diamond colour, 6 claw setting for a diamond solitaire

Diamond colour: 6 facts you need to know

You’re in the market for buying a diamond ring. Unless you work in the diamond trade, it can be quite daunting to sift through all the information you can find online.

This is why we have created a number of simple guides around the diamond 4Cs. The goal is simple: Understand diamond quality and the factors that impact their value. In our previous blog, we covered the facts around the diamond carat. In this blog we cover 6 key facts you need to know about diamond colour.

Diamond colour forms part of the notorious 4Cs. Simply put, the lack of colour in a diamond makes a diamond rare and therefore valuable.

The majority of diamonds in engagement rings are near colourless, with hints of yellow.

The diamond colour grading uses a system established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The first letter in the scale is “D”. This represents the top colour in diamonds and therefore the most pricey. In reality the grade D stands for colourlessness. Subsequent letters indicate a slight increase in the yellow tint present in the diamond.

For simplicity the scale is split into 5 major colourless groups:

  • D to F stand for colourless: These are the most rare and as a result also the most expensive.
  • G and H represent near colourless: Such diamonds have yellow tint that is unnoticeable to the untrained eye.
  • I and J stand for slight tinted: The slight tint is hardly noticeable unless you’re an expert in grading diamonds.
  • K to M grades describe diamonds that have a faint yellow tint to them.
  • N to R represent diamonds with a very light yellow colour.
  • S to Z are used to grade diamonds with a light yellow colour.
GIA diamond colour scale
Source: GIA

The difference between diamond colour grades is incredibly subtle, in particular to the untrained eye. However these subtle differences in colour make a significant difference in the price.

For this reason only experienced diamond graders can carry out the grading. There is a set of strict rules to follow when evaluating a diamond’s colour. These rules dictate the lighting, the grading tray used, as well as how a diamond should be positioned on the tray. The grading process involves a comparison against a set of master stones with known colour grades. 

GIA is a world known gemological laboratory that carries out diamond colour grading.

Some diamonds emit visible light when exposed to ultraviolet light. The colour of the emitted light is often blue in colour and varies in intensity. This effect is called flourescence

When it comes to diamond colour, experts agree that flourescence does not impact the diamond colour.

Coloured diamonds are valued differently from colourless (white) diamonds. The absence of colour in white diamonds makes the diamond more valuable. In contrast, the depth and vividness of the colour in coloured diamonds is the most important factor.

Find out more about coloured diamonds here.

Diamond facets have highly reflective qualities. Because of this, the setting of a diamond can influence the perception of diamond colour. For instance, white gold or platinum claws can emphasise the whiteness of a diamond. On the other hand, yellow gold claws can make a diamond appear more yellowish.

A grading report provides an in-depth assessment of a diamond qualities, including its colour. Other characteristics such as flourescence are also included.

Learn more about certified diamonds here.

Need more information? Call our experts on 0845 548 9858.

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