Diamond color is the hue of a diamond based on the GIA diamond color scale, which grades the diamond's color on a spectrum of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow hue). It is a measurable grade given to a diamond to classify how colorless it is on the diamond color scale. The higher rated the diamond is, the more valuable the diamond will be (given all other criteria are the same).
Understanding what diamond color means can help you pick the perfect diamond. It is one of the diamond 4C's that has a very significant impact on the value of the diamond and is one aspect that you should pay attention to when buying a diamond.
The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA color scale, is the industry standard for diamond color grading. The official GIA diamond color scale (or diamond color chart) measures the color hue of diamonds on a spectrum of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown shade).
The absence of color is what determines the diamond's grade and value, as well as has a significant impact on its appearance. A diamond is graded by comparing it with different stones in a master set. A professional diamond grader first identifies two master stones based on the test stone's range of color. The grader then decides the color grade based on the saturation of the diamond's color compared to the master set. This color grading is done with the diamond face down and the culet facing up against a pure white surface under normal lighting conditions.
The colorless grades are D, E, and F.
The D color diamond is the highest color grade a diamond can receive. This means that the diamond is completely colorless, and there are no visible tints of yellow or brown in it. The D color diamond is the benchmark of quality, extremely rare, and emits unrivaled brilliance.
The E color diamond is the second best color grade you can get in a diamond and is also considered highly valuable, like the D color diamond. E-color diamonds offer excellent brilliance and sparkle; they are one of the most popular choices for diamond engagement rings and fine jewelry.
The F color diamond may contain very minute traces of color, but it isn't easy to detect with the naked eye. F-color diamonds are an excellent choice for those who want a high-quality, colorless diamond but want to avoid paying the premium price of D and E-color diamonds.
Containing noticeable color only when compared to higher color grades, G and H color diamonds still provide an excellent value.
G-color diamonds are the top diamond color grades in the near-colorless range, and they offer an outstanding appearance at a more affordable price than the diamonds in the colorless range. G-color diamonds are the perfect balance of beauty and budget.
H-color diamonds are still part of the near-colorless range, and despite the subtle tint of color, they are highly sought-after for their combination of excellent quality and value for money.
When cut perfectly, I and J color diamonds appear colorless to the untrained eye yet contain a slightly detectable and faint color.
K, L, and M color diamonds are identified as having a "faint tint" on the diamond color scale. But even with the presence of color, these grades of diamonds can still emit fire and beauty.
Diamonds with these grades are excellent choices when you are looking to maximize the carat weight and consider choosing a yellow gold or rose gold setting so that the color will not be as apparent. These settings complement the color of the diamond and may even make it appear identical to a D color diamond.
Fancy Colored Diamonds offer an exciting pop of color and are a bold and more exciting way to make your jewelry one-of-a-kind. Learn more about them and their rarity below.
Colored diamonds or more commonly known as "fancy diamonds," are beautiful and eye-catching gems. They are naturally created when trace elements interact with the billions of carbon atoms in the crystal lattice during the creation of the diamond resulting in a unique color.
Fancy color diamonds are outside the normal color range of the diamond color scale, and they exhibit colors other than light yellow or brown or possess a more intense yellow or brown than the 'Z' color rating. These stones are scarce, with only one out of ten thousand diamonds having a natural color.
Depending on a diamond's coloration, intensity, and hue, color can either detract or enhance its value. Fancy color diamonds come in almost any color, and the naturally occurring diamond colors include gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, olive, pink, purple, brown, and black. Red stones are the rarest fancy color diamonds. Only around 20 to 30 authentic red diamonds are known to exist, and most are less than half a carat in size.
Fancy color diamonds are graded using the same process as grading colorless diamonds, where a diamond is compared against a set of master stones of a predetermined color. However, unlike colorless diamonds, fancy-colored diamonds are graded face up.
With colorless diamonds, the more transparent the diamond is, the higher the value. In the case of fancy-colored diamonds, the value increases with the intensity of the most prominent hue within the stone.
GIA grades the fancy color diamonds according to the intensity of the color, from Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, and Fancy Vivid.
The most crucial factor in determining the value of a naturally colored diamond's value is its color's strength and purity.