Diamond Color Meaning (+Buying Guide)

Diamond Color Meaning (+Buying Guide)

Do you know what different diamond colors mean? In this diamond color meaning guide, we cover everything you need to know about different diamond colors.

Wondering how the different colors of diamonds come to be and how these colors affect the diamond price?

We are here for you!

We shall teach you about:

  • The color of diamonds
  • Diamond color and its effect on price
  • Diamond color scale and the colors therein
  • Buying tips when considering colored diamonds

diamond color

There is no doubt that colorless diamonds are the best, they are shinier and give the best sparkle, but how much colorlessness is adequate for you? Unlike diamond clarity, its color makes it easy for you to quickly tell its value and beauty.

We are going to look at the different scales of diamond color (from D to Z) and how each of these grades reflects on the sparkle. In brief, you will learn all there is to know about diamond color. The color grading used in this article is for normal diamonds and not applicable to colored diamonds.

Diamond Color Meaning

White diamonds are normally graded depending on how less the color is in them. In diamond color, on the other hand, we measure the color that is present in the diamond. A colorless diamond or otherwise referred to as icy-white diamond exhibits a lot of fire since it reflects all the light that passes through it. This light that bounces back gives the diamond its ultimate sparkle.

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As you go down the color scale of diamonds, the scintillation, sparkle, and transparency greatly reduce. Colorless diamonds have the greatest sparkle. Diamonds with yellow or brown hues do not have so much sparkle.

How Diamond Color Affects Price

The quality of diamonds is measured using 4Cs, the color being one of them. The other 3Cs are clarity, cut, and carat. The higher the hue level in a diamond, the cheaper it is. Only the clarity levels raise or decrease diamond prices. Just by looking at the color grade with naked eyes, you may not be able to tell the difference in the color spectrum.

Looking for diamonds with only color in mind will not lead you to the best quality. To make the most out of the money you have, I suggest you buy low-grade colors but do not forego the cut or beauty of the stone.

Diamond Color Scale

To grade diamonds based on the colors they exhibit, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the diamond color scale. This is the universally recognized standard color grading system for diamonds.

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The colors are grade from D which is colorless to Z that is yellow or light brown. To get exactly in which grade a diamond stone falls, the stone is placed on a white background while facing down. The stone is then examined and analyzed using controlled light. A master diamond is used as the comparison stone to get accurate inferences. The master diamond is also used to maintain color consistency.

Color Grades D, E, And F (Colorless Diamonds)

Diamonds that fall in these grades have no traceable color. Grades D and e are perfectly colorless even when viewed under a 20x magnifier. Grade F diamonds have very small amounts of color that can be detected only by professional and experienced gemologists. Diamonds that fall in these grades (D, E, and F) are the priciest and rarely found.

Here you can see just how colorless a “D” color diamond is!

Almost Colorless Diamonds (G, H, I, J)

These color grades of diamonds tend to deceive the eye into thinking the diamond is colorless when placed face up. If you view from the sides, you will realize that the stone has traces of yellow tints. Most jewelers use these color grades for ring settings because customers cannot easily recognize the tints when they get an aerial view of the diamond. This is the best diamond color range if you are limited by budget.

Here you can see an “H” color diamond on James Allen’s website. Notice the yellow hue.

Pale Tint Diamonds (K, L, And M)

These are the grades that will let you see a slight tint of color when viewing the diamond from above. If you prefer a sun-touched look on your ring, this is the grade range for you. They will even look beautiful on yellow gold ring settings. The diamond stone on the setting will automatically adopt the gold color on top of its tint.

Extremely Light Tinted Diamonds (N, O, P, Q, R)

The hues in diamonds that fall in these color grades have eye-noticeable yellow tints. They are cheaper than diamonds of higher color grades. The funny or interesting thing is that while other diamond grades are not common in the market because of rarity, these are absent in the market because their demand is exceptionally low.

Light Tinted Diamonds (T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z)

From a distance, you will notice the color tints in diamonds falling in these color ranges. It is quite easy for customers to confuse these color grades of diamonds with fancy colored diamonds of lighter shades. For some jewelry lovers, this color is just too much for white diamonds.

Debunking Diamond Color Myths

Albeit diamond color being important in terms of quality, it is over rated. Diamond color is important, but there are other truths that you must know. The following tips should help you get the best deal when buying diamonds.

Diamonds Get Color From Ring Settings

Diamonds adopt the neighboring color. For example, a gold setting ring will adopt more yellow than white color. So, if you wish to acquire a yellow gold diamond ring, do not go for color grade D. a calculated move would be to buy color grades between I-L and you will save a lot.

The Larger The Diamond, The More The Color

Smaller diamonds do not show as much hue as bigger diamonds do. If you buy a 2-carat diamond as a loose stone, you will get more color than a 0.5-carat diamond that falls in the same color grade (not E and D). It is advisable to buy smaller diamonds that are down the color scale because they will still have some degree of colorlessness.

Diamond Color And Shape

The shape of diamonds can sometimes cover its color. Take a round cut diamond the most common shape for example; it is mostly used to improve the brilliance but not the best cut for bringing out the diamond’s real color.

Fancy shapes like marquise, emerald, and oval bring out the diamond color making the color very obvious. If you wish to fa├žade the color, you may not have a lot of options.

Fluorescence And Diamond Color

Diamond fluorescence refers to the blue rays that the stone emits when exposed to ultraviolet light. All types of diamonds have some degree of fluorescence. All diamond grading agents (IGA, AGS, and IGI) make it a point to quote diamond fluorescence in the grading report. It is very important to take a second look at the amount of fluorescence in a diamond stone, especially when buying ones with low color grades.

A higher amount of fluorescence in diamonds means that the color blue and yellow seem to blend which makes the diamond appear white to the naked eye. This is a handy tip if you are budget constrained. I to M color diamonds bring out the best fluorescence. However, it is not advisable to buy diamonds that fall in color grades D to H and at the same time have high fluorescence.

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Best Diamond Color Grade For White Gold

Getting the best diamond color for white gold depends on whether you are considering value for your money too. While diamond color grade c is the commonest and most popular for white gold, it may not be the best money deal. There are lower color grades that offer great fine rings without affecting the beauty of a diamond.

All diamond cuts except round bring out its color. If you require an excellent cut diamond like Asscher or emerald with white gold, you will have to select a color grade on the high side. These cuts reveal the hue more than others. If you want colors on the lower grade, say H, choose a round cut instead.

We really like the Assher cut diamonds in “G” color for white gold.A close look at diamond colors F and E show no difference in their visual appeal when put in a white gold ring. Despite this, diamonds in the E color range are more expensive. Since the appearance is similar, it would be advisable to go for color E. if you are a lover of fancy shaped diamonds, aim for higher color grades so as not to compromise the color when blended in white gold.

Best Diamond Color for Yellow Gold

The secondary color of gold is very close to gold and thus colors on the lower grade compliment the stone. When buying diamonds to put in a yellow gold setting, no need to concentrate on the whiteness of the color as is the case with white diamond.

To make it easy for you, just limit your search to colors in the range of I to L. l colored diamonds have traces of yellow and putting it in a gold setting will ultimately swallow the color to make it appear whiter.

Keep in mind that most of these colors in the lower grade can only be visible under a 20x microscope, not with naked eyes. If you are buying a diamond ring from James Allen, you are lucky because they have the best technology that helps you see the color differences in their diamond pieces.

Once you have bought the diamond, even if it is the lowest color grade, no one will approach you with a magnifier to see the diamond color.

Our Diamond Color Recommendation

Clarity, cut, carat and color are all important factors when selecting an engagement ring. All these have a direct influence on the brilliance of the diamond. You need to have extensive knowledge of diamond color so that you get the best value for your money.

When you find the setting you have been looking for and pick the right type of loose stones you are well on your way to finding an icy-white diamond that does not necessarily fall in the D color grade. Knowing the importance of diamond color will affect your choice, whether you want large diamond cuts, unique pieces, or simply warm-looking diamonds.


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