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What are Type IIa or IIb for diamonds?

Get to know why Type IIa diamonds are more expensive

Never heard about types of diamonds such as Type IIa? Then this can come as a surprise as there are 3 more of these diamond types that are classified by the level and type of their chemical impurities. Every diamond during the formation gains natural elements as nitrogen or boron. This classification is a scientific method in classifying diamonds, measuring the atomic level within the crystal lattice of carbon atoms, related to color and physical properties.

Within a loose diamond different types can exist, so natural diamonds are often type Ia and Ib. But this will not make a lot of sense now, read on to learn the 4 types of diamonds.

Pink diamond close up

The 4 types of diamonds

In the beginning there were not four types of diamonds based on their chemical composition and atomic structure there were two, Type II and I.

Type of Diamond

Definition & Characteristics

Type Ia (Most natural diamonds)

  • Contains nitrogen atoms in clusters
  • Approximately 95% of natural diamonds are type Ia
  • Are near-colorless to light yellow

Type Ib (Often canary color)

  • Contain nitrogen as isolated atoms
  • Often bright yellow and extremely rare
  • Trade call refers to these color of diamonds as “canary”

Type IIa (Extremely rare)

  • No measurable nitrogen or boron impurities
  • Usually colorless, but can also be gray, light brown, light yellow or light pink
  • Most chemically pure of all diamonds
  • Only 1-2% of all diamonds are this type
  • Cullinan, Koh-i-Noor and Lesedi La Rona are type IIa

Type IIb (Most rare!)

  • Responsible trace of boron elements
  • Often blue or gray color
  • Only 0.1% of all natural diamonds are this type
  • Conduct electricity
  • Wittelsbach Blue and Apollo blue earring are type IIb

After reading about the 4 types of diamonds it is considerable for you to understand for sure the 4Cs but remember you can take it to the next level by including diamond types. Because a diamond that is good color, clarity and cut is great but if the diamond is also type IIa it’s awesome for investment purposes.

Jewelry
Color range: i
  • D Color
  • E Color
  • F Color
  • G Color
  • I Color
  • J Color
  • K Color
  • D Color
  • E Color
  • F Color
  • G Color
  • I Color
  • J Color
  • K Color
Clarity: i
  • I.F.
  • VVS1
  • VVS2
  • VS1
  • VS2
  • SI1
  • SI2
  • I.F.
  • VVS1
  • VVS2
  • VS1
  • VS2
  • SI1
  • SI2
Color: Color i
Color intensity:  Faint - Fancy i
  • Faint
  • Faint
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid
  • Fancy Deep
  • Faint
  • Faint
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid
  • Fancy Deep
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Weight (carat):  1 carat i
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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  • 9
  • 10
Shape: i
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