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Diamond Color In A Nut Shell

Interested in color?

Want to know how it affects the beauty of a diamond?

The good thing is, color is a visual thing. You eyes can see color, unlike small microscopic inclusions inside a stone.

And on the market right now, you’ll normally find 9 popular colors: D-L (this isn’t all of the colors, just the ones most commonly found).

Take a peek:

D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L Diamond Color

Generally you won’t see diamond color represented by real diamonds. You often see them as a diagram or drawing, like the colors in the small image above, where they visually make more sense.

But the bigger image is the real deal. And as you can see, the shifts in color and hue are slight. The colors are way more apparent when viewed from a side view, as such:

Diamond Color Side View

From the side, color is more pronounced. This is because the top view exhibits brilliance and sparkle and light. It hinders color and makes it harder to see.

Most people don’t like a yellow diamond. Especially hues beyond K… those are not desirable.

That is, unless we’re talking about color enhanced yellow diamonds, or fancy yellow diamonds (which are beyond the letter Z in the color grading chart). That’s a whole different story. When the yellow color is bright and vivid, they become highly marketable.

Color Enhanced Yellow Diamonds vs Fancy Yellow Diamonds

Now let’s see what the colors mean…

Looking at colors D (the best) through L (the top 9) this is what their descriptions are:

D Diamond Color:

D color is the most valuable color. It’s at the top of the list and there is nothing higher. D color returns the maximum amount of white light possible from any diamond. It’s bright, rare, and perfectly void of color.

E Diamond Color:

E diamond color is also colorless. E color is a bright white that really makes a diamond pop (like there’s a spot-light on the stone). E color is my favorite color and I highly recommend them. They make you say “WOW!

F Diamond Color:

F diamond color is the last diamond in the pure-white category range. They return white light and will make a diamond look bigger, brighter, and whiter then any near-colorless diamond.

G Diamond Color:

G color is at the top of the near-colorless color range. It’s still considered a white diamond (fine white), and faces up wonderfully and light. Most people will never see any color in a G whatsoever, even placed side by side with a pure-white stone.

H Diamond Color:

H diamond color is also fine white. It’s the lowest color grade that I normally recommend. H is white and doesn’t show any color of yellow from the top-down view (unless you put them next to each other, like shown above). From a side view, you could probably see some hue, but from the top; beautiful.

I Diamond Color:

I color and lower is where you finally start to visually see a shift in color. I color looks darker and not as bright as the whiter stones. But still, most people would never notice this unless you pointed it out to them. I color is an average color and probably the #1 diamond color you’ll run across in stores (because of their abundance in nature).

J Diamond Color:

J color is at the lower end of the near-colorless list. These stones often display yellow or brown in hue, and many look darker, have diminished brilliance, and many times looked stained, old, used, or antique. If you put a J up against a D, you’ll really see a huge difference in tone.

K Diamond Color:

K diamonds do have a yellow cast or hue. Most of the times it’s pretty obvious and people will try to wipe the stone (thinking it’s a film or dirt over the diamond), but it’s actually the color and it’s in the stone forever. K diamonds are yellow, cheaper, but can actually be hidden by placing them into a yellow gold mounting.

L Diamond Color:

L diamond color and lower, are really yellow. No hiding those. Yellow, brown, sometimes even gray in hue, they are not so pretty, and tend to darken the stone plenty. Like shadows or low-light.

My recommendation:

Stick with G-H colors or higher (and please, check out pure-white diamonds, their lack of color is stunning). White diamonds look bigger, brighter, and of course, whiter. They’re worth every penny.

See some pure-white diamonds here at James Allen. You’ll fall in love too!

Cheers! :)

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Top Diamond Vendors:

James Allen

James Allen

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Blue Nile

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