What does color mean when it comes to a diamond?

Color is a reference to the “lack of visible color” made up of three components: hue, tone, and saturation. Hue refers to the basic color of the stone, most commonly yellow, brown or gray. Tone is the degree of darkness and lightness and saturation measures the intensity and strength of the hue.

Keeping all of these components in mind a grader can grade a diamond based on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) D-to-Z grading system. When using the grade scale, each stone is examined under controlled lighting as well as compared to a set of masterstones assigned to each color grade.

Diamonds classified as D are absolutely colorless making them the most rare and expensive, however any diamond between the D to F range are considered colorless and still very rare.

The next range will be G through J, these diamonds are near colorless and are most commonly used in jewelry. Following the remaining grades K to Z which will have a faint to light yellow or brown tint. Ultimately, all you need to remember the higher the grade the less visible color.

diamond color chart

Now which color diamond should you buy? Really, color is completely up to you. The price difference between a D color compared to a H color will be substantial however can only be told apart when held next to each other.

Most consumers are always first to jump to the best quality thinking that is the one they “need” to get but I’m here to tell you otherwise. Fun Fact: most diamond color differences are so subtle they are not visible to the naked eye. Unless color is an absolute component going for a near colorless diamond and higher carat weight is always a great option!