Diamond Coloring

In order to assign a color grade to a particular diamond, a grader must compare the diamond to a master stone diamond set. Each master stone in a particular set exhibits the least amount of color allowed by a diamond of its particular grade. A diamond is assigned a grade based on having more, less or equal color to the master stones.


A chemically perfect diamond has no color at all, but in some cases, color can increase the value of a diamond, even though the colors emerge as a result of chemical impurities and structural defects. Possible colors include yellow, pink, purple, blue or even black. Red diamonds are the rarest and are extremely valuable.


Diamond Color Range


For standard diamonds, color is graded on an alphabetical scale from D to Z. A “D” to “F” grade represents a perfectly colorless diamond, while an “S” to “Z” grade represents light yellow. Other grades include “Near Colorless” (G-J), “Faint Yellow” (K-M) and “Very Light Yellow” (N-R).


Diamonds color chart


Difference in Diamond Color


When it comes to color grades, a colorless diamond is a flawless diamond. But in some cases, you may prefer a colored diamond. For instance, some diamonds possess just enough color to emit a colorful brilliance, and these are graded as “Fancy.” For instance, a Fancy Red or Fancy Yellow diamond can be extremely valuable, and extremely attractive. Unlike the “Faint” of “Very Light” classifications, which provide an off-white coloration, a “Fancy” diamond is a unique gem unto itself.


On the traditional grading scale, color differences can be subtle. Color is more visible in larger diamonds, so if you plan on purchasing a stone with a full carat or more, opt for a “Colorless” or “Near Colorless” grade. “Faint Color” is more visible to the naked eye, and will appear more prominently the larger the diamond. Any color with a grade of N to Z will have an extremely visible yellow or brown tint, and this tent becomes more visible the higher the grade.


Bear in mind also that color becomes less apparent once the stone is set in a ring and placed in a color-rich environment. In other words, it won't look as yellow against your finger as it will against a white background in the shop. So pay attention to color, but don't worry about finding the perfect colorless ring if you can't afford it.