Diamond Color Grade Explained

August 17, 2017

Diamond Color Grade Explained

Ok so here's the dealio - the universal method for judging a diamond's quality is known as the 4Cs - Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight.
Let's tackle the first C - Color.

Most diamonds are actually a faint yellow, brown or gray color. Colorless diamonds are rare and therefore expensive. A white diamond's color (or rather, lack of color) is graded based on a D to Z scale. A diamond graded D color is completely colorless and chemically pure. Z color diamonds are a light yellow, brown or gray color that isn't saturated enough to be considered a "fancy color diamond." Here's how the color scale is broken down:


D E F - Colorless

WTF? How can three color grades all be considered colorless? There are actually subtle differences between the three that only a skilled and patient gemologist can detect. If you're going to spend the money to purchase a colorless diamond, I would recommend setting it in white gold or platinum. If you set one of these diamonds in yellow or rose gold, the color of the metal will reflect in the diamond and it won't look completely colorless anymore.

G H I J - Near Colorless
These diamonds look colorless face-up and have the tiniest bit of color face-down. Once these diamonds are set in jewelry (as long as they are not set upside-down), the traces of color are not noticeable. That's awesome because these color grades are much more common than the colorless D, E, and F diamonds, so they're less expensive. An I-J diamond could retail for half the price of a D diamond, and if they both look colorless face-up to the untrained eye, you might as well save your money!

K L M - Faint Color
Diamonds of these color grades show faint color when face-up. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I would recommend only setting these diamonds in yellow or rose gold, where the warm (usually yellow or brown) faint hue doesn't look weird. I used a K color diamond in this custom Bowser necklace. You can definitely see the faint brown color:

N O P Q R - Very Light Color

These diamonds appear very light yellow, brown, or gray. They're actually hard to find because there is such little demand for diamonds of these color grades.

S T U V W X Y Z - Light Color
Diamonds in this color range show substantial color, but since they're still graded on the D-Z colorless diamond grading scale, this color is considered undesirable. Once a diamond goes beyond the Z color grade, it is considered a "Fancy" colored diamond, and the price increases significantly.

Hopefully this helped you understand how white diamonds are color graded! At Soulbound, I like to use diamonds in the G-J (near colorless) range, since they appear colorless face-up and are a much better value than D-F diamonds. If you have any questions or if you would like to request a piece of diamond Soulbound jewelry with diamonds of a different color grade, don't hesitate to contact me!

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