Diamond Color

When speaking about a diamond’s color, experts are referring to the absence of color or the whiteness in white diamonds. A diamond’s color will never change over time. The whiter a diamond is the greater the value.

When grading a diamond’s color or “whiteness”, most jewelers reference the GIA color grading scale. The highest color grade is D and the lowest color grade is Z.

Due to their rarity, diamonds graded D, E and F are the most valuable.

D (COLORLESS)

This is the highest color grade that a diamond can receive. It is extremely rare and therefore the most valuable.

E (COLORLESS)

The E color grade represents so little color it takes a gemologist using a diamond light and the right grading environment to distinguish E color from D color.

F (COLORLESS)

F color is the last color considered to be in the colorless range. It is also almost indistinguishable from D or E color. However, F is less expensive and can be a great value when compared to D or E color.

G (NEAR COLORLESS)

G color may appear colorless to an untrained eye. G color is noticeably white and can be a great choice for someone who is looking for a diamond that looks almost colorless but wants a better value than what a D, E, or F may offer.

H, I (NEAR COLORLESS)

H and I colors look white and can also be a very good value. When these diamonds are set in jewelry it can be very difficult to see any hint of color. These colors are very popular when trying to save a little of your budget for other diamond characteristics.

J (NEAR COLORLESS)

J color represents the last of the near colorless diamonds. In actuality most people can see just a hint of color when they are looking at a loose diamond that is graded J. When a diamond with J color is set in a piece of jewelry it can be much more difficult to see the color. Choosing a diamond with J color may allow you to spend more on size or better clarity.

K, L, M (FAINT YELLOW)

Diamonds from this group begin to show slightly more color, which can be noticeable with the naked eye. In actuality the color may not be yellow but any color.

N THROUGH R (VERY LIGHT YELLOW)

Diamonds graded N – R show substantial color even when they are mounted in jewelry. Their prices are similar so there is no need to determine their exact color. Diamonds in this color range are given a two color grade range when graded by GIA.

S THROUGH Z (LIGHT YELLOW)

Diamonds graded from S through Z show substantial color both when loose and mounted. S – W diamonds demand the lowest prices while diamonds with color grades of X – Z are priced slightly higher. Diamonds in this range have so much color they border on being classified as Fancy Color.