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Color Diamonds

The Best Kept Secret : Colored Diamonds

Most people have never even heard of coloured diamonds. Almost all of the publicity and advertising for diamonds is slanted towards convincing consumers that white, or more accurately colourless, is the only desirable colour for diamonds, and that diamonds with a slight tinge of yellow or brown are less attractive and therefore less desirable. While we would broadly agree with this, diamonds do occur in a wide variety of colours. Many of these colours are very attractive and the diamonds are even more desirable than colourless ones. This is especially true of intensely coloured diamonds.

Coloured Diamonds Are Very Rare!

Probably the main reason why coloured diamonds are hardly ever promoted is the very fact that they are so rare. Why bother to promote something with a very limited supply that you cant get enough of? De Beers, who own or control about half the worlds diamond mines and marketing, have their own collection of natural fancy coloured diamonds, which they keep for themselves, and which are not for sale. It might even be harmful to their marketing if consumers decided that coloured stones were more interesting and exciting than colourless ones.

Future Demand & Prices

Right now, we seem to be one of the only jewellers who believe in, and stock, coloured diamonds. We predict that within a few years coloured diamonds will be in great demand, and become highly sought after. Even though supplies are greater now than they ever have been, we believe that demand could easily outstrip supply. The greater availability means that more people will get to see coloured diamonds, and realise how great they look. When this happens, prices may rocket. Why not lead fashion instead of waiting to follow it, and also get in now before prices rise.

About Diamond Color

The color of a diamond refers to the tone and saturation of color, or the depth of color in a diamond. The color of a diamond can range from colorless to a yellow or brown hue. A more colorless diamond is rarer and more valuable because it appears white and brighter to the eye. The most respected system used today for evaluating diamond color was developed by the Gemological Institute of America, (GIA).

Even though there are several grades in each category, there are slight differences between the letter grades. D is the clearest and most valuable, X is a dingy yellow and least expensive. Z grade-colored diamonds are the rarest and most expensive. A diamond so saturated with nitrogen that it becomes a deep, rich yellow is as rare as a colorless diamond.

The GIA COLOR GRADE SCALE classifies diamond color into 22 grades from letter grade D (colorless) through letter grade Z (fancy color).

Understanding the GIA Diamond Grading Report

National Gemstone markets diamonds with GIA Grading Reports. The GIA was formed in 1931 and is a non-profit institution. They do not buy/sell or appraise diamonds. They are an educational and research institute. Please note, a diamond graded by a person who graduated from the GIA is not the same as a GIA Grading Report. Do not buy a diamond from anyone who grades and sells it. There is too much temptation to over-grade the diamond. The GIA operates like a neutral intermediary between the buyers and sellers.

Shape and Cut

Each diamond is described as to its shape (round, oval, pear, etc.) and its cut (brilliant, etc.)


Diamonds are weighed on an extremely accurate digital balance. One carat equals 100 points, which weigh 1/5 gram.


The items in this category relate to the cut (or make) of the diamond:


The items in this category relate to the cut (or make) of the diamond:

  • Depth Percentage: The relationship between the depth and the average diameter of a diamond.
  • Table: The relationship between the table (flat, top facet) and the average diameter.
  • Girdle: Describes the variance and relative width at minimum and maximum positions. The girdle is the rim that separates the top and the bottom of the diamond.
  • Culet: The bottom facet of a diamond as viewed through the table.
  • Polish: Refers to the quality of the surface of a diamond.
  • Symmetry: General comment regarding the symmetry of the diamond.

The fixed proportions have the following reference values:

  • Crown angle = 34°
  • Pavilion angle = 40.5°
  • Table size = 56%
  • Star facet length (percentage of total distance from table to girdle) = 50%
  • Lower-girdle facet length length (percentage of total distance from girdle to culet) = 75%
  • Girdle thickness (at the thickest point) = 3%
  • Culet size = 0.5%

Ideal Parameters

  • Carat Size: 1/2 carat (.50 points) or larger
  • Color: D-H
  • Clarity: Slightly Included Two (SI2) or better
  • Depth: 56-62%
  • Table: 52-62%
  • Girdle: Minimum Variations, No Extremely Thin or Extremely Thick
  • Culet: None, Small or Medium
  • Polish and Symmetry: Good or better
  • Fluorescence: None or blue is fine. Stay away from orange, yellow, and green.


D (Perfect) — 10.00%
E (Low)

D (High)
E (Perfect) — 9.25%
F (Low)

VS1, VS2:
F (High)
G (Perfect) — 8.50%v H (Low)

SI1, SI2:
H (High)
I (Perfect) — 6.50%
J (Low)

No corresponding color grades


Clarity refers to the summation of the number, size and placement as well as the nature of inclusions and/or surface irregularities. Flawless stones are diamonds free of inclusions under 10 power. Internally flawless are diamonds without any internal inclusions. VVS1 and VVS2 have extremely small inclusions. VS1 and VS2 possess small inclusions. SI1 and SI2 have inclusions that can be seen easily under 10 power magnification, but are not usually visible to the naked eye.


Fluorescence is a diamonds reaction to ultraviolet (UV) light. Some diamonds glow in different colors under UV light, and the general rule is to avoid them. If you put a diamond under UV light and it glows strong blue, the diamond may look dull in the sunlight. Diamonds with strong fluorescence may be worth up to 20% less than diamonds which do not fluoresce. Faint fluorescence which doesnt fog the diamond is OK.

Corresponding Grading

Corresponding grading means matching clarity grades with color grades. For every clarity grade, theres a color grade that corresponds, or makes the best match in determining value. Diamonds that have corresponding grading sell for higher prices originally, and they also appreciate in value more than diamonds that dont, and therefore have higher resale value. Buying a diamond with non-corresponding clarity and color grades is like buying a pink Porsche: its okay as long as you dont try to resell it. The market for pink Porsches just isnt as good as the market for, say, red Porsches.

The value of a stone is always based on the lowest clarity or color grade and its highest corresponding grade. For example: Lets say you purchased a stone with a clarity grade of SI1 and a color grade of G. You can see above that G is not a corresponding color for an SI1 stone. The SI1-G diamond will cost you more than the SI1-H, but will appreciate no more over time than the SI1-H.

When you dont correspond the grades — say you buy high clarity and low color, or high color and low clarity — youll never get your money back for the higher grade. For example, an SI1-F would resell no higher than the value of an SI1-H, and a VS1-I would resell no higher than the value of an SI1-I. A diamond that is not correspondingly-graded could be expected to appreciate 2% to 4% per year.



© 2007, Prabhakar Djewels Pvt. Ltd.