800) 272-8737.
yellow eternity band
Fancy yellow eternity band by Abe Mor Diamond Cutters, (800) 999-7835.
diamond 18k gold necklace
Fancy color rose cut heart shape and full cut diamond 18k gold necklace, 15.54 carats total weight, by William Levine, suggested retail $65,000, (800) LEVINES.
yellow Journey pendant
Fancy yellow Journey pendant by Superior Diamond Cutters, suggested retail $9,000, (800) 342-0036.
Ring in 18k gold
Ring in 18k gold with a 1.51 carat fancy yellow center from Yael Diamonds, suggested retail $30,744, (415) 989-9235.
Platinum and 18k gold ring
Platinum and 18k gold ring with a 2.08 radiant cut diamond from Coast Diamond, suggested retail $25,000, (800) 523-5937.
Ring featuring a 27 carat fancy yellow radiant diamond
Ring featuring a 27 carat fancy yellow radiant diamond from Rahaminov, (213) 622-9866.
ellow diamond jewelry
Fancy yellow diamond jewelry from Grafstein, (212) 750-7588.
A 41.58 radiant cut, fancy vivid yellow with VS2 clarity from A.S. Diamonds, (212) 221-9751.
Pink diamond
Pink diamond from Novel Collection, (212) 969-6035.