Decoding Diamond Colour: What You Need To Know
Few things in life rival the breathtaking beauty of a sparkling diamond. Mined from the depths of the Earth’s mantle, these rough gems have been polished to stunning perfection by diamond specialists for centuries with their colours ranging from colourless to yellow, brown, and beyond. Consequently, every diamond is unique, making it a prized gemstone to gift when celebrating one’s eternal love and one-of-a-kind romance. In this piece, we will focus specifically on the diamond colour aspect of the 4Cs, exploring its importance in determining a diamond's value and understanding the diamond colour grade chart to assist you in choosing the perfect diamond.
The mid-20th century saw the introduction of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) universal grading standard to transparently judge the quality and value of a gemstone using four characteristics known as the 4Cs of diamond quality: cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. Ever since, this industry standard has allowed jewellers and purchasers alike to understand and compare diamonds. This grading process further enables diamonds to be sold with a grading certificate detailing their individual cut, colour, clarity and carat weight characteristics.
When it comes to determining a diamond’s value, diamond colour is the second most important factor after the diamond cut. But what does diamond colour actually mean? How can the diamond colour grade chart assist you when choosing the perfect diamond to reflect your unique personality and special occasion?
Understanding Diamond Colour and Colour Grading
Diamonds come in a spectrum of vivid, fancy colours, including spellbinding blue, exquisite green, regal red and dazzling yellow. These fancy coloured diamonds are rare, highly prized for their gorgeous hues and more expensive than white diamonds.
With respect to white, non-fancy diamonds, it may come as a surprise to many that the diamond colour scale evaluates these gemstones based on the absence of colour, as many tend towards yellowish/brownish tints. So, when it comes to diamond colour as it relates to the 4Cs, we actually refer to colourless diamonds. The process of assessing these diamonds involves using a colour grading scale or colour grade chart (as seen above) to better target a wider range of search queries.
Why Colour In Diamonds Matters
Colour in a stone is important because it affects a diamond’s transparency and appearance. In gemological terms, less yellow colour in a white diamond means higher quality. As the yellow tint increases, the price decreases. Therefore, the colour of a diamond establishes its value – the more colourless and pure white, the greater the much-desired prismatic flashes and dispersion of sparkling colour reflected by the diamond.
White diamonds are classified into a certain colour range according to the universal D–Z colour grading system, where D means the stone is colourless and Z means the gem has a strong yellow or brown tint. All diamonds after ‘Z’ grade on the colour scale are fancy coloured (not colourless) and have a separate grading scale.
Diamond Colour Chart
Our diamond colour chart guide can help you better understand the differences between higher and lower diamond colour grades before purchasing diamond jewellery for any occasion.
D–F coloured diamonds: The GIA grading scale rates D–F coloured diamonds as colourless. To the naked untrained eye, D, E and F diamond colour differences are virtually undetectable and only expert geologists can discern subtle colour variations using special magnification tools. These high-quality diamonds are rare and the most valuable because they have no visible colour tint as judged by GIA’s stringent industry standards.
G–H coloured diamonds: Diamonds in this range are near colourless. Although the colour may be discernible when comparing these diamonds to higher graded stones, G–H coloured diamonds offer excellent value when they have optimal cuts and clarity.
I–J coloured diamonds: When viewed face up, I–J coloured diamonds may appear colourless but exhibit a light-yellow tint when tilted at an angle.
The remaining grades in the diamond colour chart are K–M (Faint Yellow), N–R (Very Light Yellow) and S–Z (Light Yellow).
What is the Best Diamond Colour?
The best diamond colour for you is largely determined by your personal preference. As Australia’s premier fine diamond house and bespoke jeweller, Charles Rose predominantly carry D–F coloured white diamonds because we are committed to providing only the highest quality gemstones – our guarantee to you. Diamond colours in the D–F grade are not only visually spectacular when masterfully handcrafted and flawlessly polished, but offer unparalleled brilliance, exceptional fire and spectacular shimmer. Our exclusive collection of diamond engagement rings showcase the captivating prismatic radiance of our high graded and perfectly proportioned gemstones. Charles Rose also offers an elegant range of high colour and impeccably cut diamond bracelets, pendants and earrings in classically stylish and dazzlingly bold designs.
How Does Diamond Shape Impact Colour
Understanding how a diamond's form impacts its colour can vastly enhance your diamond selection process. The shape of a jewel has the potential to either emphasise a colour flaw or cleverly conceal it. The way a diamond is cut or its shape can enhance its brilliance, as the facets are designed to reflect colour rather than illuminate any flaws within the gemstone itself. Any existing colour within the diamond could potentially impart a filter on its brilliance, possibly reducing the fiery aesthetic allure that diamonds are generically known for.
As a general rule, the circular, brilliant-cut diamond tends to mask colour better than other diamond shapes. This shape incorporates numerous petite facets which play off against the existing colour of the diamond. On the other hand, diamonds that possess extensive facets- examples being emerald, oval, or pear shapes - typically display more colour.
Buying Tips: Choosing Your Perfect Diamond Colour
When selecting your perfect diamond, it is important to remember that colour in a white stone is actually a negative quality and is best avoided as it interferes with light reflection and obstructs the gem’s visible sparkle. Choose diamonds assigned with higher colour grades, as they exhibit less colour.
Another key factor to consider is whether the diamond appears colourless with respect to the jewellery setting. It is best to choose a metal that complements a diamond’s colour grade. This is because metals can accentuate colour by casting a glow or can de-emphasise tints. Our meticulously finished, gorgeous array of precious metals accentuate the striking beauty of our high-quality fine diamonds in every Charles Rose jewellery design.
Diamond cut is also a crucial consideration. As our guide to diamond cut highlights, cut is the most important of all diamond characteristics because a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle are mostly influenced by the cut. So, a lower cut quality diamond will have minimal fire, scintillation and brilliance. Coupled with a lower colour grade, these two diamond characteristics will adversely affect your diamond’s sparkle, leaving you with a dull and lacklustre stone with minimal visible shimmer.
Before choosing your perfect diamond, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of the 4Cs of diamonds. Our ultimate guides to diamond cut, diamond clarity and diamond carat weight qualities explain these key diamond characteristics, helping you to make a more informed decision.
Book a consultation with a Charles Rose diamantaire to further discuss the diamond 4Cs and view our full fine diamond jewellery collection in-store at our Melbourne or Geelong showrooms. Our specialist jewellers are always available to expertly guide you through the diamond purchasing process.
Select your perfect diamond with the assistance of Charles Rose – purveyors of Australia’s finest high-quality diamonds.
Authored by Marcus Rose, third-generation custodian of Charles Rose Jewellers' legacy since 1995. Upholding the founders' values of superior quality and unparalleled beauty, Marcus ensures every meticulously crafted piece tells its own unique, enchanting story.
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