The Color Of A Diamond

Hacking the 4Cs: Color of a Diamond

Flawless natural diamonds are colorless. Color or a hue in a diamond signifies various kinds of impurities that a diamond has. In fact, being one of the major aspects that affect price as well as the quality of the stone, the effect of color characteristics in a diamond is countless. While yellow diamonds are cheaper, red is the rarest diamond and blue diamonds are expensive than 99% of the colorless variety!

What does Color of a Diamond Mean?

While diamond color is explained as the lack of color, diamonds are graded on the basis of their whiteness. From D to Z, GIA exercises a 23 Point Grade scale for diamonds, grading even the presence of glow in a diamond!

The majority of diamonds observe the color yellow as a shade other than white and this is why the lack of color of a diamond is equivalent to the higher pricing. After deciding the cut of a diamond, color is the most important aspect of choosing your invincible dream diamond!

Color refers to the chemical impurities that may have seeped into the diamond during crystallization, or structural problems in the lattice of the diamond.

Diamonds are available in a variety of colors such as blue, red, steel gray, green, black, purple, steel gray, pink, brown and yellow. All diamonds are dissected into two categories based on how impurities present in a diamond affect their color. The categories are- Type IaA and Type IaB. The former category explains diamonds with nitrogen (0.1%) in the diamond. If the nitrogen found is paired, there is no change to the color of the diamond while the latter refers to nitrogen atom paired and in clusters. This tends to give a yellow hue to the diamond.

History of Diamond Color

History terms sorting out of diamonds by the renowned firms of London Diamond Syndicate as the first grading of diamonds based on color. There were many reasons and results of the lack of proper color grading system for diamonds in the early century, but the earliest grades were I, II and III; A, AA and AAA; A, B and C.

Later, research improved and diamonds were distinguished based on colors like a river, blue white, golconda, cape, gem blue, blue white, brown, jagers and cape. With about 98% of diamonds as Type IaA, there is even distinct color allotted based on the region where it is acquired from. The diamond color grading of Cape diamond refers to the source of the diamond- Cape Province, Africa, while Canary diamonds are diamonds with scattered nitrogen inside, also radiating a Brown hue. The Blue color in diamonds refers to the scattered impurity of Boron and Green diamonds are a result of GR1 Color Centers, noticed mostly under radiation.

Pink color in diamonds owes it to plastic imperfections in the crystal lattice of the rock while black diamonds are a result of gray or black inclusions intrinsic to the diamond. In addition, purple diamonds are colored such due to its high composition of hydrogen and a range of crystal lattice flaws.

Color Scale of Diamonds

From colorless to steel grey, there is a wide array of colored diamonds today. While most white diamonds are priced higher than colored varieties, there are many rare rocks like the hope diamond, where price variations are dramatic!

·         Colorless

This is the highest quality of color available for diamonds, denoting that the rock is pure white and has no other tints. The rarest diamond color of ‘D’ is also high-priced and is termed under the broad category of colorless diamonds of D, E and F. ‘E’ denotes a difference from D that is clear to a skilled diamond expert alone. ‘F’ is the cheapest option on the premium colors of diamonds and radiate a shade of color that is visible solely under magnification or special light.

The three categories differ by a margin of $700 with the immediate lower grade of color.

·         Near Colorless

Comprising of 4 color shades- G, H, I and J, Nearly Colorless type of diamonds are also not very obvious a non-white and needs an expert eye to confirm the presence of color. ‘G’ grade of diamonds look white and colorless while ‘H’ appears to have a dirtier shade of white when simultaneously colored with pure white diamonds. The slightly shaded category of ‘I’ diamonds radiate a subtle shade of its natural color, while a clever setting can nullify it. ‘J’ colored diamonds on the other hand has a strong yellow tint, which is perfect for matching with gold settings.

In nearly colorless diamonds, prices hike by 15%- 20% with each lower grade of color. Take care to use platinum to set the diamonds that have a color grade of H, G, D, E and F while gold for the other grades.

·         Faint Color

The faintly colored category of diamonds comprise of three categories of diamond colors- K, L and M. K grade diamonds have a visible tint that can be softened by choosing a complementary setting. L and M are visibly colored and difficult to mar during the setting.

·         Very Light Color

Comprising of two color grades- N and R, Very Light Colored diamonds are cheaper and have a visible strong tint of brown or yellow. The diamonds under these categories are often termed as Top Light Brown variety of diamonds.

·         Light Color

These categories of diamond colors are chosen only if the wearer strictly wanted the color. The color choices cannot be nullifying for a darker shade of diamonds under this category. Most reputed online diamond geezers like Lumera Diamonds do not sell any of the Light Color varieties of diamonds.

What should you worry about?

You must take care that the diamond geezer is not ripping you off by showing the diamond under a sensitive light. Always make sure to observe your diamond under proper lights and appraise to ensure that the diamond is not a nearly colorless diamond, if your diamond is pure white. Diamond buyers must worry about fancy colored diamonds being passed off as genuine colored diamonds.

As aforementioned that red is a rare diamond, there are many notorious diamond vendors who might trick you into selling brown diamonds as red. Hence, appraising the true shade of the diamond is mandatory when choosing colored diamonds.

If you’re looking for a cost-efficient colored diamond, often you can get ripped off paying for a cheap diamond, unaware of the value of your stone. While G until J color of diamonds are best for people looking for colorless high quality diamonds capable of making the maximum of brilliance.  Sometimes, depending on the number of faucets, the color of a diamond can diminish too.

What should you be proud of?

Best known to complement a colored diamond is its setting and cut. In fact, with features such as fluorescence, colored diamonds can be turned truly unique. Colored diamonds are available at a 1% rate, with respect to white diamonds. The rarest colors of diamonds are orange, blue, green and red. Every year, the price of colored diamonds increases by a rate of 10%- 20% and are scientifical, a better option than the colorless rocks.

Studies claim that colored diamonds can repair its own flaws much effectively than colorless ones, which highlight any blemish on the rock, immediately!

How does the grading of Color of diamonds take place?

A diamond is graded by what our naked eyes do not notice. Diamond cutters use two different types of tools to cut colorless and colored diamonds. Colored diamonds are often referred to as fancy diamonds, with a color grade of Faint and below falling into this category. For all shades of diamonds other than yellow or brown, there is no category. In fact, blue or Green diamonds will not fall under the diamond color scale and will be reported with the shade of blue observed in the rock.

Under neutral lighting, gemologists begin by noting the colorlessness of the rock by using master stones. According to the GIA color grading from D to Z, master stones are placed. Now, gemologists place the diamond sandwiched between two other stones and detect the variations.

Some other color terms used for colored diamonds are White, Milky, Fancy Dark, Opaque and Gray. The viticulture term like cognac, coffee and champagne are also used to refer to colored diamonds.

What Color of Diamond will look good for just-engaged Couples?

If you’re a diamond lover for its searing white sparkle, or a purist, the best diamond color for you is the colorless variety of diamonds. If you like the classic option, the same will match your character and complement your personality. For wedding jewelry, white or colorless diamonds is a striking choice that is symbolic to cherish.

If you’re stern on getting a dream colored ring as your engagement ring, make sure to choose a valid color that is natural to the diamond and is exactly the shade that you want. Often, the true color of a diamond surfaces after the wedding. If you don’t want to regret getting the wrong hue of diamond, let alone you feel the rock is just a random painted rock, make sure to try your bauble well before the final billing. Engagement rings are also made in fancy colors like red, black, pink and blue too.

Diamond laboratories use a total of 90 hues, 27 main to categorize the colored rocks such as Red, Orange-like-Red, Red-like-Orange, orange, Yellow-like-Orange, Orange-Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Orange-like-Yellow, , Green-like-Yellow, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green-Yellow, Yellow-like-Green, Green, Blue-like-Green, Green-Blue, Blue-Green, Green-like-Blue, Blue, Violet-like-Blue, Blue-like-Violet, , Purple, Violet Red-like-Purple, Purple-Red, Red-Purple and Purplish-Red.

Unless the bride is plotting of taking 27 different diamond samples and cross-checking every foot, it is easy to mask the color of the diamond up to 3 grades.

The considerations for Color Grading

As gemological institutes spur the colorful diamonds of the lowest grades, color grading is based on many parameters that conclude the optimum safe colors of diamonds. For grading a diamond by its color, gemologists use many parameters like its glow and complimentary metals.

·         Color according to Cut

As the face arrangement within a diamond determines the total color that it radiates, it is good to choose diamonds that are cut in a way to highlight the color or lack of color of your diamond.

  • Cushion and Radiant- 8
  • Heart, Marquise, Oval and Pear- 7
  • Asscher and Emerald- 6
  • Princess-5
  • Round- 3

·         Fluorescence

Another notable factor that evaluates the depth of color in a diamond is the adjoining fluorescence, if at all. Fluorescent diamonds are priced lower than non-fluorescent diamonds. While fluorescence can be used to make a diamond look whiter, it can also make certain colored diamonds look too flimsy.

While strong fluorescence tends to dull the brilliance of the rock, it can make a diamond with colors of Very Slightly and Slightly Colorless appears purer. An economical model to pick up is a rock with blue fluorescence on a diamond color of J or K.

Most Type IaA diamonds display fluorescence and can be used to decrease the total cost of a diamond. To know more about Fluorescence in diamonds from DPA, click here.

The Bottom Line

With minute changes to choosing a setting that highlights your stone, like platinum for colorless diamonds can help to assert the brilliance of the rock as well. Depending upon the cut and carat of a stone, the color or lack of color becomes more obvious or oblivious.

With smart choices, you can use colored diamonds for a cost effecting buy, but if you’re a purist, settle for nothing but the highest color grade of colorless diamonds. Colored diamonds are available in 12 base shades, 90 hues, 9 intense-shades and 230 color combinations, if you’re looking for color combinations!

As the carat, cut and polish of the stone is supreme as well to determine the light effect of a diamond, choosing a colored diamond look daunting. One tip is to choose the popular most three colored diamonds of 2016- Pink, Yellow and Champagne!

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