Not My ‘Type’: Common Misconceptions About Type IIa Pink Diamonds

By The FCRF Team | 07.01.16
Not My ‘Type’: Common Misconceptions About Type IIa Pink Diamonds

The romance around Type IIa diamonds first began when scientists found a link between diamonds sourced from the legendary Golconda mine in India and the fact that stones hailing from this area were commonly Type IIa. As we all know by now, the collective assumption is that Type IIa diamonds – which are distinguished for their absence of nitrogen – are known to be more ‘white’ than most D color diamonds. Although it is not scientifically accurate, for the sake of our discussion let us assume that this common misconception is correct.

Once this romantic connection was widely spread by the industry and it became a symbol of ‘perfection’, wealthy consumers in the market for an important D color diamond were willing to pay more for stones that came with a Type IIa report. Auction houses embraced the trend, by adding the ‘Type’ report on the catalogue, which gave the stone another layer of supposed importance. Private buyers assume that if someone went through all the trouble of adding an additional ‘Type’ report, it must indicate significant added value.


And so in time, the myth spread to the point where meticulous customers have made the Type IIa title a prerequisite for buying a D color diamond and are willing to pay 5-10% more for the designation.


In the last decade, the trend migrated from colorless to the fancy color sphere. GIA positively responded to dealers’ requests and created a special ‘Type IIa report’ for fancy color pink diamonds. As mentioned before, auction houses love to publish this addition and the day that consumers insist for a Type IIa report for pinks is not far off in the future.


With the help of facts published in a 2002 GIA research study on pink diamonds [1], we would like to shed light on the differences between Type I and Type II pink stones, to help discerning professionals decide whether or not it is worth mentioning the Type IIa feature for pink diamonds.


Graining Lines


Most, if not all pink diamonds, have surface or ‘internal graining’ lines. The GIA describes the appearance of internal graining – in these specific terms: “internal reflective planes, parallel whitish bands, or as an overall whitish haze.”


The GIA’s conclusion stated that


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