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Diamond Color Chart: How Valuable Is Your Rock?

”Diamond color chart, how much “yellow” is too much?

Generally, looking at the diamond color chart, the less the diamond color in a stone, the more valuable it is….all other factors being equal.

Diamonds are found in nature in a wide range of colors, from completely colorless (the most desirable trait) to slightly yellow & brown.

A Color Chart

A diamond color chart explained in detail

So-called “fancy diamonds” come in more intense colors, like yellow and blue but these are not graded on the same scale.

However, they are as valuable if not more so than colorless diamonds.

The fancy diamonds have become quite popular as fancy color diamond wedding rings.

The diamond grading system for color as seen in the diamond chart above uses the letters of the alphabet from D through Z. ‘D’ being the most colorless and therefore the rarest and most valuable.

“Z’ having the most color within the normal range, and being the least valuable.

A diamond’s color is determined by looking at it under controlled lighting and comparing them to the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) color scale, which is based on a set of diamonds of known color.

The color of a diamond is most accurately determined when it is not mounted in a setting.

Settings can introduce tints of their own color into the diamond.

Even a trained professional can’t always tell the difference between close grades of color in a diamond if it is still mounted in a setting.

For this reason, gemological laboratories such as the (GIA) and (AGS) will only grade diamonds that are unmounted i.e. those that haven’t been placed in a ring.

The bottom line

A diamond’s color also has a great impact on its cost.

Since ”colorlessness” is the most sought-after trait in terms of color, diamonds that are higher up on the color scale (e.g. D, E, F) will have a greater value per carat weight.

View the diamond color chart to understand it better.

The idea is to choose a diamond that is as high on the color scale as your budget will allow, taking the other 3Cs into account.

The diamond color grading scale varies from totally colorless to light yellow.

The differences between one diamond color grade and another are very subtle and difficult to distinguish. Refer to the diamond color chart above.

D-F: Colorless: perfect or almost perfect color.

G-J: Near colorless: good to very good color, and this diamond may “face up” or look colorless when mounted, especially in white gold or platinum.

K-M: Light but noticeable yellow or brown tint. Not recommended for larger diamond stone purchases, especially in engagement rings.

Out of the 4 C’s, color and cut are the two most important characteristics of a diamond. Do not compromise on color.

An “H” color or better is usually best.


Diamond Info | Diamond Grades | Color Chart

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