Carats | Cut | Clarity

Although most diamonds may appear to be colorless to the untrained eye, true colorless diamonds are extremely rare and highly prized. Color can hinder the passage of light through a diamond, lessening its spectacular sparkle and fire. Even a slight tinged of yellow or brown can have a dramatic impact on a diamond's value. Determining the presence or absence of "color" in a white diamond is one of the famous "4 C's," or key indicators, of a diamond's quality.

In general, whiter stone = greater value.

Diamonds are also found in a variety of other colors such as blue, green, yellow, orange, pink or, "rarest of all" red. These are known as Fancy color diamonds. All such colored diamonds are very rare and highly prized.

Most diamonds are graded on a professional color scale that begins with "D" for colorless and continues all the way down to "Z", with a stone's yellow or brown tint becoming increasingly visible as you move down the scale.

Name Description
D: Absolutely colorless - The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.
E: Colorless - Minimal traces of color that can only be detected by an expert gemologist. Also rare.
F: Colorless - Slight color, which can only be detected by an expert gemologist, but still, considered a "colorless" grade. High quality diamond.
G-I: Near colorless - Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.
J-K: Near colorless - Color slightly detectable. An excellent value the color of these diamonds gives them a slightly noticeable tint to the naked eye when compared to diamonds of better color grades.
L-M: Slightly Colored - Color slightly detectable. An excellent value diamond. The color of these diamonds gives them a slightly noticeable tint to the naked eye when compared to diamonds of better color grades.
N-Z: Not carried at Diamonds Stud Source


Which Color Should I Choose?

Diamonds further down the color scale can still be very beautiful, appear colorless and display impressive sparkle and fire with the proper cut, high clarity and in the right jewelry setting. Diamonds with lower color grades also represent a significant dollar value over stones with little or no hint of color. In fact, many people actually prefer the warmer glow of diamonds with lower color grades. Most people buy a diamond with the best color grade they can afford, while taking into account the other "3 C's" of diamond quality: carat weight, clarity and cut. The color of the metal in a mounting can either mask or enhance the color. Yellow metal kills the color in blue stones, and makes slightly yellow or brown diamonds appear more colorless, while darker yellows and browns look darker and richer. White metal makes slightly yellow or brown stones look yellower or browner (usually unpleasantly so) but enhances the color of blue stones. For this reason, mounted diamonds can’t be color – graded as rigorously as loose stones. With the exception of rare fancy colors such as blue, pink and red, colorless diamonds command the highest prices. (Diamond is the only gem in which an absence of color means it is more valuable). Diamonds in the normal color range are graded and evaluated by how closely they approach absolute colorlessness: the less color, the higher the grade, and the value.

A Word on Fluorescence

Fluorescence is the reaction of some diamonds exposed to UV lighting. Fluorescence makes some clear diamonds appear to be cloudy and some yellow tinted diamonds appear to be clear under UV lighting. Under normal lighting conditions, fluorescence is not detectible. Even trained gemologists are unable to consistently agree on the effects of fluorescence. Therefore, whether or not a diamond displays fluorescence is of only minor importance in the purchasing decision of most diamond buyers.