Learn about Diamond Color Grade
When it comes to diamond color, it's actually the absence of color that is the most desirable. Colorless Diamonds are the most rare and valued, while light yellow Diamonds are the less valued. Learn more about diamond color grades to understand the various categories when you're picking your next diamond.
- Colorless (D,E,F)
- A diamond that is absolutely colorless is incredibly rare. In fact, even the most expensive Diamonds used in Jewelry are typically not completely colorless. Diamond color grades start at the letter D, or absolutely colorless, and go all the way to the letter Z. Colorless Diamonds range from D to F. To the eye of an experienced jeweler, even one using magnification, a colorless diamond will have no visible coloring. The only colors you might see are the ones that are reflected through the light in the diamond's various facets. A colorless diamond is top of the line, although they are hard to find and afford because of their rarity.
- Near Colorless (G,H,I,J)
- Some Diamonds are virtually colorless, but close inspection reveals very subtle hints of yellow. In G or H near colorless Diamonds, these hints of yellow might only be visible under 10x magnification. Often, the only way to even pick up on these minor color issues is to compare a new colorless diamond to a D colorless diamond. Side by side, it might be easier to spot any imperfections in the color of the diamond. Near colorless Diamonds classed as I or J may have some yellow undertones that are visible to the unaided eye. Often, near colorless Diamonds are a great choice to pair with white or yellow gold.
- Faint Yellow (K,L,M)
- The next category of diamond color grades is faint yellow. Even to the untrained eye, these Diamonds are not colorless. Although the classification is yellow, it's important to note that these Diamonds might also appear slightly brown or even grey. While they aren't colorless, they can still be beautiful. These are typically a more affordable choice for buyers, often coming it at half the price of a E or F diamond. They look best in a warm setting like yellow gold. The clearest of the faint yellow Diamonds is classed as a K, followed by L and then M, which is the most yellow in this category.
- Very Light Yellow (N,O,P,Q,R)
- Very light yellow Diamonds are the next category of diamond color grades. Right away, looking at a very light yellow diamond will reveal that it is not colorless. Compared to a truly colorless diamond, a very light yellow diamond might look yellow, grey or brown. While these Diamonds are readily available, they are less common for engagement rings or high-end pieces. Nonetheless, they are typically an exceptional value because of reduced demand for this color. The subcategories of very light yellow Diamonds range from N to R, with N being the lighter in color and R being the darkest.
- Light Yellow (S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z)
- Technically, these Diamonds are still classified as white Diamonds. This makes them different from fancy color Diamonds, which might be a distinct color. However, light yellow Diamonds are obviously not colorless in any way. They are visibly a different color, and many people find the hues of these affordable Diamonds to be unappealing. In the right setting, perhaps with a yellow gold cup under the stone, a light yellow diamond can be colorful and eye-catching. You might have a hard time finding light yellow Diamonds in a Jewelry store simply because there is very limited demand for them. Light yellow Diamonds can be classified from S all the way to Z, with Z Diamonds being the darkest in color.
A standardized diamond color grade system makes it easier to know exactly what you're buying. Whether you're searching for a colorless diamond or you're looking for value, understanding color grade can help you purchase the right diamond.