In the world of diamonds, colour is major factor in the price of the diamond. How does colour affect the price of a diamond, you may ask. It is not easy to understand what role colour plays but you should have an idea about the 4Cs (Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat) and we know that color is one of the C’s. We have done blogs about clarity and cut. Today we look to delve into the world of color.
What does Colour mean for diamonds?
When we talk colour the different diamond colours come to mind but when we are talking about the 4Cs we are referring to the absence of color in a diamond. Diamonds come in a variety of colors but for the purpose of this blog we are referring to the clear stones. When we are looking at a diamond we really don’t want to see any colour we want it to be clear, so the less color a diamond has the greater the value of the diamond. In a nutshell this is how colour impacts the price you pay for a diamond.
Diamond Colour Grading
There are a number of grading charts used to grade colour but the most widely used chart is the D to Z chart. We will use this chart to explain how a diamond is graded based on its colour. As mentioned before the absence of colour is preferred so when a diamond is perfectly clear it is given the grade of D. Grade Z is the worst possible grade that a diamond could receive using this scale. This diamond would appear yellow or brown. These are the two extremes of the scale and most diamonds bought and sold are somewhere in the middle. The scale doesn’t measure the actual colour but looks at how noticeable the color is. To measure how noticeable a colour is it is compared to stones of known grades or what we call master colour stones. It is then graded in relation to the master stones. What does the grades really mean to you the buyer? Here is a simple breakdown for you.
- D-F: These diamonds are rare and display no discernible color. They are the most expensive.
- G-J: These diamonds exhibit minimal color that is often undetectable to the eye. They offer an excellent balance of beauty and value.
- K-M: These diamonds have a faint yellow hue that is noticeable to the eye, but still possess considerable charm. They can radiate a beautiful sparkle for the fraction of the price.
- N-Z: These diamonds exhibit a yellow or brown tone. They are the cheapest and can be used creatively, especially if you are looking for a faint yellow stone.
Chart showing the variation in color. Source: GIA
Of course, when buying a diamond, it is not necessary to go for a D or E diamond. An F or G would represent excellent value for money.
Today it is possible to treat a diamond to improve its value. Diamonds can be treated using high temperature and high pressure to remove some of the color and improve the value of the stone. Diamonds can also be irradiated to remove the color but irradiation may be temporary. Treated diamonds are not valued as highly as the naturally occurring diamonds and the seller should disclose that the stone was treated so the buyer could make an informed choice.
You may ask what about coloured diamonds? Are they valuable? The simplest answer to that is yes. Diamonds occur in a wide range of colours from blue, green and pink. It is extremely rare to find coloured diamonds. This makes coloured diamonds very valuable. Coloured diamonds are graded based on the color and a different grading scale is used. This article focused mainly on the grading scheme for clear diamonds as used in the 4Cs. Stay tuned for a follow up blog for coloured diamonds.
We hope now that you understand how colour impacts the final price of the diamond that the buying process would be easier for you. Please feel free to follow us on social media and subscribe to our page for more informative articles.