Finding Your Desired Diamond Color Grade
When purchasing a diamond, the general rule of thumb is to buy a diamond with the least amount of color as your budget allows. Diamonds are divided into 5 general categories, or diamond color grades, ranging from “Colorless” to “Light Yellow”. Each category is made up of a series of color grades, represented by a lettering system from D to Z. The letter represents the amount of color present in each diamond when graded by a gemologist.
Colorless Diamonds (D-F)
Diamonds in the colorless range are the most valuable as they are the most rare in nature. Diamonds with D/E color are completely colorless whereas F color diamonds show a minute trace of color, detectable only to a trained gemologist. To an average person, an F color diamond will look identical to a D color diamond.
Near Colorless Diamonds (G-J):
Like their counterpart, Near Colorless (or “face white”) diamonds appear colorless when viewed from the table (face up position). It is only when viewed from the pavilion (face down position) do these diamonds show a slight amount of color against a white background. The slight tint of color is masked by the brilliance when viewed through the table. As diamonds are mounted placed in a setting face up, to an untrained eye, a near colorless diamond will appear identical to a colorless diamond. Near colorless diamonds offer superb value for your money.
Clicking on any image will bring up the actual stone with available 360 view.
Colourless Diamond Range (D – F)
The high end of the colour scale with diamonds exhibiting a clear, sometimes icy look with no absolutely no warmth. Diamonds at this end of the colour scale cost the most.
Near Colourless Diamond Range (G – J)
This is the range we recommend shoppers buy from. The difference between colour and colourless is imperceivable to the average person yet the cost savings can be substantial.
The E and H colour diamonds appear the whitest despite being several color grades apart. This distortion is due to variance in photography lighting (as seen in the darker backdrop as well). This being said, as long as you are buying in the colourless or higher end of near colourless, your final diamond appear bright and free of colour.
How Diamond Color Grade Affects Prices:
As with all diamonds, the rarer the diamonds the higher the price that can be commanded for it. The same applies for diamond color. A diamond color grade of D is only awarded to rare, totally colorless diamonds. As such, the price of a diamond will be greatly influenced by the color grade with colorless diamonds being more expensive then light yellow diamonds.
Online Diamond Retailers and Diamond Color Grades:
When purchasing a diamond, take note that many online retailers who hold themselves to a higher standard only carry “Colorless” or “Near Colorless” diamonds.
How Diamonds are Graded:
Diamonds are graded for color face down, against a white background. Graders are looking at the actual body tone (hue) of the stone and comparing it to a set of master stones graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The diamond is then assigned a letter grade as seen on the accompanying chart. The GIA grades color alphabetically from D (totally colorless) to Z (yellow). Because the D-Z scale is continuous, the difference between grades is very small.
Most diamonds used for jewelry purposes fall into the Near Colorless Category – G to J