The 4 C’s – Color



The color of any diamond has a significant impact on the overall price and may be referred to as the color value of the diamond.  Since the color differences are so light, it might be difficult to see, unaided, the variations in color between diamonds.

Colorless Diamonds

Most common are white or near-colorless diamonds - those with just a hint of color. A stone with the least color will display maximum brilliance.  Since color absorbs light, it therefore reduces the brilliance of a diamond.

Diamonds are rated on an alphabetical scale ranging from D to Z.

A typical 'white' diamond should be as colorless as possible - a rating of 'D' being the rarest and most desirable.  When choosing a colorless diamond it is advisable to stay within the D-J range or the diamond will have a yellow cast which lessens the value.

The less natural color the diamond has the more colors will appear in the flashes reflected in the prism.

Colorless diamonds are graded on the four C’s.

Colored Diamonds

The rareness of some colored diamonds impacts on their prices.  Blue, pink or yellow diamonds are limited and hard to locate thereby increasing the prices of these precious gems.

Colors such as red and green are very expensive due to their extreme rarity.

Colored diamonds have three characteristics by which they are graded being

  • hue - the dominant color of the stone,
  • tone - the light within the stone,
  • saturation - the intensity of the hue.


Fancy diamonds

Fancy diamonds with a rating over Z, come in a variety of shades and include famous diamonds such as the Blue Hope diamond.  A rare fancy color will demand a much higher price than a colorless diamond of many more carats.

Colored diamonds are categorized by the GIA into 9 different groups : Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid.  However grading colored diamonds presents another set of unique issues as other factors weigh upon the valuation of fancy colored diamonds.

Full information on the color of a diamond should appear in the description given on a Diamond Certification.