Diamond Buying Guide — 4C’s Of Diamond — Diamond Color
Throughout the history, the diamond has been an enduring symbol of the powerful bond of love. Its strength, brilliance and value are as unique as the individuals who wear them. A diamond’s worth is evaluated on four levels. We call these criteria the 4 C’s — cut, carat weight, color and clarity.
In previous post you would have read about Diamond cut, in this post we are going to discuss about diamond color. It is interesting to note that diamonds actually come in the widest variety of colors of any gem material. Most gem quality diamonds however are desired for their lack of color. In fact, diamond which is colourless, the more rare and valuable it is. On the other hand, diamonds are also sought after by collectors in their extremely rare “fancy colors” including (from highest value), Reds (Pinks), Blues, Greens, and Fancy Intense Yellow.
The standard grading systems for color were developed by the GIA and it’s widely used by everyone in the diamond industry. The GIA grading system is based on a scale of D (colorless) to Z (light color).
These color grades are the most desirable because of their lack of color. Certified Gemologists can detect the subtle differences between D, E and F by evaluating the diamond while it is un-mounted and through the back to give the clearest impression of its actual body color. A colorless diamond is truly a stunning sight to behold, and sure to make any piece look extraordinary.
Near Colorless (G-J)
Diamonds that fall into the near colorless category contain small traces of color, but the color is still somewhat difficult to detect to the naked eye. Still considered above average, diamonds in this range are often found as accent diamonds in finished jewelry and as center diamonds in rings.
Faint Color (K-M)
When reaching the K color grade it becomes easier to detect color with the naked eye. These diamonds will have a more noticeable warm tint than diamonds in higher grades.
Very Light Color (N-R)
Diamonds that carry a grade between N and R contain visible color with a yellow or brown tint that can be easily seen. These lower grades are not to be mistaken with fancy yellow color.
Light Color (S-Z)
With a grade between S and Z, these diamonds have an obvious visible color.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Fancy Colored diamonds are graded on a completely different scale. At a certain color level, diamonds become desirable for yellow to shine through. There is a distinct difference visually between a “yellow” diamond in the S-Z range and a yellow diamond that is considered a ‘Fancy’ color. GIA has developed a specific set of parameters to help gemologist determine one from the other.