Diamond color -part of the famous “Four Cs” – rarely receives the attention it deserves. Sadly, this is one of the most distinguishable characteristics. For the purpose of this blog, we’re talking only about “white diamonds” not naturally colored fancy diamonds, such as blues, pinks or greens. Gemologists grade fancy diamonds on a different scale than white diamonds.
Diamond Color – How White is Right?
Diamond color varies more than you may anticipate. The GIA scale for white diamond color ranges from D to Z. Gemologists consider D diamonds colorless. Z-grade diamonds carry light color, seen as yellowish. When considering your budget, remember diamonds close in range can typically only be distinguished by a trained gemologist. For example, most people that are casually viewing your jewelry can’t tell the difference between a D and an F diamond. However, beware of any diamonds identified with a range instead of a specific letter grade. A diamond presented as a K-M means a jeweler estimated the color and it does not hold a true GIA certification.
You can make a diamond’s color appear whiter with a few tricks. The larger the diamond, the more obvious color traits you’ll see. If you have multiple stones in a setting, stay on the top end of the chart for diamonds weighing 1 carat or more. You might consider stones that might have a little more color for smaller accent stones. Diamonds with greater color appear whiter when set in yellow gold. However, if you have a colorless or near colorless D, E or F diamond, avoid yellow gold settings as it can reflect color in your pale stone.
Diamond color affects budget and value. However, let your final setting determine if you love a stone or not. For more information about diamonds, see our Diamond Education page.