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The Diamond Color Ultimate Guide: What Is the Color of a Diamond?

Did you know that diamond color essentially refers to a lack of color? When certifying many gem-quality diamonds, the color evaluation ...

Did you know that diamond color essentially refers to a lack of color? When certifying many gem-quality diamonds, the color evaluation process often focusses on the lack or absence of color on the diamonds under evaluation. For this reason, a structurally perfect and chemically pure diamond will not have any hue. Its looks are easily equated to those of a drop of pure water, which means that its value will be subsequently higher.


According to the Pricescope diamond forum, a great source for information on diamonds, there exist different diamond color grading scales, as shown in this diamond color chart, however, AGS and GIA continue to be the most widely used grading charts. If you have ever bought a stone before, you probably know and understand the importance of diamond certification. Certification is mainly used in assessing the quality of a stone based on the 4C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat). AGS Diamond Grading System The AGS (American Gem Society) certification system uses a diamond grading system featuring the numbers 0 to 10. While this grading system is easy to understand, you should note the highest possible grade in the scale is 0 while 10 is the lowest. Quite easy, right? Using this AGS grading system, it means a diamond having a grade of 3 is a stone that has less color compared to a similar stone graded as 5. At this point, we should point out that stones that have less color are harder to find, and will thus cost more to acquire.

Whenever a diamond expert is grading a precious stone following the AGS scale, the expert will start by writing its Cut grade, followed by Color, then Clarity, and finally the Carat weight. For instance, if a stone has the finest diamond Cut grade, and has also been seen to be colorless, as well as free of blemishes and inclusions, which weights a single carat, the expert would proceed to write it as 0/0/0—1.000 carat. GIA Diamond Grading System The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification system uses the letters D to Z. It’s a grading system that involves measuring the colorlessness degree by comparing the diamond under precise viewing conditions to master stones of already established color value and controlled lighting. Often, the diamond color distinctions aren’t visible to the naked untrained eye due to their subtle nature. However, the distinctions tend to make a ton of difference when it comes to diamond pricing and quality. For GIA, diamonds graded D are the colorless stones. The color quality of the diamonds continues to decrease as you approach the letter Z

Z Color Graded Diamonds and Fancy Colors It’s common to assume that diamond graded Z using the GIA certification system is the fancy colored diamonds. In the US, the FTC hasn’t provided any instructions regarding the use of the phrase “fancy color. “ In the international stage, however, the term “fancy color” when referring to diamonds is used to denote brown or yellow-colored diamonds. These are diamonds that exhibit other colors apart from brown or yellow and have thus surpassed the Z master stone. 


By now you already know everything there’s to know about the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat). But the reality is that there’s more to buying a diamond, other than focusing on the size. You need to look beyond the size and focus on color, to get an idea of why colorless diamonds are not only desirable but also pricey. 

Image source: Pexels