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Diamond Education - Diamond Color

Diamond comes into a variety of colors like red, green, purple, blue, brown, yellow, and even black. The brightly colored diamonds are often called fancy color diamonds. A colorless diamond is more valuable because it reflects 100% of the light back through the diamond.

The most widely used system for grading the diamond color is developed by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The system uses alphabetic letters ranging from D to Z to identify diamond colors. In terms of price, D is the most expensive color while N-Z diamonds are the least expensive. When shopping for a diamond, it is generally preferred to choose a diamond stone with the least amount of color possible.

The GIA grades diamonds on a scale of D (colorless) through Z (light color). True fancy colored diamonds (such as yellows, pinks, and blues) are graded on a separate color scale.

Diamond Color Scale:

ColorDescription
D E F Colorless Diamonds: Diamonds within the colorless range are the most rare and valuable. D/E color stones display virtually no color, whereas F colored diamonds will display a nearly undetected amount of color when viewed by a gemologist. D-F diamonds should set in white gold / platinum.
G H I J Near Colorless: G-J diamonds are suitable for a platinum or white gold setting. I-J diamonds are more common than the higher grades as retail for half the price of a D diamond.
K L M Faint Yellow: K-M diamonds(usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by the naked eye. These grades of diamonds emit fire and beauty.
N - R Very Light Yellow: Diamonds in the N-R color range have an easily seen yellow tint, but are much less expensive than higher grades.
S - Z Light Yellow or Brown: S-Z diamonds have too much yellow color. Diamonds with more color than Z, or in other shades such as orange, pink, blue, etc. are referred as Fancy Colored Diamonds.