How the Color of a Diamond Is Used to Determine a Diamond's Value
The value of a diamond
is calculated by evaluating four different categories known as the 4 C's, the
cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. In this article we're going to take a closer look at color. How it's graded
and how it affects the price of a diamond.
Diamonds are graded on a
color scale which ranges from D, which is colorless, to Z which is light yellow. Generally speaking a
colorless diamond will be more valuable because they are more rare. As you move up the scale to diamonds with
a bit of a yellow color to them the value decreases because these stones are more plentiful. Below is a
chart to illustrate this better.
The exception to the
rule are diamonds with exotic colors like pink, red, black, blue, purple, and even yellow. If a diamond has a
deeper, more intense color, these are very rare and therefore extremely valuable.
On the color grading
scale set up by the Gemological Institute of America, diamonds
rated with a D, E, or F are considered colorless and are the most valuable. Stones rated G through J are
considered near colorless and will be a less expensive.
Stones in the near
colorless category appear colorless to the naked eye. It takes an expert examining the stones under a
microscope and comparing them to master stones to detect the color. Diamond rated K, L, and M are considered
faint yellow, N through R are very light yellow, and S through Z are considered light
For people who simply
must have nothing but the best with no exceptions the choice would have to be a colorless diamond. Most
diamond rings contain stones in the near colorless category. These stones are less expensive and are
indistinguishable from colorless stones unless you are an expert in a laboratory setting.
As you move up the scale
the diamonds become less expensive because they are more plentiful. You can get a good price on stones in the
faint yellow range and the color is still difficult to detect. Once you get into the categories of very light
yellow and beyond, the color becomes more apparent.
In addition to the
color, the three remaining C' s of cut, clarity, and carat weight factored together will determine the value
of a diamond. Hopefully this brief description will help you know what to look for when diamond shopping by
giving you a better understanding of how color affects the price.
Click here to learn how I bought an E color stone for $1500 below