The 4Cs - Diamond Colour

What Is Diamond Colour

The value of a diamond is determined based on a combination of the 4Cs. One very important criteria when deciding what diamond is perfect for you, is the diamonds colour

What Causes Colour In A Diamond

The colour of a diamond may be influenced by one of two naturally occurring factors:
1. The diamonds chemical composition may contain impurities such as nitrogen (yellow), boron (blue), etc.
2. Defects in the crystal lattice (atomic structure) can cause colour (pink), etc.

How Diamonds Are Colour Graded

Diamond colour grading masters from Australian Diamond Network

A colour 'grade' refers to a diamond's lack of colour. When assigning a colour grade to a diamond, a lettering system from d-z is used to identify the amount of colour present. D is awarded to only the rarest diamonds that do not display any colour. This colour scale was established by the gemmological institute of America (GIA) and has become the industry standard. Before GIA created the D to Z colour grading scale, a mixed bag of other grading systems were broadly used. These included letters of the alphabet (A, B and C, with multiple A’s for the top stones), numbers (0, 1, 2, 3) and roman numerals (i, ii, iii). Descriptions were also used, such as “blue white” or “cape”. As a result of all the different terminology, there was a lot of inconsistency and inaccuracy. GIA wanted to start over, without any association with earlier systems, so it was decided to start with the letter D.

Unlike grading clarity, which is only done face up and looking through the crown, when grading a diamond's colour, the stone is examined 'face down' under carefully controlled lighting, and is viewed through the pavilion, or 'body' of the diamond. The diamond's colour is then compared to a 'master stone' to determine where in the colour scale it sits. 'Master stones' are preselected stones of a specific colour that are used as a control, or standard, upon which other diamonds are compared. Even expert diamond dealers and gemmologists grade colour by placing the diamond to be graded on a white folded card next to a master diamond to compare it to.

The Gia Colour Scale Has Been Broken Into 5 Sub-Groups.

G.I.A. Diamond Colour Grades

Colourless – D, E, F

Near Colourless – G, H, I, J
Faint – K, L, M
Very Light – N, O, P, Q, R
Light – S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Keep in mind that even though stones may be referred to as 'near colourless' by a salesperson, there is a massive visual colour difference between a G and a J coloured diamond. Most people find it very difficult to tell the difference between two similar colour grades (D&E, E&F or F&G for example), the difference in price, however, can be significant.

To be graded properly, diamonds must be loose unset stones, because once a diamond is set into metal, the metal can affect its colour. When planning your diamond purchase, consider the type of metal and the setting you would like the diamond to be displayed in. If you are going to have a Platinum or White Gold setting, consider a diamond in the D-G range as Yellow Gold can make a stone appear to have more colour than it actually does. Yellow Gold will, often, be more forgiving to a stone with a little bit of colour. But no matter the setting or metal used, the diamond will start to appear yellow if the colour grade is lower than about J.

The Colour Of A Diamond Will Never Change Over Time

If you’re thinking of making an engagement ring with surrounding diamonds, or perhaps a three stone ring, it is recommended that any side or accenting diamonds either match the colour of the centre stone, or that the colour ranges are at least within one colour grade of each other (for example - you can have a 1.00 carat F colour centre stone, with 2x0.50 carat G colour side stones).

Choosing a diamond is always a matter of personal preference, so choose a diamond with a colour grade that satisfies you. For the purist, or someone with a strong sense of pride in having the best, look for a colourless D-F diamond for no discernible colour. For someone looking for excellent value in a diamond with very little noticeable colour, look for a near colourless grade of G-I. At the end of the day, if you like how it looks, then it’s not a concern what colour grade it has.

We Have A Large Selection Of Fancy Coloured Diamonds To Choose From

Fancy Coloured Diamonds, or those diamonds that have a deeper, more saturated colour, do not fall under this GIA D-Z diamond colour scale. At Australian Diamond Network, stones with a colour grade lower than 'm' on the regular D-Z colour scale, generally are not displayed on our price lists. However, should you prefer, we can certainly provide you with any colour diamond that you would like.

A Diamond Is A Symbol Of Love, Beauty And Elegance, And They Are Treasured For Their Rarity

If you would like assistance with evaluating and selecting the best diamond for your needs, please contact Australian Diamond Network and we will be happy to help you in any way we can.

Contact Us

Australian Diamond Network
P: 1-800-639-505