What Is Diamond Colour?
Did you know that it’s very rare to find a diamond that doesn’t have any colour at all? In fact, diamonds are found in almost any naturally occurring colour, including grey, white, yellow, green, brown, and pink.
Some General Info About Diamond Colour
- Part of diamond valuation is determined by the absence of colour.
- Only certified grading professionals should determine a diamond’s colour grade.
- The tone of a ring’s setting can affect the appearance of diamond colour.
Diamond Colour Is An Important Characteristic That Affects A Diamond’s Beauty
Like all of the 4Cs, diamond colour is an important consideration when buying a diamond. While colour affects price, there are a number of factors that can help you decide which colour grade is right for you.
The GIA White Diamonds Colour-Grade Scale Is The Industry Standard
The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) colour scale is the industry standard for diamond grading. The GIA diamond colour grades range from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Many people ask why the GIA diamond grading scale starts at D. Arcane systems used grades of A-C, 1-3, and I-III, etc. The GIA set out to standardise these diverse systems and started their scale fresh with a grade of D.
L-Z Colour Diamonds (Faint to Light Colour)
From L colour diamonds on, a warm tint is visible to the naked eye. L colour diamonds are usually half the price of G colour diamonds. Blue Nile does not carry L-Z colour diamonds.
K Colour Diamond (Faint)
A great value, K colour diamonds provide a great value as you look into larger carat weights. Their faint colour is hard to differentiate even compared side by side to J colour diamonds.
J Colour Diamond (Near Colourless)
A good value, the naked eye can’t easily detect the light yellow tone unless compared side-by-side with diamonds of I grades or higher. J colour grade diamonds pair well with yellow gold ring settings. Eight percent of customers choose a J colour diamond.
I Colour Diamond (Near Colourless)
Still a great value, the slight yellow tint of I colour diamonds are only detected when compared side-by-side with diamonds of H grades or higher. This colour grade also pairs well with yellow gold. Fifteen percent of customers choose an I colour diamond.
H Colour Diamond (Near Colourless)
H colour diamonds are an excellent value with a faint yellow hue that is difficult to detect unless compared side by side with other diamonds of a higher colour grade. Typically, only a trained eye can see the difference between H and G colour grades. Fifteen percent of customers choose an H colour diamond.
G Colour Diamond (Near Colourless)
G colour diamonds have a very slight warmth to their tone that is difficult to detect unless compared side by side with diamonds of better grades. G will face up bright and white. Eighteen percent of customers choose a G colour diamond.
F Colour Diamond (Colourless)
Only a gemmologist can detect the minute colour differences between E, F, and D colour diamonds. F colour diamonds are comparable to D or E colour diamonds. The whitest of white diamonds, D-F colour diamonds, pair well with white gold or platinum settings. Twenty percent of customers choose an F colour diamond.
E Colour Diamond (Colourless)
Like D colour diamonds, E colour diamonds are quite rare. The minute variance between E colour and D colour is virtually undetectable to an untrained eye. And even then, the difference can only be seen with a side-by-side comparison of loose stones. Sixteen percent of customers choose an E colour diamond.
D Colour Diamonds (Absolutely Colourless)
D colour diamond is the highest grade and is extremely rare—the highest colour grade that money can buy. Eight percent of customers choose a D colour diamond.
Are You Wondering Which Diamond Colour Is Best? It All Starts With Your Budget.
The absence of colour in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E colour grade, many go with a beautiful near colourless grade to make the most of their budget and allocate more on the best cut that they can afford (which gives them more sparkle).
Deciding whether or not you want to spend more on diamond colour grade is partly related to the size and shape of the diamond that you are considering, and your setting preference. You can save by knowing how colour affects these attributes.
Colour Is More Visible In Large Diamonds
If you’re buying a diamond under 1 carat, you might consider choosing an I, J, or K colour diamond. Going over 1 carat? We recommend H colour-grade diamonds or higher.
Recommendations For Diamond Colour Based On Shape And Setting
Certain fancy-shaped diamonds hide colour better than others—and can cost up to 25% less than a round-cut diamond. It’s also smart to consider the colour of precious metal for your setting that best compliments the colour grade of your diamond. For example, yellow gold casts a warm glow and looks best with diamonds with faint colour. Platinum or white gold will make a near-colourless diamond look icier.
The Difference Between White Diamonds And Fancy Coloured Diamonds
When is colour a good thing? As mentioned before, diamonds occur in the natural rainbow spectrum of colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and more. These are known as coloured diamonds. Only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural colour, and the more intense the colour, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Fancy-coloured diamonds are graded on a separate colour scale and can be even more valuable than white diamonds.