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Purple Diamond Buying Guide

By Mike Fried,

Purple diamonds are natural diamonds that form 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface over at least one billion years. These diamonds are distinct from diamonds that are artificially enhanced, which alters the stone’s natural color. 

According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), many purple diamonds have historically been sourced from the Argyle mine in remote Western Australia. However, purple diamonds have also been discovered in the Siberian and Arkhangelsk regions of Russia.

Purple diamonds vary in their color intensity levels, ranging from faint purple to vivid and dark purple. The color intensity might be due to the amount of hydrogen and boron in a diamond’s structure or the amount of pressure the diamond underwent during formation.

As rare natural diamonds, purple diamonds are valuable. They often attract headlines, especially when large diamonds of this type are discovered. For example, an 11.06 carat fancy-deep-purple-pink stone was reported on by diamond industry publication Rapaport when it went up for sale by Hong Kong-based M&B Limited.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Bottom Line Recommendation

Look for purple diamonds from a vendor with high-quality photos, like James Allen or Leibish & Co. Color can vary significantly even within a specific color grade, and you want to make sure you’re getting top quality for the price you’re paying. In our experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices and overall customer experience in the Fancy Color Diamond market—and provides the highest level of expertise in enhancing the color of the stone when set in jewelry. 

What are purple diamonds?

Purple diamonds are fancy color diamonds with a purple or violet hue. Purple diamonds are different from colorless diamonds in that they have a noticeable hue. Colorless diamonds are graded on a color scale from D to Z, while purple diamonds are not. Instead, purple diamonds range in color from faint to very vivid purple, and may contain a secondary hue like pink. Purple diamonds are also rarer than colorless diamonds.

Origin of Purple Diamond’s Color

Similar to other Fancy Color Diamonds, an impurity likely exists in the composition of purple diamonds. While there’s not a consensus on the cause of the purple gem’s hue, large amounts of hydrogen and boron are present within the stone. The particular way these elements interact within the crystal probably plays a role in forming its distinct purple shade. Some gemologists also believe that pressure endured during the purple diamond’s voyage to the Earth’s mantle has influenced the stone’s hue.

When searching for a purple diamond, look for one that’s not color treated. If you’re unsure how to differentiate between a “pure” stone and a color-treated one, reach out to a professional.

Deal Alert: Get 25% off sitewide at James Allen

Purple Diamond’s Intensity Levels

Purple diamonds appear in several color intensity levels and follow the GIA grading scale for Fancy Diamonds. As the richness and saturation of a purple diamond increases so does its color grade.

The GIA grading scale is as follows:

  • Faint
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep, or Fancy Dark

In addition to predominantly purple stones, many purple diamonds contain a secondary color or overtone. The most common secondary colors are pink, pinkish and grayish. Some purple stones also exist with red and brown overtone colors.

Secondary colors usually detract from the overall beauty and value of a diamond—with the exception of a purplish pink stone. Purplish pink diamonds are considered just as valuable as predominantly pink stones, like this 0.79 Carat intense pink purple diamond from Leibish & Co.

Color enhanced purple diamonds will often display a higher saturation and an orange fluorescence. If you’re unsure if a diamond is color-treated or natural, contact one of our experts for a professional opinion.

Purple Diamond’s Rarity and Prices

While purple diamonds are not as rare as other color diamonds like red, pink or blue, a pure purple diamond is quite hard to come by. The majority of purple diamonds are found with overtone colors. Very rarely do our customers buy a purple diamond with no overtone.

Purple stones with a modifying color like pink are less expensive than a “pure” purple. For example, this 0.42 Carat Fancy Pink Purple Diamond Round Cut from Leibish & Co. is priced at $15,210 and this 0.40 Carat Fancy Deep Pinkish Purple Cushion Cut also from Leibish & Co. is priced at $38,100.

Though it’s challenging to find a “pure” purple diamond on the market, on a rare occasion you can snag one from a top vendor like Leibish & Co. Overall, expect the price to be quite high on a predominantly purple diamond, and even for many with a secondary tone.

The majority of purple diamonds are lighter in tone, making vivid and dark purple diamonds rarer and more expensive. A vivid purple diamond ring that’s 0.50 Carat or heavier will be as pricey as it is stunning.

Purple Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

A purple diamond will likely turn heads, no matter what ring setting it’s in. Here, we provide you some inspiration for various styles available. Note that the purple diamond rings include stones of other colors, proving once again how rare a purple diamond is.

Style 1: Side stone setting

Adding smaller stones to your purple diamond engagement ring will offer additional carat weight and style.

Side stone setting example: Purple Radiant Center with Yellow Radiant Side Stones from Leibish & Co.

Style 2: Pavé setting

Maximize the brilliance of your purple diamond ring with a pavé setting, inclusive of smaller stones lining the band.

Pavé setting example: Argyle Twin Pinkish Purple Pear Shape Diamond Ring from Leibish & Co.

Style 3: Halo setting

Consider a halo setting to surround a stunning purple stone. You’ll increase the surface area of your ring and highlight your center diamond.

Halo setting example: Fancy Pink Purple Cushion Millprong Halo from Leibish & Co.

Purple diamond jewelry will likely last for generations. Choose a pendant or set of earrings for your rare and unique stone.

Pendant inspiration: Fancy Pink Purple Double Halo Pendant from Leibish & Co.

Earring inspiration: Diamond Pavé Flower Earrings from Leibish & Co.

Necklace inspiration: Multi-stone Diamond Necklace from Leibish & Co.

Due to the extreme rarity of purple diamonds, make sure you’re getting the full value and beauty out of any stone you buy. Contact our experts for assistance with your search.

Leibish & Co Leibish & Co is the industry leader in the world of Fancy Color Diamonds. Their inventory size and prices are the best in the business, and their expertise in this highly specialized field will ensure that your diamond is set in a way to maximize its color.
What we love about them:
  • Largest and best inventory of fancy color diamonds
  • Best prices for fancy color diamonds
  • Industry leading expertise will ensure the color of your diamond is maximized in its setting
  • Leading bidders in the annual Argyle auction
  • Highest quality jewelry available online
  • Free shipping
  • Free resizing within first 2 years of purchase
  • Items comes with professional appraisal for insurance
  • 30 day no questions asked free return policy
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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