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Quick Guide to Diamond Color

Diamonds are graded, judged, and measured in many ways. “Diamond geeks,” as they are sometimes called, can talk about diamonds until you, or the diamond in question, turns blue.

But most of the time it’s two aspects that dominate diamond discussions: color and clarity.  Here we’ll discuss color.

The generally accepted diamond color scale runs from a “D” grade, the highest, down to a “Z” grade, the worst -- except when it’s not worst.

You see, a “D” grade stone is clear, like glass.  As you go further down the scale, stones, generally speaking, become ever so slightly yellower and yellower. 

At a certain point, however, somewhere near “Z”, the stone is so yellow that it’s deemed a “Fancy Yellow” and may be sought after for its yellow look.

Grades “D” through “F” fit into the highly desirable colorless range.  There are extremely slight shades of difference among them – shades usually only recognizable to a professional.  And yet these grade differences do indeed strongly influence pricing.

Going further down the color scale, grades “G” through “J” are considered near colorless.  They, too, are separated by slight gradations in color and not-so-slight gradations in cost. 

The difference in color, from “G” to “J” would likely be noticeable to a non-professional looking for it, but is often imperceptible to most.

Beyond the “J” grade the presence of color becomes more clearly noticeable.  So, excluding those who seek “Fancy Yellow” stones, the vast majority of diamonds sold for beauty and fashion fall with the “D” to “J” grades.