Diamond colour forms one of the four Cs that represent diamond quality and is, therefore, something to consider when making a jewellery purchase.
Interestingly, diamond colour in white diamonds is measured by the absence of colour, with a colourless diamond being the most valuable and a light yellow diamond being worth the least.
However, there are more diamonds to consider than just white diamonds, as you’re about to discover.
In this blog post, we will outline three fascinating facts you need to know about diamond colour.
1. Diamonds aren’t just white
What is the colour of a diamond? This question gets asked a lot — both online and off — so here’s your answer.
White diamonds are the classic and most popular diamonds and can be colourless or have a light yellow or brown shade to them; however, it is lack of colour that is celebrated in the white diamond.
The colour of a white diamond depends upon the level of nitrogen present as it’s forming in the earth, and more nitrogen leads to more colour.
When a large amount of nitrogen is present, a yellow diamond is created, and when other elements and radiation are present, other colours of diamond are formed, too.
Fancy diamonds can occur in any colour and include blue, red, green, pink, orange, purple, and black.
As with D-graded (colourless) white diamonds, coloured diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore highly valuable.
To give you an idea of rarity, for every 100,000 gem-quality diamonds being mined, around 15 are blue, 30 are green, 150-300 are pink, 300 are orange, and 1,800-2,100 are yellow.
Red diamonds are the rarest diamond colour, with the majority being mined from just one mine; the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. Only 30 red diamonds have ever been unearthed!
2. White diamond colour is graded from D to Z
Every white diamond is graded using the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) scale of D to Z, with D being entirely colourless and Z being light yellow or light brown in colour.
So, for example, G is seen as better than H in this diamond colour scale. However, the diamond you choose depends on many factors — including budget and the other Cs.
Here at Robert Gatward Jewellers, the majority of our engagement rings feature a diamond that’s graded D, E, F, G, or H on the GIA colour scale. Each diamond is hand-picked by our knowledgable team for its beauty and value.
According to the GIA colour scale for white diamonds:
- D, E and F are colourless, with D being 100 per cent colour-free.
- G, H and I are near colourless.
- J, K, L, and M display a faint yellow colouring.
- N, O, P, Q and R are very light yellow in colour.
- S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z are light yellow or light brown in colour, with Z displaying the most colour of them all.
3. Other factors can impact how a diamond’s colour looks
The colour of a diamond can look different based on several factors.
Firstly, colour is more visible is larger diamonds, so bear that in mind when making a purchase; if you’d like a larger diamond, it’s worth paying a little more for a white diamond with less colour.
Your diamond setting can also have an impact, with yellow gold casting a warm glow on your diamond and white gold and platinum casting a cool glow. So, you might wish to choose a colour grade that best compliments your precious metal preference — or the other way around.
Some diamond cuts are more prone to exhibiting their inherent body colour, so you may wish to consider a diamond’s cut in relation to its colour grade, too. Quality of cut is also a factor, but you don’t need to worry about that when shopping with us.
As a final note, elongated diamond shapes tend to display colour more, so also bear that in mind when selecting a diamond cut and colour grade.