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Diamond Tutorial2

Diamond Tutorial

Diamond Color

The color of a diamond has the second biggest impact on its price, after carat weight. Did you know that diamonds come in every color of the rainbow?

Grading "colorless" diamonds involves deciding how closely a stones body color approaches colorlessness. Most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown body color. The reason colorlessness is most highly valued is that diamonds in these ranges act like prisms, separating white light passing through it into a wide spectrum of colors.

The more transparent the diamond, the wider the spectrum of colors. Chemical "impurities" in the diamond will filter out some of the colors which in turn reduce the "fire" effect when light bounces back out of the diamond and into your eyes.

Other than "fancy colors". Colorless diamonds tend to be more valuable. Rare colors such as blue, pink, purple, or red tend to be very expensive...and very beautiful.

Describes the "yellowness" of a stone. The color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (deep yellow). Grading color in the normal range involves deciding how closely a diamonds body color approaches colorlessness. Most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown body color. With the exception of some natural fancy colors, such as blue, pink, purple, or red, the colorless grade is the most valuable.

When discussing the topic of color in diamonds, you need to differentiate between mostly "colorless" diamonds and "fancy color" diamonds. Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), ranging from D (colorless) to Z.

Colorless Diamonds

Colorless diamonds are extremely rare, and therefore very valuable. But there are no hard and fast rules for what color makes a diamond beautiful. The Incomparable, one of the worlds most beautiful diamonds, contains hints of brown, Smokey amber and champagne colors. To rate the level of a diamonds color, retailers and diamond experts use a scale that begins with the letter D, and progresses alphabetically.

Why not start with the letter A? It seems that when diamonds were first being graded on their colorlessness, people wanted to leave room for the possibility of a simply flawless, perfect diamond. So the best diamond known at that point was given the letter D, with A, B, and C being left in reserve for a possible marvel that might be discovered. No A, B, or C diamonds have ever been found.

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.

Diamonds get their coloring from mineral impurities that are found in the cells that make up their crystal structure. Technically, these are defects, but they still can be pleasing to the eye. Some of the colors that diamonds can be labeled are brown, purple to pink, green, red, yellow, orange, blue, gray, white, and black.


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.

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