What Is Diamond Color?

There are four main C’s that determine a diamond’s value–cut, color, clarity, and carat. Each one affects the price and can affect its appearance in different ways. 

But while cut, clarity, and carat may be easier to determine, how do professionals scale a diamond’s color to categorize its value? 

Well, to better understand this, let’s look more closely at what exactly diamond color is, how teh GIA scale works to organize and rank diamond color, and how fancy colored diamonds are ranked. 

What Is a Diamond Color?

Diamond color is an important aspect of gems that plays a big part in determining its value. Color refers, not to how much pigment is in a stone, but rather how little is present in a diamond. This absence of color determines its grade, but only certified grading professionals may determine a diamond’s color.

The GIA White Diamond Color-Grade Scale

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) sets an industry standard color scale used for diamond grading around the world. 

This scale uses letters ranging from D to Z to indicate the level of color a diamond has. While older systems like Arcane used grades A-C, I-III, and 1-3 to determine a diamond’s value, the GIA system differentiated itself by starting their grinding with the letter “D.”

According to this scale:

  • Diamonds with a D-F grade are colorless
  • Diamonds with a G-I grade are near-colorless
  • And K grade diamonds are faint color diamonds. 

Many jewelers do not sell L-Z grade diamonds. Note that the farther a diamond’s grade descends from D, the more budget-friendly it will be.

D-F Grade Colorless Diamonds

D-F grade colorless diamonds are by far the most valuable diamond color grades. They are incredibly rare and are of a high quality. Colorless diamonds have a pure icy look that many people find desirable.

G-I Grade Near Colorless Diamonds

G-I grade near colorless diamonds have no real discernable color, but under examination, professionals can differentiate them from the more valuable D-F grade diamonds. Near colorless diamonds are a great value for buyers because they look almost perfect color-wise, but they aren’t as rare and costly as truly colorless diamonds.

K Grade Faint Color Diamonds

K grade diamonds are a budget-friendly option for buyers. They have a faint color that is visible to the naked eye, and they typically pair very well with gold settings that enhance their own faint color.

What About Fancy Colored Diamonds?

Diamonds may occur naturally in a wide range of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, and purple. Only one in every 10,000 diamonds possess a natural color like these, making them incredibly valuable. 

Thanks to this rarity, fancy colored diamonds are given an alternate scale to determine their value separate from the scale used to measure the value of traditional white diamonds.

Are You In the Market For Diamond Jewelry?

If you’re looking for diamond jewelry and want help determining which color grade will meet your aesthetic preferences and budget best, contact our helpful agents today!