Everything you need to know about one of our favorite gems – the grey diamond.
Grey diamonds can invoke references to anything from a cloudy sky to crystalline clear waters. There are two essential categories – ‘fancy’ (high clarity), and ‘included’ (hazy, with beautiful irregularities)— and within that an endless array of tones and levels of opacity such that only nature could create.
The fancy grey diamond is a truly rare gem. Finding a mineral with these lovely hues that also holds the perfect harmony of color with clarity is not common, which is what makes them all the more desirable. Natural grey diamonds are typically mined in Brazil, Russia, South Africa, India and Australia, and their grey color is a result of hydrogen, present in the gem’s formation, which absorbs other colors from the spectrum.
The quality and the clarity of the grey diamond material is what determines the cut. The highest quality mineral will be faceted, like the modern round brilliants you see pictured. These are the same tiny, reclaimed diamonds that we use in the Heritage Collection pieces and in pavé bands.
Grey diamonds can have a faint coloration in a number of hues—blue being most common. They can be a saturated color, placing the gem on the ‘fancy’ end of the diamond-grading spectrum. The clarity can also be a factor in creating the grey tone as well as denoting the best cut for the material—faceted, rose-cut or even simply sliced. As with all diamonds, high clarity is the most sought after, so the fancy grey diamond would be read on the same scale, VVS being the highest quality.
Diamonds are crystals, born of the earth, and as such they can also be included, from slightly to greatly. The fully included, which we call ‘hazy’, is sometimes referred to as a rustic or rough diamond. Paired with the hydrogen that gives the stone a grey color, ‘cloud’ inclusions occur in a way that creates a soft, even grey color that we describe as milky grey.
A faceted diamond with a lustrous opacity—smooth and evenly distributed within the stone—along with a beautiful surface polish is what we look for in the milky grey diamonds we use.