Diamond Colors

Contrary to popular belief, diamonds come in many colors, but when it comes to fine jewelry, diamond color is described in terms of “whiteness”. Usually, precious pieces such as engagement rings are adorned with white diamonds, yet their perceived color can be affected by the diamond’s shape and setting metal.


Understand Grade Scale

For most diamonds, color is described in terms of “whiteness”. Unlike fancy-colored diamonds, which are valued for their color intensity, white diamonds are valued for their lack of color. Lower value diamonds are usually more yellowish or from the light yellow tint to the yellow gold hues in color.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a diamond color grading scale (GIA Color Scale) which is widely used by the diamond industry and assigns diamond color grade on a scale ranging from D color diamond to Z. Most retailers do not carry diamonds below L grade, which begin to show faint color of light yellow tint or brown tinges. The GIA’s diamond color scale grades have been made into a diamond color chart, for non-professional gemologists and regular people to use as a guide.

Color Of A Diamond 2923 Diamond Color Clarity Chart 2920 X 870 Copy

Differences between diamond color scale grades can be very subtle and often cannot be detected by the naked eye. Diamonds that are J grade and above generally appear “colorless” to the untrained eye. However, color becomes easier to detect as diamond size increases. The larger the diamond, the more important the diamond’s color grades become.

Diamond shape and setting metal should also be taken into consideration, as they can affect the perceived color diamond.

GIA Diamond Color Scale

Color vs White Diamonds

The diamond color tends to be less noticeable in brilliant cuts, due to the high number of facets. Step cuts, such as emerald, radiant, and asscher, are also more revealing of natural color.

Diamond Color Def1
Colorless Diamonds

The most valuable of all color grades, the difference between D, E, and F diamonds can only be distinguished by experts.

D color diamond to F color diamond stones should be set in white metals. A warm or dark metal setting would affect the diamond’s perceived color, undermining its value.

Diamond Color Ghij1
Near Colorless

Near colorless diamonds have a very slight trace of color, but are still suitable for white gold settings.

I and J color diamonds are excellent value choices for diamonds under one carat, while G color diamonds or H color diamond grading is recommended for diamonds over one carat.

Diamond Color Nr1
Faint Color

Faint color becomes visible to the naked eye from K color grade down. For those who don’t mind the hue, K to M color diamonds offers unbeatable value.

Warm metals work best with diamonds of this grade, which tend to have a yellow or brown tinge.

Diamond Color Sz1
Very Light Color

N to R grade diamonds are rarely used by jewelers due to their noticeable color.

Diamond Color Sz1
Light Color

Sometimes mistaken for fancy-colored diamonds, N to R grade diamonds have clearly visible color.

Setting Metal

Setting Metals 1

Once a diamond is set in jewelry, it becomes more difficult to see its true color. For lower color grade diamonds, yellow and rose gold can help make traces of color less apparent. White metals on the other hand, make hints of color more visible, and are therefore perfect for showcasing a colorless diamond.

Learn more about your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Diamonds come in various colors, in the normal color range going from steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, to purple, brown and black. Internal impurities or structural defects result in coloration inherent in fancy colored diamonds . The diamond’s color in its pure state is transparent and colorless.
The diamond’s color in its natural state of pureness technically appears a clear crystal. Colorless diamonds are not common, however. Diamond color is caused by defects and impurities contained in the crystal.
The cost of a 2 carat weight diamond can vary depending on its shape, cut and cut quality, clarity, diamond color and some other factors besides these 4 Cs of diamond grading. A standard price range for a 2 carat weight diamond ring would be from $5000 to $60,000, even more for a fancy colored diamond.
The D color diamond is the highest grade in the GIA color scale and it is really rare, making it the highest quality color grade your money can buy. Only around 8 percent of customers can afford to choose a D color grade diamond.
The I color diamond is a good choice, say for a high quality diamond engagement ring. It has the great combination of near colorless appearance to the naked eye and value for money. The diamond’s beauty is maximized with a round diamond or princess cut. Alternatives could be the emerald or asscher cuts.
The GIA diamond grading in the color scale marks D-F color diamonds for the diamonds that are colorless. But D-F diamonds are rare, especially the D color diamonds because of their unequaled brilliance emitted.
An H color diamond is marked Near Colorless color grade in the diamond color scale. Thus H color diamonds have great value because of its faint tint of yellow gold/yellow tint which is almost discernible unless placed beside other diamonds in a higher color grade in the diamond color scale. Thus, only the trained eye can perceive the difference between the color grades H and G color diamonds.
The GIA evaluates diamonds with a color grade scale of D color diamonds, i.e., colorless – Z color diamond (light color diamond). All S-Z diamonds are considered white color diamonds, despite content of varying degrees of color tint/hue. Yellow diamonds (Fancy yellow tint/faint yellow hue/slight yellow tint), Pink colored diamonds, Blue color diamonds are considered true fancy color diamonds. True fancy color diamonds are rated on a separate color scale.
D is a color grade for a great round brilliant cut diamond engagement rings, that is if you have the capacity to afford the cut, clarity and similar carat weight. Otherwise, if it is for an engagement ring, you could get a larger diamond of near colorless G grade or from H-J color grades for round brilliant cut fancy vivid colored diamonds in platinum or white gold.
Red color diamonds are the rarest.
The red color diamonds are the rarest and thus, the most expensive diamond color. They come in a fancy deep/fancy dark intensity and their color is modified in purplish (to the naked eye), i.e., purplish red diamonds and brownish – light brown hues.
D color is the highest color grade and extremely rare. Thus, only a small percent of customers can afford to choose a diamond of D color grade.
Diamond color refers to the hues of the diamond, based on the GIA diamond color scale, that grades the diamond’s color on a scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown) hue.
There are 12 basic diamond colors: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, pink, purple, brown, violet, gray, black, and white. There are other shades and hues in between.
It depends on your preference and your budget. From the color scale and descriptions mentioned above, you can be guided in your choice of diamond color.
Diamonds are graded on a color scale range from D, completely colorless to Z, lightly colored. Professional diamond graders put the diamond in a standard viewing environment and compare each stone to color masters – the records of color of each diamond color grade.
According to the GIA Diamond Color-Grade Scale, which is the industry standard, the diamond grades of color are:
L-Z : Faint to light color
K : Faint
J : Near Colorless
I : Near Colorless
H : Near Colorless
G color grade : Near Colorless
F: Colorless
E color diamonds: Colorless
D: Colorless
D-F Color diamonds are the rarest and highest quality diamonds with a pure icy appearance.
G-H and I-J Color diamonds are near colorless with no discernible color, thus having a great value for quality.
K Color diamond grades have faint color and the budget-friendly color diamonds. Good combination with yellow gold ring or setting.
L-Z color diamonds have a warm yellow tinge but do not meet the quality standards of the high-end diamond dealers.
A colorless diamond is more than good, it is the best. The higher the grade of a diamond refers to the absence of color – these diamonds are categorized colorless. The most valuable are the colorless diamonds, followed very closely by the near-colorless stones. A near colorless diamond is quite a more affordable alternative.
Yes, besides being so close in grade to the colorless diamond, the near colorless is more affordable but not so far behind in beauty or quality.
The colorless diamonds, being of the highest grade are the most expensive stones.