January 23rd, 2012
Original Source: Forbes in LIFESTYLE
By: Anthony DeMarco, Contributor

A Guide for Fancy Colored Diamonds  

Leibish & Co., unveiled its World of Colors guide for identifying fancy colored diamonds in New York Thursday (January 19).

A day earlier, I spoke privately with Leibish Polnauer, the president and founder of the Israeli-based fancy colored diamonds company, about the guide and fancy colored diamonds as an investment vehicle.

The guide contains 234 different color combinations from Leibish's own inventory. It is designed for jewelry and diamond professionals but it can also be used by consumers and investors, Polnauer said.

"It has every color on earth in every diamond shape … every color of the rainbow," he said.

Fancy colored diamonds are graded differently than colored diamonds. The 4Cs are used but the color, including intensity of color and hues, are considered the diamond's most important attribute. Fancy colored diamonds are found in 12 different colors with more than 90 secondary hues and nine intensity levels within the 234 color combinations. Their rarity and beauty makes some of these diamonds worth well into the millions of dollars.

To bring home the final point, the company displayed a selection of its valuable inventory, which included the $1 million 1.68-carat vivid Argyle pink radiant diamond set in a double halo ring; and a $2.5 million 33.83 carat fancy vivid yellow radiant VVS2 earring set.

The only other fancy colored diamond grading guide in existence is from the Gemological Institute of America. A second guide "was much needed and sought after in the industry," Polnauer said.

Polnauer was also in New York this past week promoting fancy colored diamonds as an investment, saying that for the past ten years the value of these diamonds have grown far greater than most other investments.

For example, he says that a five-carat fancy yellow diamond increased in value by 180 percent from 2001 to 2011 He compared that to Berkshire Hathaway stock, which increased by 52 percent for that 10-year period and Coca Cola, which grew 42.5 percent.

He added that a $600,000 investment in a five-carat fancy pink diamond would yield about $3 million today.

"Fancy colored diamonds have a longer shelf life and doesn't get worn out," he says. "They have financial appeal."

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