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Jewelry Education

Color

It is the absence of color, or colorlessness that makes a diamond most desirable. The less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is. Most diamonds pick up other chemical elements while crystallizing, which result in altering shades of brown, gray, or yellow. The fact that so few diamonds are colorless is the reason they are so costly. Color in a diamond is an important factor relating to its beauty, rarity, and value because it is something that you can see with the naked eye.

A color grading system was standardized to accurately indicate the amount of color present in each diamond. The color grading scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America is the most widely accepted in the world. It uses the letters of the alphabet to indicate color. The letter "D" represents the “colorless” grade, with a total lack of color or purest white. As you move down the alphabet scale through near colorless, to faint yellow you will see an increase in the tint of yellow that you can see with the naked eye. As a diamond's tint increases its value decreases. The differences between color grades are so minute that they are difficult to discern even to a skilled diamond grader.

Although the majority of diamonds come in shades of white, diamonds are also found in a variety of rare majestic colors from red to brilliant canary yellow, light blue, pink, green, brown, and even black diamonds. These diamonds are designated as natural fancy color diamonds, and are valued for their unusual color just as white diamonds are valued for their lack of color. Please note that these fancy colored diamonds are graded by an entirely different grading scale. These standards take into consideration various factors such as hue and saturation. Fancy colored diamonds are the most expensive because of their extreme rarity (please see our section on Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds in the Learn section).

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