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Color - Diamond Education - NYG Laboratory Resources
Diamond Color
Diamond Color
Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow.
In general terms, the less color a diamond has the more valuable it is.
Natural diamonds have a wide range of colors ranging from completely colorless (the most desirable) to slightly yellow, or brown.
The color grading system for natural diamonds uses the letters of the alphabet from D through Z, with "D" representing the least color and therefore the rarest and most valuable, and "Z" having the most color within a normal range, and being the least expensive.
It is hard for the naked eye to see variations in color grades D through J unless the stones are being looked at side by side.
To obtain the most accurate color grade, graders usually place diamonds on their sides or upside-down against a neutral background, to help decrease the play of spectral colors that diamonds reflect.
Types of Color
Diamond Color
Different Color of Diamond

D-E-F (Colorless) :
  • The rarest and most valuable diamonds.
  • There are differences in color between D, E, and F diamonds.
  • They can be detected only by a gemologist in side by side comparisons, and rarely by the untrained eye.
  • Tip : D-E-F diamonds should only be set in white gold / platinum. Yellow gold reflects color, negating the diamond's colorless effect.

G-H-I-J (Near Colorless) :
  • More common than the higher grades.
  • They tend to be a great value.
  • An I-J diamond may retail for half the price of a D diamond.
  • Within the G-H-I-J range, price tends to increase 10-20% between each diamond grade.
  • Tip : G-H-I-J diamonds are suitable for a platinum or white gold setting, which would normally betray any hint of color in a diamond.

K-L-M (Faint Yellow) :
  • Beginning with K diamonds, a yellow tint is more easily detected by the naked eye.
  • K diamond is often half the price of a G diamond.
  • Tip : Set in yellow gold.

N-O-P-Q-R (Very Light Color) :
  • Slight or obvious color.
  • Diamonds in the N-O-P-Q-R color range have an easily seen yellow or brown tint.
  • Much less expensive than higher grades.

S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z (Light Color) :
  • For almost all customers, S-Z diamonds have too much color for a white diamond.
  • Very much less expensive than higher grades.
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