Diamond Color Scale:
Key tips/considerations on Color Include:
1) For investment
purposes, diamonds in the range of D to H color range maintain excellent value;
2) I to J color diamonds are also excellent options for people with budget
constraints. These diamonds also maintain relatively high value; 3) if you want
a well cut and larger carat weight diamond, K-L color stones might also be a
good option for people with budget constraints; 4) medium
to strong blue fluorescence makes higher color grade diamonds look
whiter. While you'll get a discount on diamonds that have fluorescence, it
might also work in your advantage in I to M color diamonds.
Check out our loose diamond filter to compare actual prices.
Photo Credit/Source: Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Color is an important C of the four Cs in a diamond. In
addition, diamond fluorescence and certification also
affects the price of a diamond. In general, these seven
factors are important to consider while buying a diamond.
Depending on your budget, there are
many scenarios to consider in order to maximize your budget while selecting
the color of a diamond.
1 Scenario One
You have a budget of three to four thousand dollars and
you want to get up to 1 carat diamond. In this situation, what would be your
best options? What would you compromise on?
The good news is that you have many options to choose from
even while on budget. Before I outline some options for you, I want to share
how dealers prioritize the diamond selection process. They look for the balance
of all four Cs in addition to a consideration for good fluorescence. They
would also look for a stone that is highly in demand; in today's market,
round shape diamonds are popular and good investment pieces. However, fancy shape
stones are also popular and in demand, so it is important to have the right balance in
them as well.
Option one would be to get a one carat
eye-clean SI2 clarity, H-I color, Very Good to Excellent cut,
and up to medium blue fluorescence, and GIA graded. In this scenario, you
are compromising on clarity slightly, therefore, it is important
that you get the right SI2 clarity. It should be an eye-clean stone. Clarity is
tricky so make sure you know what types of inclusions to avoid. on the other hand, getting a
slightly smaller stone, say .98ct, might also boost your budget/chances as the
price difference could be significant.
Option two would be to get a one carat
VS2 clarity J-K color, Very Good to Excellent Cut, up to medium
blue fluorescence, and GIA graded. I would recommend sticking to J
color even though K color could be an excellent choice (it will be discussed
Option three would be to get a 1.3 carat
SI1+ eye-clean clarity, K color, Excellent cut, up to strong
blue fluorescence, and GIA graded diamond. Here
you're compromising color for carat weight in case if the desire
is to get a bigger diamond. Make sure to get a high clarity and cut grade
diamond if you compromise highly on color!
Hint: getting a rose gold or yellow mounting for a
higher color grade diamond could make the diamond look whiter due to the
reflection of the metal. Something to consider for J-M color range diamonds.
2 Scenario Two
You have a budget of fifteen to twenty thousand
dollars, but you want high grade large beautiful diamond that is also a
good investment. What color grade would you consider? What of the four Cs would
you compromise on?
Having a large budget certainly increases the
options you could consider, but it is equally important to pick the right
stone if you're also considering it as a major investment.
Option one for you would be to pick a
close to two carat VS2 clarity, G-H Color, Very Good to Excellent
Cut, None to Medium Blue Fluorescence Diamond, and GIA graded. In this option,
you are maximizing on all four Cs while also keeping an optimal
Option two for you would be to buy one
and a half carat VS1 clarity, D-F color, Excellent Cut, No Fluorescence,
and GIA graded diamond. In this scenario, you are going for total
brilliance and excellence of all four Cs (looking for a pure investment
grade stone) while slightly compromising on carat weight or
Option three for you would be to go for a
two and a half carat VS2 (eye-clean) clarity, H-I color, up to Very Good Cut,
up to medium blue fluorescence, and GIA graded diamond. In this case, you
are aiming for a large stone while also not overly compromising on
the brilliance of the diamond. Cut and clarity would be important in
this scenario, so make sure these two factors are thoroughly reviewed
before going for this option. Clarity can specially be tricky so make sure the
stone is eye-clean VS2 as large stones with VS2 grade could sometimes be not
eye-clean if the inclusion is a large black carbon right on the table.
3 Scenario Three
You have a budget of ten thousand dollars, but
you want a diamond that at least has a two carat weight. Size
is important to you, but you do not know what C to comprise on in
order to get the size that you want?
This is a tricky situation and one that demands careful
analysis and research before purchase because you
could easily end up with a large diamond that no one cares for.
Option one for you would be to get a
two carat+ VS1 clarity, J-K Color, Excellent Cut, medium
blue fluorescence, and GIA graded diamond. In this scenario, you are
compromising on color, but you are maximizing on size, clarity, and
cut. While the stone might end up having a slight yellow tint, it would still
be a beautiful diamond full of brilliance and fire.
Option two for you would be to get a slightly
smaller than two carat SI1 clarity, I Color, Very Good Cut, Medium
Blue Fluorescence, and GIA graded Diamond. In this scenario, you
are basically maximizing your budget to get the best of all
four Cs in a budget range diamond while also not overly comprising on
Option three for you would be to get a
two carat SI2-SI1 clarity, H-I Color, up to Very Good Cut, up
to strong blue fluorescence, and GIA graded diamond. You are basically
trying to get a better color grade diamond in this scenario
while compromising slightly on clarity
and fluorescence grade. Make sure the clarity
and fluorescence is not affecting the overall appearance of
the stone. Please note that an extremely high
fluorescence grade diamond do not have high resale value if
you're taking an investment perspective into considerations.
Ideally, going for a slightly smaller size, better color,
clarity and cut might be a bad idea; however, if size
not negotiable then comprising on color might not be a bad idea as
shown in option one in this scenario.
What is Diamond Color?
Color is one of the four Cs in a white diamond and is graded
on a scale of D to Z. In white diamonds, the absence of color or yellow tint
would qualify the diamond to be colorless thus qualifying it for a colorless
grade. The higher the intensity and presence of the yellow tint/reflection, the
higher the color grade and the lower its value. Please note that color in fancy
color diamonds is entirely a different topic.
GIA’s color grading scale is used as the industry’s standard
for determining the color of a diamond. In white diamonds, D-F are considered
Colorless, G-J are considered Near Colorless, K-M are considered Faint, N-R are
considered Very Light Yellow, and S-Z are considered Light Yellow. Color in
white diamonds is often considered as the second most important price
determinant after the Cut of a diamond.
Nature is full of colors and every color is a reflection of
beauty. Even a colorless substance has a color e.g. water may look colorless,
but in reality it has its own color. Color is the possessive quality of an
element that leaves a physical, mental, emotional and/or psychological effect
on us when we look at it.
Just like anything else, diamonds also possesses unique
colors that can be seen and described. This property of a diamond is an
important price determining or price ruling factor. In the diamond market, the
second most important and influential factor in a diamond after is its Cut is
often its Color. It’s the sparkle in a diamond that attracts an
eye, and the whiter the sparkle, the more attractive a diamond would be!
There are various colors of diamonds and each color carries
its own significance and beauty, and based on that, we determine their market
value. A pure diamond will literally have no hue. At the same
time, diamonds color may be affected by the impurities that are present in
There are many possible colors of diamonds including white,
steel gray, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, purple, black and brown.
Fancy diamonds have rare colors and they are more expensive as the demand for
them is high in the fashion industry. Intensely colored diamonds are also more
expensive than other diamonds.
In white diamonds, purest diamonds are colorless and that’s
a reference point to the color grade of a diamond. Higher color grade of a
diamond means lesser color in it or how close it is to being colorless. A color
grade of D is the highest grade whereas Z is the lowest grade. Diamond color
grading is done according to GIA’s D-to-Z grading scale, and it’s accepted as
the standard method worldwide. For an untrained eye, it would be extremely
difficult to determine slight differences in the color grade of a diamond.
Therefore, following GIA’s grading system is the easiest method to verify the
color of a diamond. It gets even harder to recognize the real color of a
diamond once it is set into a ring or necklace. As the carat weight of a
diamond increases, color grade becomes easier to differentiate. D, E and F are
colorless diamonds and therefore very pure and expensive. On the other hand, S
and Z are light yellow color diamonds and will be substantially cheaper.