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Home  /  Advice   /  Colour of a diamond; the April Birthstone

We recently added to our journal a post on the cut of diamond and here we follow on to explain a little about the colour and clarity of a diamond. As mentioned in our last post we are advocates of the independent certification board the Gemmological Institute of America (this isn’t an ad), please see our last post to explain why we use their certification method here.

It was the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) that standardised the diamond grading system that is now internationally recognised and used though out the diamond markets and jewellery trade. They wanted to distinguish their new grading system from any others that were utilised before hence their colour grading begins with the letter D and leads to the letter Z. Past the letter Z is a whole other scale to explain the fancy coloured diamonds but that would be a different blog post altogether. D is the purest of colourless diamonds, colours D E and F are known in the trade as collection colours. These colours are the crème de la crème of which you are often in awe when you see a stone of this colour as it is so captivatingly fresh. Colours G H and I are still up with the collection colour gods but are used more commercially as these are still regarded as ‘white stones’. From J and below you start to see colour tints becoming more and more yellow the further down the scale you go.

GIA colour scale

Diamonds are assessed on colour from looking through the side of the stone because when you look through the top of the stone the sparkle can be somewhat distracting and the colour can appear better than what it actually is. Looking at the image below you can really see the colours coming out as you go further down the colour scale. We diamond graders use a master set of stones to compare colours of stones in our possession and very particular lighting. Most people cannot differentiate between one colour and the next one, a trained eye helps. Again this is why you need to trust your jeweller and what they are sourcing.

Diamond colour diagram

As the stones from H and above are still ‘white’ stones, they are still up with the gods and by choice this is our starting point for sourcing. We don’t go below this point unless specifically requested by our clients. Colour is yet another variable to play around with, the purer the colour the rarer it is and therefore the price will reflect that accordingly.   There is a lot of information to absorb about the 4 C’s of a diamond, they truly are a mathematical equation when it comes to the cut, teamed with all the variables with colour, carat and clarity, diamond buying can truly be a minefield when you don’t know what you are looking for.  Email us if you would like any more information.


All images obtained from https://www.gia.edu

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