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A diamond’s color impacts both its appearance and its value. When we speak of a diamond’s color, we are usually referring to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Color is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time. The diamond color grading scale is a continuum of color intensities ranging from colorless to obviously tinted.

Color grading of diamonds in the normal range is performed by viewing the diamond at a viewing distance of 12-15 inches.  The color grades are very small increments along this continuum starting at D and progressing to Z.

Diamonds are divided into 5 general categories, or diamond color grades, ranging from “Colorless” to “Light Yellow” with a lettering system from D to Z. The letter represents the amount of color present in each diamond when graded by a gemologist.

Colorless Diamonds (D-F)

Diamonds with D/E color are completely colorless whereas F color diamonds show a minute trace of color, detectable only to a trained gemologist.

  • D – perfectly colorless.
  • E – colorless.
  • F – colorless.

Near Colorless Diamonds (G-J)

G-J Diamonds appear colorless when viewed from the table (face up position).

  • G – top of the near colorless range
  • H – solidly near colorless.
  • I – solidly near colorless.
  • J – near colorless

Faint Yellow (K-L-M)

Beginning with K diamonds, color (usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by the naked eye.

Lightest Yellow (N-O-P)

Diamonds in the N-R color range have an easily seen yellow, but are much less expensive than higher grades.

Light Yellow (S-Z)

S-Z diamonds have too much color for a white diamond.


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