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EDUCATION /COLOR

Diamond Body Color

It is interesting to note that diamonds actually come in the widest variety of colors of any gem material. Most gem quality diamonds however are desired for their lack of color. In fact, the closer a diamond is to colorless, the more rare and valuable it is. On the other hand, diamonds are also sought after by collectors in their extremely rare "fancy colors" including (from highest value), Reds (Pinks), Blues, Greens, and Fancy Intense Yellow.

The GIA grades diamonds on a scale from D (Colorless) to Z (Light Yellow). When a diamond is graded darker than Z on the GIA scale it is referred to as "fancy yellow", and the more color and intensity it shows, the more valuable it will be. Most diamonds have a slight hint of yellow, though brown and gray are also common modifying colors. Of all the diamond colors available, most consumers select GIA grades from D to J color. D-E-F are the "colorless" grades, and G-H-I-J are "near colorless". The difference in each letter grade is very subtle, and color comparison diamonds of known grades are used under controlled lighting conditions. When viewed in the face-up position, the average person begins to see color in a diamond at about the I-J range. Therefore color is a rarity factor that does affect appearance, rarity and price, about 10-15% per color grade




Fluorescence
This is a unique attribute of some diamonds that causes them to "glow" a typically bluish color when exposed to natural or man-made ultraviolet light (like a Black Light). About 50% of all diamonds fluoresce and of those about 10% fluoresce strongly. Most of the time, fluorescence is not a factor unless the intensity is Strong or Very Strong. In the very rare colors D, E, and F, Strong fluorescence is considered less desirable. However, in the less rare colors of such as J - K and below, Strong fluorescence may be desirable.

Blue-White
This is a false and misleading term. According to the FTC a diamond must be blue/bluish or colorless. Fluorescence is also a factor. AGS prohibits use of the term.

FANCY ColorS

Rare and very expensive, colored or "fancy" diamonds are becoming ever more popular. These diamonds reflect the colors of the rainbow and dazzle in brilliant combinations of red, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green and brown.

Yellow is the most common colored diamond, while pink, red, blue and green diamonds are extremely rare. Colored diamonds also tend to be smaller than other diamonds and they are cut to maximize color, not clarity.

The appearance of color is created from the combined effect of three elements:

  • hue - the predominant color
  • tone - the darkness of the color
  • saturation - the intensity of the color

Colored diamonds are described based on their predominant hue, such as "pink." If for example, the fancy diamond contains hints of a secondary color such as purple, it will be described as "purplish pink." The use of "ish" indicates the subtle presence of purple. However, a fancy diamond described "brown pink" means that the appearance of both colors is virtually even throughout the stone.

The GIA uses specific grades to identify the ranges of color:

  • Faint
  • Very light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Dark
  • Fancy Deep
  • Fancy Vivid

For example, a fancy intense yellow may be listed as FIY or a fancy light pink as a FLP. These grades play a significant role in determining the value of colored diamonds; the stronger the hue the more valuable the diamond.

Various ways of "treating" a diamond, such as heat, can be used to intensify or enhance the color. However, these treated stones are worth far less per carat than their natural counterparts. Diamonds.com adheres to the highest quality standards and does not sell treated diamonds. We only offer natural colored diamonds.


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