The Four C’s of Diamonds – Color

Diamond Color

Each diamond is completely unique, which is one of the reasons diamonds hold such a special place in our hearts. But, even though your diamond will be special to you because of its individuality and what it represents, it is still a good idea to go shopping with a good understanding of what makes for a quality diamond.

Learning about the “four C’s” of diamonds, color in this case, helps you to buy with both your head and your heart.

Diamonds don’t have color, right?

Other than the fancy diamond exceptions like yellow diamonds, pink diamonds and blue diamonds, we don’t think of these stones as having color. When we measure the color of a traditional, or “white” diamond, we are actually measuring its lack of color.  The closer to “colorless” your diamond, the brighter it appears and the more it will sparkle. Almost all diamonds possess some color, but much of it is invisible to the naked eye.

Color Grades

Diamonds are graded by color, just as by cut and clarity. The grades break down into the following categories:

  • D, E, FColorless. A “D” diamond has less color than an E or F. However, all three grades are clear enough that you will not notice a difference. These diamonds are very rare.
  • G,H, INear Colorless – When facing up, these diamonds display no color. Turned upside down, a small amount of color may be visible, even to the naked eye. However, since diamonds are set right side up, you will never notice the color when choosing these grades of diamonds.
  • KFaint Color – These diamonds have some visible color in the face up position. This grade is a great choice if you plan to set your diamond in yellow gold. The diamond will pick up some color from the setting anyway, so you lose nothing by choosing this grade for your jewelry.

The Four C’s of Diamonds – Color Grades That are Best

When you purchase a diamond, your goal should be to get the best overall diamond for your budget. This means sacrificing in certain areas of the four C’s to get a better grade in another area.

Most diamond experts agree that choosing a diamond from the D, E, or F color grade is a waste of money for most consumers. G, H, and I graded diamonds are your best value for the money because any color in the diamond will be invisible to the naked eye, particularly after the diamond is set into a piece of jewelry.

You can make your best purchase by considering all four c’s of diamonds. Color, however, is often one of the least important. As long as you remember to choose a diamond that is mid-range in color, you will be able to get a beautiful diamond without spending too much money.

Remember that, in addition to learning about the four c’s, a reputable jeweler is your most important asset in choosing the right diamond.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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