What is diamond colour and why is it important? 

When you think of diamonds, you might imagine a sparkling, colourless – almost white – gemstone. However, diamonds come in a variety of colours, due to natural variations. This diversity has a significant impact on their appearance and value. Let’s get into diamond colour, and what it means. 

What is diamond colour? 

Diamond colour refers to the presence or absence of colour in a diamond. The most high-value diamonds are ‘colourless’ (or as near to as possible). However, some people actually prefer a diamond with some colour in, as they provide interesting and unique variations on the stone, despite technically being worth less than a colourless gem. 

The diamond colour grading scale: 

The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) has established a standardised grading scale for diamond colour. This scale ranges from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Let’s take a closer look at each category: 

  • D, E, F (colourless): These diamonds are the most valuable because they are truly colourless. These are very rare, and very expensive. 
  • G, H, I, J (Near colourless): These diamonds appear nearly colourless to the naked eye and offer an excellent balance between amazing quality and good value. The upper end of this scale are the stones we would recommend. 
  • K, L, M (Faint yellow): These diamonds have a faint yellow hue that becomes more noticeable as you move down the scale. They are typically more affordable than near-colourless diamonds. 
  • N to Z (Light yellow to light brown): Diamonds in this range exhibit noticeable colour, which can affect their brilliance and value. These are often used in jewellery of less value or are used by people who enjoy the unique colours and purposefully want an ‘off colour’ diamond. 

Why diamond colour matters: 

The colour of a diamond impacts its appearance, value, and overall appeal in several ways: 

  • Brilliance: Colourless and near-colourless diamonds allow more light to pass through and, as a result, display more brilliance and sparkle. The better the colour grade = the sparklier the diamond. 
  • Size Perception: Diamonds with higher colour grades tend to appear larger than diamonds of the same carat weight with lower colour grades. 
  • Value: The closer a diamond is to being colourless, the more valuable it is. Because colourless diamonds are so rare, it makes them more sought after. 

Want to know more about diamonds? 

Get in touch with our friendly team of experts, who will be happy to answer any of your questions. You can also learn more about the 4C’s here, in our articles such as; What is diamond cut? What is diamond clarity? And what is diamond carat?