Four C's of Diamond Colour

COLOUR

  • Color refers to grading the whiteness of a diamond i.e diamond's lack of color.
  • A color grade of D is the highest probable, while Z is the lowest.

Color in a diamond depicts its yellowness and therefore the color grade of a diamond is based on its lack of colour. The whiter a diamond is, the higher is its color grade. Color is considered the second most significant characteristic when selecting a diamond . This is because the human eye tends to first notice a sparkle in a diamond and then its color.

Colour can only be differentiated when diamonds are kept near as shown below.

color-diamonds

color-diamonds

D Absolutely colourless. The highest colour grade, which is extremely rare.
E-F Colourless. Very insignificant traces of colour and can only be noticed by an expert gemmologist. A rare diamond.
G-H Near-colourless. Colour is extremely difficult to notice unless compared to diamonds of better grades. These grades offer excellent value.
I-J Near-colourless. Slightly detectable warmth or tone and carries an exceptional value.
K-M Noticeable colour or paleness.
N-Z Noticeable colour.

Fluorescence

Fluorescence is another significant factor that can influence the colour of the diamond.

This is an effect that is observed in some diamonds when they are exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light that we see in night clubs and discotheques). Diamonds with this characteristic can appear changing colour quite often because UV radiation is a component of daylight but still present in fluorescent lit areas. While most gemologists do not prefer diamonds with this effect, some people feel the excitement. It is purely a matter of its aesthetics and acceptability.

Strong blue fluorescence can make a yellow coloured diamond appear more white, but sometimes can also cause the diamond to appear milky or oily which is called an "over blue" and only applies to a very small number of "strong" and "very strong" fluorescent diamonds. Stones that fluoresce yellow appear even more yellow under some lighting conditions.

Diamonds with colourless grades (D-E-F) or near colourless grades (G-H-I-J) are lower in price when they exhibit fluorescence; compare to faint yellow grades (K-L-M) which are higher in price when exhibiting fluorescence.

What Colour Diamond Should I Choose?

  • Search for a colorless diamond with a grade of D-F for a diamond with no apparent color.
  • Consider a near colorless grade of G-I which has little or unnoticeable color to a naked eye, therefore making it a best buy.
  • If you desire to buy a bigger diamond with a restricted budget, then you will have to look for J-K-L-M colour

The variations in look between colourless diamonds and near colourless diamonds may not be obvious however a perfectionist will always insist in the D-F range, however one can get a good value for money on selecting in the G-I range, which can still achieve a "colourless" look.

We recommend you to completely satisfy yourself with the colour grade if you are too perceptive to low colours. Also in case if you feel that distinguishing different colours is a complex thing for you then you may consider a nearly colourless diamond.

Sometimes, when the diamond scintillates, the entire spectrum of color is easily visible as the light softens in a diamond having a small amount of color.

You have a slight better option in choosing in your colour grade, if your selection is a round brilliant diamond, because the colour will not be detected due to its brilliance. In such a scenario, an I colour diamond is good enough, and will look colorlesss to a naked eye until it gets compared to higher color grades such as an F or E color diamond.

While searching for multiple gems, such as diamonds for a 3 stone ring, you need to ensure that the color ranges are separated on not more than 1 grade of each other respectively.

Diamonds with pointed end and shapes such as pear, radiant, trillion, marquis or even princess sometimes concentrates colour at these point and in such a case, a H or higher colour grade is sufficient. Also the prongs will hide the color concentration, if the diamond is set in a pronged setting.