After reading through a few guides on how to buy diamonds, you’re probably hearing a lot about the “4 C’s of Diamonds.” These 4 C’s of diamonds are essential to defining a diamond by specific characteristics the diamond may have. If you want to shop for diamonds, you should inform yourself with our post on “The 4 C’s of Diamonds” so that you are familiar with the main attributes of diamonds. In this post, we will be going over one of the C’s of diamonds, Color.
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Table of Contents
What is Color?
Not all diamonds come in perfectly clear or white. They often appear with different tints to them like yellow, blue, and pink. Generally, Diamonds are more valuable to consumers when they have less color in them as it makes the diamond sparkle and reflect more! It is important for consumers to know about diamond color because it gives them a baseline of how much to budget in this additional area of diamond beauty.
The Gemological Institute of America:
Certified diamond colors are usually defined by the Gemological Institute of America by a set of letters from “D” all the way to “Z.” They oversee how diamonds are graded and issue reports based on a variety of strict factors like the 4 C’s. Diamonds that are GIA certified are typically the most trustworthy diamonds on the market with good reputation and credentials. While shopping for diamonds, be sure to look for GIA certified diamonds.
GIA Diamond Color Scale
D-F Color- D is the highest standard of color to obtain and is completely clear. The difference between “D” and “E and F” is that E and F grades can only be determined by a professional diamond specialist.
These diamonds are typically set in either platinum or white gold to emphasize brilliance.
|Nearly Colorless||G-J Color- These diamonds are mostly colorless to the naked eye and are placed in either platinum or white gold to ensure no color reflections from metals like yellow gold. Prices tend to be 10-15% lower than diamonds in the “D-F” color grade.|
|Faint Tint||K-M Color- Diamonds in this grade can have a slight yellow tint to the naked eye. This slight tint may be placed in yellow gold to show off the warmer color. These price about 50% lower than “G-J” colors.|
|Very Light Tint||N-R Color- These have a noticeable yellow or brown tint. They are priced much lower than other diamonds above them.|
|Light Tint||S-Z Color- Diamonds in this grade have very noticeable color tints of yellow and brown and are priced the lowest out of all the grades.|
Color Buying Tips:
- Look for diamonds with GIA certifications that will confirm that you are getting a fairly graded diamond.
- In addition to the GIA Certification, look for any types of noticeable tints that may throw you off the diamond.
- Look at how white and colorless the diamond appears in the setting it is made in. A yellow gold setting can really affect how the highest “D” Color Grade will look by its ability to reflect tints of the gold.
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Which Setting Matches my Color?
The color of the diamond can be greatly affected by the setting and the shape. Here are some general guidelines to use when looking at a diamond’s color:
- White Gold / Platinum Solitaire Setting
- Round: H-J. Going for a diamond color grade higher than “H” will give you differences you cannot see with the naked eye.
- Princess, Emerald, Asscher: G-I Grades.
- All other Diamond Shapes: F-H Grades.
- Yellow Gold Setting
- Round: K-M Grades.
- Princess, Emerald, Asscher: J-K Grades.
- All other Diamond Shapes: I-J Grades
- If the diamond is in a Yellow Gold Setting, the diamond will naturally reflect yellow tints, so it is not super important to get a higher grade than a “K”
- Pave or Side-stone Settings
- Round, Princess, Emerald and Asscher: G-I Grades.
- All Other Diamond Shapes: F-H Grades.
- Halo Settings
- All Diamond Shapes: F-H Grades.
The Difficulty of Diamond Color:
Diamonds color grades are extremely hard to differentiate between, especially when the Diamond grade is higher than an “H.” Even popular and renowned diamond retailers like James Allen has struggles with defining colors. When shopping through diamond colors, just be sure to follow the above general guidelines that will help you price the diamond correctly.
Diamonds are valued based on a variety of factors and is not able to be priced just off of one characteristic like Color. Always view the diamond as a holistic process and view it as a whole.
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Shopping for diamonds is a complex process with many characteristics that can affect the price, brilliance, and value of a diamond. Diamonds are characterized off of the 4 C’s of diamonds.
After picking through what Cut and Shape you want for your diamond, then it is time to choose what color grade you want. While Color is a very important part of valuing diamonds, be sure to not make it the most important part of your purchasing decision. Diamonds should be valued and viewed as a whole with many different characteristics.
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