When shopping for a diamond, it is generally preferred to choose a stone with the least amount of color possible. Diamond color is divided into five broad categories.
Diamonds within the colorless range are the most rare and valuable of all those on the color scale. D/E color stones display virtually no color, whereas F colored diamonds will display a nearly undetected amount of color when viewed face down by a gemologist.
Diamonds within the near colorless range appear colorless in the face up position, but do display a slight amount of color when viewed face down against a perfectly white background. This trace amount of color will be undetectable to an untrained eye once the diamond has been mounted. Near colorless diamonds offer a tremendous value for their price.
Some diamonds display a visible light called fluorescence when exposed to an ultraviolet light source. This fluorescence will be measured as inert, faint, medium or strong. Blue fluorescence is the most common, however diamonds can also fluoresce white, yellow, orange and other colors. Fluorescence usually has no effect on a diamond's appearance in standard lighting conditions. Strong blue fluorescence can make a yellow colored diamond appear whiter, but can cause also cause a stone to appear milky or oily in rare cases. This milky or oily effect is called an "over blue" and only applies to a small number of "strong" and "very strong" fluorescent stones.
Most people find it very difficult (if not impossible) to tell the difference between one color grade to another. The difference in price, however, can be significant. The purists at heart will always demand diamonds in the D-F range. By selecting diamonds in the G-I range, however, you can gain a tremendous value while still achieving a "colorless" look. Shopping on a budget or trying to maximize the size of your stone? If so, then "J" diamonds are most affordable while still being near colorless. You may also want to consider choosing a diamond with medium or strong fluorescence. Since these diamonds are discounted slightly in price, they offer the affordability of a higher color stone without the premium.
Choose a Color Grade:
|D E F G H I J Fancy Yellow|