What Is Diamond Color?

No, this isn't a trick question. While you might know that a diamond is graded in part for their color, it can be more complicated to determine what qualifies as a "good" color, and why it matters.

The Color Scale

Normally, diamonds are graded on a scale from colorless to distinctly yellow (D to Z), with colorless diamonds being the most valuable. More often than not, the changes between the grades are incredibly slight, so even those in the nearly colorless category are a great choice! Using a combination of careful observation under controlled lighting and comparison to an already graded diamond, each gem is assessed and put into a category:

  • DEF: Colorless
  • GHIJ: Near Colorless
  • KLM: Faint Yellow
  • NOPQR: Very Light Yellow
  • STUVWXYZ: Light Yellow

To set off the color of your diamond, be sure to choose a metal that will compliment its unique shade. Whiter diamonds are complimented by white gold or platinum shades, though yellow golds can also be a nice pair. On the other hand, a diamond with yellow tones is better paired with a warm colored metal like yellow or rose gold. 

"Fancy Colored" Diamonds

Naturally colorless diamonds are recognized as the most popular of all diamonds, but they are not the rarest. Colored diamonds can also occur naturally, which is not what people assume when they first see one. The rarest diamond is the red diamond, and only 20-30 are known to exist in the world. Here are just a few of the most popular colored diamonds:

  • Black
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Pink

These diamonds can be incredibly more expensive, though some colors are more common than others. Grey and brown diamonds are the cheapest of colored diamonds, while green, blue, purple and pink can be more expensive depending on the saturation and diamond quality.