If this is your first time researching diamonds, you may be surprised to learn that these sought-after, natural gemstones come in many different colors and hues.
“Colorless” or “white” diamonds – the diamonds traditionally used for engagement rings, stud earrings and solitaire pendants – are evaluated on a color-grading scale developed by the GIA. It spans the alphabet from D to Z with D being colorless, and Z representing a light yellow tint. With colorless diamonds, the value is placed on how little color you can see, and this is determined by studying the diamond under controlled lighting and comparing it to the GIA’s color scale. Incidentally, D-grade diamonds – that is, truly colorless diamonds – are extremely rare and valuable.
GIA Color Range
Diamonds with a color grade of D, E or F are considered colorless.
Diamonds graded G, H, I and J are near colorless.
Diamonds that fall in the K-M color grade range have a faint yellow tint. Diamonds in the N-R range have a very light yellow tint and S-Z are light yellow.
All loose diamonds available on Diamond.com fall into the D – J (colorless to near colorless) range.
Diamond Color Scheme
Fancy Color Diamonds
While “colorless” diamonds are the most popular, they are just one category of diamonds. The other category of natural stones is known as “fancy color diamonds.” Although relatively rare, they have been found in every color of the spectrum. Some of the most famous fancy color diamonds include The Hope Diamond (a walnut-sized blue diamond), the Hancock Red (which sold for $926,000 per carat at a 1987 auction), and the Dresden Green (the largest green diamond ever found).
The Diamond.com collection includes the following natural color hues: yellow, pink, red, orange, green, blue, and purple.
Fancy color diamonds are not graded on the same color scale as “colorless” or “white” diamonds. Rather, their value is derived by color intensity that ranges from Light at the lower end to Vivid at the high end. The more intense or strong the color appears, the more valuable the diamond. Color intensity is the most important factor when purchasing a fancy color diamond.
The distinct difference between fancy color diamonds and other colorful gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds is in the mineral makeup. In particular, it’s the presence of carbon that differentiates fancy color diamonds from other colored gemstones.
All natural color diamonds are graded by gemological laboratories under controlled lighting environments similar to that of natural daylight. Diamonds are also tested for treatment, synthetic additions or alterations to ensure their authenticity.