Diamond Colour

Whether you're treating yourself or buying a special gift for a loved one, the colour of a diamond can play a huge role in your decision-making process. Not only can the particular shade or hue of the jewellery enhance its overall aesthetics, it can also reflect the particular grade and price of the piece. To find out more about diamond colours and how they impact on appearances and value, take a look at this diamond colour guide.


A so-called ‘perfect’ diamond of the highest purity is completely transparent, with no hue. Many people think of all diamonds as being entirely clear, whereas in reality, colourless stones are quite rare. In fact, very few gems are totally pure; the majority fall into the normal colour range (a grading system used by internationally recognised laboratories) and have subtle tints of yellow and brown.

Diamonds can also naturally occur in pink, orange, red, blue, green, purple,  black and other colours. It is the structural imperfections and chemical impurities that occur during the geological processes which create these colourations.The most intensely coloured diamonds are classified as ‘fancy colours’ and can garner extremely high prices due to their rarity. Out of the entire spectrum, red is believed to be the rarest hue.

Alongside carat, clarity and cut, the extent to which a diamond absorbs light and displays colour is one of the main factors that determines value when the stone is examined. As the tone intensity and various hues of a gem are directly associated with quality, the grade it falls under can cause dramatic variations in price. For example, if a yellow tint is identified in a diamond, the value will decrease. On the other hand, an intense pink or vivid blue can considerably enhance the price.

In the normal colour range, diamonds are graded by an absence of colouration. Thus, a stone with the highest grade on the diamond colour chart will be totally transparent. However, distinguishing between the highest grades in smaller mounted stones is almost impossible to the untrained eye.

Our stones are graded using the following diamond colour scale:

Colourless Nearly colourless Slightly tinted Tinted

  • D - completely transparent with the highest grading possible, and as such, an extremely rare and expensive diamond

  • E - more or less colourless, with only an experienced grader able to identify the faint tint of yellow or brown

  • F - still a high quality stone, but with minute hues discernible when examined by an expert grader

  • G - almost colourless, although a certain hues may be seen when compared with higher grade jewels

  • H - again, a hint of colour may be detectable

  • I - a hue of colour may be detected with effort

  • J-Z - tinted diamonds, beyond the standard grading system

It is, however, worth bearing in mind that each grade represents a range of colour, not just a single point along the series. In this range, a D graded diamond will always hold the most value if all the other variables, namely cut, clarity and carat, are equal.


If you feel you need a little more help deciding which diamond colours are right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Marlow’s, we offer free client consultations where our team of experienced diamond specialists provide expert advice.


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