What Are Fancy White Diamonds?

What Are Fancy White Diamonds?

Have you ever heard of the exquisite beauty of fancy white diamonds, despite their more well-known counterparts like pink, yellow, and blue diamonds?

Fancy White Diamonds Buying Guide

In our comprehensive guide, we will introduce you to this lesser-known, yet equally captivating, member of the fancy diamond family. We will delve into the world of fancy white diamonds and provide you with answers to questions like:

  • Are colorless diamonds and white diamonds the same?
  • Why do fancy white diamonds have a white color?
  • Are fancy white diamonds made in laboratories?

Colorless Diamonds vs. Fancy White Diamonds

Fancy white diamonds are not generally known to exist. This is partly because they are so uncommon, but there is also a wording problem. Colorless diamonds and “white diamonds” are terms that are frequently used interchangeably.

Additionally, when it comes to fancy colored diamonds, individuals tend to like pink, blue, or yellow. Some people might even choose diamonds in unusual hues like purple, crimson, or orange.

As you may have read in many publications, fancy white diamonds are quite different from white diamonds. However, not even from the GIA will you hear anything about fancy white diamonds.

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In reality, there isn’t much information available on fancy white diamonds. The few sources I could find only provide information on how they form or list of fancy white diamonds that have been reported to the GIA.


Are Fancy White Diamonds Rare?

But it’s not just because there are so few of them that fancy white diamonds are so rare. Different diamond varieties include colorless diamonds, fancy colored diamonds, and lab-grown diamonds.

The ones that are mentioned most frequently include:

  • Type 1a
  • Type 1b
  • Type 2a
  • Type 2b

The most typical diamond types are those of type 1. Nitrogen atoms can be found in type 1 diamonds.

Atomic crystal structure of a diamond

Clusters of nitrogen atoms develop in the crystal structure of Type 1a. The nitrogen atoms in Type 1b are produced singly.

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Diamond varieties of type 1 can be divided into subsets. A rare subcategory of these jewels includes fancy white diamonds. The rarest varieties of diamonds are as follows:

  • Type 1aa
  • Type Iab
  • Type N3

Nitrogen atoms are found in pairs in type 1aa diamonds sometimes referred to as A aggregates. Nitrogen atoms referred to as B aggregates are found in groups of four in diamonds of type Iab. Since neither of these diamond varieties can absorb light, light has no effect on the color of the stone.

Diamonds of type N3 have nitrogen atomic level flaws that are grouped in threes. They consequently generate diamonds that have a yellow or brown tint. They do in fact block light. The N3 diamond is the Cape diamond.

The kind 1ab diamond kind includes fancy white diamonds. They neither have the ability to absorb light nor do they result from the same imperfections as other naturally occurring fancy colored diamonds.

Instead, tiny inclusions in colorless diamonds cause natural fancy white diamonds to form. This is also akin to how naturally colored black diamonds acquire their hues. The primary causes of the color in black diamonds are dark mineral inclusions and planetary radiation.

There are so many inclusions in natural white diamonds that are smaller than a millimeter that they tend to scatter light. Diamonds that are milky white are produced when light scatters. Only naturally occurring diamonds with fancy white color form. There is no known process that can create lab-grown white diamonds. All other fancy-colored diamonds can now be produced synthetically.

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Where Can You Find Fancy White Diamonds?

Fancy white diamonds are not confined to a specific location due to their scarcity and can be found in areas where other types of diamonds are formed. For instance, the Gemological Institute of America received two fancy white diamonds that originated from the Panno mine in India.

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The Cost of Fancy White Diamonds

When it comes to fancy white diamonds, the cost per carat can vary greatly due to their rarity. While there isn’t a standard price for these precious stones, there are online retailers that offer them for purchase.

Compared to other fancy colored diamonds, fancy white diamonds are relatively affordable when they are one carat in weight. You can expect to pay between $5000-$8000 for a 1 carat fancy white diamond. However, as the carat weight increases, so does the price. For instance, a 2 carat fancy white diamond can cost you anywhere between $12,000-$15,000.

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Where to Find High-Quality Fancy White Diamonds

Finding fancy white diamonds can be a challenge due to their rarity and low demand. However, if you’re looking for high-quality fancy white diamonds, Leibish & Co. is a great place to start.

As a specialist in fancy color diamonds, Leibish & Co. offers a wide selection of natural fancy white diamonds, which you can view online and witness their opalescent appearance in real time. All of their fancy color natural diamonds are certified by a gemological laboratory, and their fancy white diamonds are certified by the GIA and come with an origin report.

While some of their white diamonds are more opaque and others more translucent, all are instantly recognizable by their milky white hues. You can choose to purchase a loose diamond or build it into a fancy ring setting. However, if you prefer less sparkle in your jewelry, you might consider looking elsewhere for a setting.

If you’re seeking a fancy white diamond, Leibish & Co. is a great option for finding a high-quality, certified stone with a unique, natural appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fancy White Diamonds

What is the difference between colorless diamonds, cape diamonds, and white diamonds?

There is often confusion between colorless diamonds, cape diamonds, and white diamonds. Here’s what you need to know:

“Colorless diamonds” are diamonds that are rated on the D-K color grade scale. They are often referred to as white diamonds, much like colorless quartz is known as white or clear quartz. Other colorless stones, such as white sapphire or white zircon, are also referred to as “white.”

However, when it comes to colorless diamonds, only those with DEF color grades are considered truly colorless. Those with GHIJ color grades are referred to as “near colorless.”

On the other hand, “cape diamonds” are diamonds that have a slight yellow or brown tint. This coloration is due to the presence of nitrogen impurities in the diamond.

Finally, “white diamonds” are simply diamonds that appear white to the naked eye. This can include both colorless diamonds and those with a slight tint.

The main difference between colorless diamonds, cape diamonds, and white diamonds lies in their level of color saturation. Colorless diamonds have no discernible color, while cape diamonds have a slight yellow or brown tint, and white diamonds can include both colorless and slightly tinted diamonds.

The colorless diamonds known as Cape Diamonds have a slight yellow tint, but they are not fancy colored diamonds. Cape diamonds are colorless stones with color grading M through Z. They solely originate from Cape Town, a city in South Africa.

In addition, as you are aware, fancy white diamonds are colored diamonds with light-scattering imperfections that give them a milky white appearance. Although the majority of white diamonds have a uniform white tint throughout, some may appear to be excessively obscured.

Are fancy white diamonds capable of fading?

Fancy white diamonds do not fade in sunlight and have the same capabilities as other fancy color diamonds or colorless diamonds. They are natural fancy color diamonds that do not receive heat treatment to achieve their opalescent appearance.

Do white diamonds have color and clarity grades?

Most diamonds, including fancy colored diamonds, have color and clarity grades. While black diamonds do not have clarity grades, fancy white diamonds typically have I1, I2, or I3 clarity grades. However, their limited transparency can make smaller inclusions less noticeable.

Can you expect to find different color intensities grading on gemological reports for fancy white diamonds?

No, you should not expect to find different color intensities grading on gemological reports for fancy white diamonds. While some may be more opaque or translucent than others, fancy white diamonds are never fully transparent. Additionally, there is no way to sort them by grading, so you will need to inspect them with your own eyes.


Fancy white diamonds are among the scarcest diamonds globally, and consequently, there is minimal data about them. They are frequently mistaken for colorless diamonds and are referred to as white diamonds. Nonetheless, these unique diamonds create an opalescent milky appearance with a white tint within the diamond’s crystal structure.


Fancy white diamonds are formed when microscopic inclusions cause extreme cloudiness in the diamond. These inclusions are a natural occurrence that cannot be replicated artificially. Unlike other fancy color diamonds, natural fancy white diamonds cannot be synthesized in a lab. Additionally, they are not subjected to any color enhancement treatments.

Despite their enigmatic nature and rarity, fancy white diamonds are not as costly as other fancy color diamonds due to a lack of demand. Vivid yellow, blue, and pink diamonds are more popular. Nevertheless, collectors and jewelry enthusiasts can acquire a unique and exceptional piece by adding a fancy white diamond to their collection.

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