Diamond Colors and Nuances

"How the Color Grading Works"


Not sure how the color of a diamond jewelry affects the price? This page will explain how diamond colors work - as well as tips on what colors to choose from.

Gold CZ cubic zirconia pendant from Heavenly Treasures
Photo credit: Shannon Stapleton, Reuters

You should know that even though the majority of diamonds appear colorless to your naked eye, they contain light traces of yellow or light brown when viewed under a jeweler's loupe.

Color-less and near-colorless diamonds are the most valuable because of their purity which enhances the sparkle of the gemstone.

Amazingly, a single increase in color grade (towards color-less) can boost the value of a diamond by thousands of dollars per carat.

Looking for diamond replicas? If you want to be able to decide what colors you want on your crystal or gemstone jewelry without having to pay a fortune, then you might want to look into Cubic Zirconia jewelry. They're man-made, affordable and can be found in a variet of jewelry styles.

GIA's Color Grading Scale

To give you a better understanding of how the whole color grading works, take a look at this chart that demonstrates the different gradings and nuances of a diamond:

Diamond color grading scale by GIA
Photo credit: Gemological Institute of America

The GIA scale starts with D for perfectly colorless stones and gives a Z color grade to diamonds with a noticeable yellow tint. Common color gradings at an affordable price-range are between L to G. D's are the most expensive.

Today's standard color grading scale was first developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Other color scales are still used in other parts of the world.


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So Which Color Grading/Diamond Colors Should You Choose?

It depends on your taste your budget. Most people find the colors from D to G to be the most attractive because of it's clarity. They're the rarest - which means they're also more expensive.

Other people prefer the pronounced yellow tints so their chosen diamond is much less expensive.

If you want a color-less diamond but don't want to break the bank, a color scale grading between I and L will be your best choice. It has a small tint of yellow but it's unnoticable to the naked eye.


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Fancy Diamond Colors

In nature, diamonds can also occur in shades of red, pink, blue, green and deep yellow - these are called "fancy diamonds". They're available in a very limited supply.

Diamonds with more color than the Z shown at the color grading scale above include fancy yellow, canary yellow, purple etc. Colors such as "intense blue" is probably the rarest and treasured fancy diamond color - and can be sold for as much as $130,000 per carat for 1-carat stones!




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