Diamond Color Grading

 
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Pink Diamonds
Diamond Color Grading

As explained in what diamonds are, diamonds are a crystalline form of Carbon. A perfectly formed crystal of pure Carbon would be colorless, however because of lattice defects, and the presence of various impurities, some diamonds are colored.

Brightly colored diamonds are among the most famous diamonds in the world, and are especially rare and valuable. Such colored diamonds are described as "fancy green", "fancy blue", "fancy pink", etc.

There is no universal agreement, or guideline on when a diamond would be considered a "fancy" color, but in the vast majority of gem diamonds, color is not a valuable attribute - it can actually detract from the diamond's value - colorless diamonds are preferred.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a letter grading system to identify diamond color grades (note: fancy colors are not include in the grading system):

Color Grade Description Recommended Setting
Colorless D to F D to F grade diamonds are colorless diamonds. The differences between grades are subtle and usually can only be detected by a gemologist doing a side-by-side comparison. Because these diamonds are colorless, D to F grades are best set in white gold or platinum. Yellow gold settings result in the diamond reflecting the color of the metal, negating the colorless effect.
Near colorless G to J G to J grade diamonds are nearly colorless, and are generally less valuable than D to F grade diamonds. Because they are almost colorless, these grades can be set in white gold or platinum.
Faint color K to M K to M grade diamonds are faintly colored, usually with a yellow tint that is easily seen by the naked eye. These diamonds are considerably less valuable than G to J grades. Because these diamonds are already colored, they are suitable for setting in yellow gold.
Very Light Color N to R N to R grade diamonds have an easily visible yellow or brown tint, and are considerably less expensive than other grades. As a result, they are not widely used as gem stones. -.
Light Color S to Z S to Z grade diamonds have an easily visible color. As a result, they are not widely used as gem stones. -.



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