A very few diamonds naturally exhibit
“fancy” colors purple, pink, green, blue
,strong yellow,champagne, cognac, others.
They carry premium price-tags that reflect
their rarity. But the vast majority of diamonds
in the marketplace are (or aspire to be) colorless.
Still, almost all those “colorless” diamonds
reveal ever so slight tones of yellow, brown or gray.
To a greater or lesser degree – and depending upon the diamond’s
“Other Cs” – the saturation of that color/tint can impair a diamond’s
fire, brilliance, and capacity to “kick color.” But one does not need
the highest-grade of colorlessness to create dazzling diamond jewelry.
In fact, most magnificent marriage-jewelry utilizes diamonds that have
earned middle grades from industry’s standard color chart, created by
the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
That GIA color standard grades diamond-colors alphabetically,
from Totally Colorless (D) down to Z (heavily tinted toward yellow,
gray or brown). (We know of no diamond in the marketplace
completely colorless as to have earned a GIA “A,” “B,” or “C”
for colorless purity.) D
= Absolutely colorless (extremely rare) E
= Colorless (very rare) F
= Colorless (an expert might detect a bit of color [rare]) G-H
= Nearly colorless (color detectable when compared, side-by-side, with diamonds of
better grades) I-J
= Nearly colorless (only slightly detectable color) K-Z
= Increasingly noticeable color.
For an accurate color-evaluation process, diamonds are unmounted (since the color of
the setting’s precious metal alters the apparent color of the diamond). For this reason,
your personal preference in your jewelry’s metal-color (yellow or white) may influence your
diamond-color decision-making process. White metals (platinum, white gold) do best with
diamonds of higher color grades (e.g., D – G); diamonds from the middle grades can
appear colorless in yellow-gold settings.
Many jewelers have “reference sets,” featuring an array of sample gems of various
established color grades. The diamond under scrutiny can be compared (face down on
white paper), side by side with reference samples of known color grade, to determine the
best color match and, therefore, the diamond’s color grade.