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One of the first questions you may ask the moment you enter a jewelry store is about the best color of a diamond. Everyone has their own unique styles and tastes, though, so “the best” will be all about your personal tastes. So, today’s blog will be there to show you how to judge whether or not a specific diamond color is the “best” for you.
What is the best color for a diamond? There are many factors involved in “the best” color of a diamond for you including your taste, the setting, the shank, the shape, and the 3 Cs of the diamond. Your budget is the first factor that determines the listed criteria above. However, if the best for you means the rarest and most expensive, then a D colorless diamond is your answer.
Although choosing the color of your diamond engagement ring seems mostly a matter of taste and budget, several factors will affect the color of the diamond. If you are choosing a diamond for its sparkle, the information about how color and clarity affects the appearance of the diamond is necessary for choosing what color you think is best. Below, we have a few frequently asked questions about diamonds and answers so you can make a more informed decision.
What is the Color of a Diamond?
Diamond color is a reference to one of the 4 C’s of diamonds. In gemology, there are what is known as the 4 C’s of a diamond, Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. American Gem Society (AGS) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA) appraise the color grade within the framework of a spectrum. The color of diamonds falls into two main categories: fancy colored diamonds and colorless diamonds, each possessing their own color spectrum for appraisal.
To evaluate color, GIA, AGS, and other diamond laboratories put the diamond upside down against a flat surface. By looking at the sides of a diamond, rather than its top view, the color is more noticeable. You may have even noticed that most diamond engagement rings in the market fall under the colorless category, the most accessible and common color set for diamonds to have falls into the colorless spectrum. Laboratories appraise the color based on a ranged color scale, starting from D – which is colorless, and ending in the letter Z, which is known as the light color scale. Each of the labels is associated with a particular amount of yellow tint in the diamond’s color.
Fancy colors include red, pink, gray, orange, violet, blue, yellow, white, black, green, and brown, just like different colors in a rainbow spectrum. Fancy colors are extremely rare in their natural form. Only one out of ten thousand diamonds have one of the natural fancy colors. If you intend to buy an engagement ring with a natural fancy color diamond, you must count on a high budget. You will probably encounter some inexpensive diamonds in the market with fancy colors. They are irradiated, and they do not possess the value of a naturally colored diamond coming from the earth.
Diamond Color Chart
GIA uses the diamond color chart below as its standard grading for appraisal:
D – F
The rarest categoryIcy color
Platinum and White Gold
G – J
Tints of yellow or brownThe most popular and usedResembling the colorless group and can bebetter substitution with a lower price
Platinum and White Gold
K – M
Visible yellow colorWarm
N – R
Very noticeable yellow and brown color
Much Less Expensive
S – Z
Obviously yellow or brownNot very much wanted
Almost Half the Price
As you can see, the GIA diamond color grade begins with the letter D and ends with the letter Z. The reason for this choice of grading is that GIA came up with a brand new grading system and wanted it to be set apart from the others, which have their scales start with the letter A, or use numbers. Since the GIA scale was such a unique innovation, it’s now accepted as the de facto color grading scale.
The grades in the diamond color chart starting from D is considered “Absolutely Colorless” and to the last alphabetic letter, which is Z, has an obvious yellow tint. Looking at the chart, you will notice that the design of the diamond follows how much it’s worth. When you get your diamond appraised at the GIA laboratory, the experts appraise it by comparing its color with an assembled set of diamonds, each one representing a specific color grade. If you wish to see the process in which GIA assesses the diamond color grade, please watch this video below:
What Color Grade is Best for Diamonds?
The truth is, there’s no specific answer to that question. It all depends on you and your preferences. If you have an unlimited budget, then the best two categories for you would be in the colorless group, D, E, and F, or the fancy intense colored diamonds, which are both incredibly rare. On a limited budget, however, you are better off choosing one of the lower grade color diamonds, but that doesn’t mean that you’re choosing a ‘lesser’ diamond. A good choice of ring and shape of diamond can always make any diamond look amazing.
There is a large price difference between two colors of different grades of diamonds and more importantly, a price difference in different categories. This is the reason that we cannot declare one color as “the best” for everyone. It is true that a diamond with a D color grade does reflect light better, and has some of the highest radiance, so there will be more demand for a higher color grade. The radiance of your gem is not only dependent on its color and clarity, but also by the metal band and the setting as well. The blog here will help you define diamond color and clarity grades, as well as prices for customers:
The colorless group, especially the D color, has an icier look, especially if you choose white gold or platinum for the metal band. Another key factor is the size of the diamond, which indicates the amount of yellow or brown color involved. The bigger a diamond, the more it shows that yellow or brown tint color in the diamond. The shape of the diamond is also important, for a round diamond hides the yellow color while an emerald or pear magnifies it. However, many people are into warm colors, and they choose K-M grades, which belong to the category of “faint”. Another especially important factor is the engagement ring you intend to buy, and whether it is a solitaire or something with more than one diamond. The importance lies in the fact that every person seeing your diamond engagement ring will notice the color difference, so you have to choose the same color for both the center diamond and the paves, or the diamonds that are along the shank. The matter of taste that determines “the best” for different people.
Which Color Diamond is the Most Valuable?
The D color diamond possesses the highest price value. The D color, which is the first diamond color grade we encounter in the Diamond Dolor Scale Chart, is absolutely colorless, so it is the most expensive color grade for a diamond. The E and F grades fall into the category of “colorless”, which is the most valuable group color in the scale of GIA diamonds.
If by “the most valuable” you mean the most luxurious, glamorous, and expensive, the first color group is what you are looking for. Among the first category, the first color grade, which is the D color, is the most expensive and valuable one. In the GIA color diamond scale, the more colorless a diamond looks, the more it is sought after. The slight yellow or brown color involved in near-colorless diamonds causes the natural color light to reflect less. The faint yellow or brown tint in the colorless diamond represents the involvement of nitrogen in the chemical mixture of the diamond that happened hundreds of miles under the crust of the Earth. Therefore, it is a vastly different color compared to a fancy yellow or brown diamond, which is even more expensive than a colorless diamond. Natural fancy colors, of which we can refer to pink, blue, yellow, green, orange, white, gray, brown, red, yellow, and violet, have separate scales for appraisal. Their price is high due to their rarity, for one in every ten thousand diamonds possess a natural fancy color. Therefore, when you speak about the most valuable color for a diamond, your word is interpreted as the most expensive color grade among the colorless diamonds.