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Colour Grade

Colour Grade

All diamonds are graded on their colour - or rather, lack of colour. The less colour a diamond has, the more highly prized and valuable it is. Because diamonds are natural substances, they can vary greatly in colour from clear to shades of yellow or even brown.

  • The colour grade tells you how close to colourless a diamond is
  • Diamonds with less colour are more valuable and rare
  • Diamonds naturally range in colour from clear to shades of yellow

The presence of colour in a diamond is graded using letters, with D, E and F being reserved for diamonds possessing the very best colour, i.e. colourless. The grading scale runs all the way to Z and any diamond displaying a stronger colour than this is classed as fancy coloured, along with diamonds in other colours such as pink and blue.

Colour Chart

Colourless
An illustration of a D coloured diamond An illustration of an E coloured diamond An illustration of an F coloured diamond
D E F
Near Colourless
An illustration of a G coloured diamond An illustration of an H coloured diamond An illustration of an I coloured diamond An illustration of a J coloured diamond
G H I J

 

Did You Know?
You’ll never find a diamond with a colour grade of A, B, or C. That’s because in the early days of diamond grading several conflicting grading systems used the letters A, B and C along with numbers or Roman numerals. When the GIA introduced their colour grading scale, they started it at D to avoid any confusion with these earlier grades.

To determine the colour grade, gemmologists carefully examine every diamond under controlled lighting conditions, comparing it with a "paint chart" set of diamonds called master-stones, which are perfect examples of the best possible colour in each grade. 

Colour is easier to detect when a diamond is laid face down because the closeness of the facets greaten the effect. When a diamond is face up and especially when it’s placed into a setting, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between one colour grade and the next. This means you can get excellent value by choosing a stone in the near-colourless range (G-J) as it will still look colourless to the unaided eye.

Colour Guide

D Absolutely Colourless Extremely rare diamond with no trace of colour. The highest grade available.
E - F Colourless Extremely faint traces of colour detectable only by an experienced gemmologist. Appears colourless and indistinguishable from a D grade to the unaided eye. Very rare and valuable.
G - H Near-colourless Very faint tint appears colourless to the unaided eye except when directly compared with stones of a higher quality. This grade offers excellent value.
I - J Near-colourless Faint tint only noticeable when directly compared with stones of a higher quality. An excellent choice grade which balances budget and beauty.
K - Z Faint Yellow Colour is visibly noticeable. We do not offer stones of this quality.

 

We Say
Along with the cut grade, colour has a big impact on a diamond’s beauty but is still very difficult to detect in grades G-J. Consider dropping a colour grade for a diamond that’s easy on your wallet as well as your eyes.