Understanding Diamond Colour
When buying a diamond there are 5 C's to consider – carat weight, cut, clarity, certification and colour. This last C offers plenty of room for confusion, as what some people will say is ostensibly tinted yellow is technically a white diamond. Understanding diamond colour can be tricky as a result, and we often find our customers have a lot of questions when it comes to choosing the right colour for them. In order to help people make the most informed decision possible, we’re here to help explain the white diamond colour scale so that you can tell a D from a H and a Z from a fancy colour diamond.
The White Diamond Colour Scale
A perfect white diamond would be colourless, without any inclusions or blemishes. It would also be incredibly expensive as diamonds of such pristine quality are both incredibly rare and highly sought after. GIA use that perfectly clear diamond their benchmark for diamond colour grading, assigning it category of D. All other white diamonds are measured against this D category diamond, and assigned a colour category from D to Z, with D-F considered colourless. The difference between these colours are so slight that the diamonds are virtually identical to the untrained eye. In order to maximise their brilliance and show off their true potential, diamonds of these colours should only ever be set in platinum or white gold.
Moving along the white diamond colour scale, G-J are considered near colourless.If you're looking for the best affordability to quality ratio, G and H diamonds are probably where you should be looking. Bear in mind that because yellow gold reflects colour, yellow gold is only recommended for diamonds of categories I-Z. The difference this makes is so significant that a D category diamond can appear similar to a H or an I category diamond when both are set in yellow gold. To put that in perspective, a D category diamond is often worth twice as much as an I category diamond.
Continuing along the scale, K-M are faintly coloured and while they can still be extremely valuable, a K category diamond often retails at half the price of a G category diamond. From here, N-R category diamonds are considered very light and S-Z are categorised as light. Diamonds of these colours are rarely stocked by jewellers due to a lack of demand. The yellowy tinge seen in lower quality diamonds can be easily seen with the naked eye starting at I, and the closer you get to Z as you go down the scale, the more obviously tinted diamond is. However, the yellow in a Z diamond is incredibly light when compared to a proper yellow diamond, which is a much bolder and more intense in colour.
Which Diamond Colour is Best for me?
If you're looking for the finest white diamonds which money can buy, you'll be looking almost exclusively at D category diamonds. However D category diamonds can be quite expensive and may not fall within everyone’s budgets. Here at Marlow’s Diamonds we recommend colours of H and above for most occasions, with the notable exception being engagement rings. Because of the importance of an engagement ring we recommend you choose a diamond as close to D as your budget will allow.
Either way, here at Marlow's Diamonds we stock an enormous collection of diamonds in a range of colours, cuts and clarities in order to suit any budget or occasion. If you have any questions about choosing the perfect diamond for the right occasion, make sure you call a member of our team today, or visit us in store.