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Diamond Guide: Colour

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

When we hear the term "diamond colour" it's often a little off-putting because diamonds have no colour - right? Well, not exactly, the colour of a diamond can actually range from white/colourless to pink, red and even green. Let's dive in and take a closer look at diamond colour.

diamond colour scale
The diamond colour scale starts at 'D' for 'diamond'

Coloured or Colourless?

When referring to the colour of a diamond we start out with the term 'colourless' which marks the top of the scale. Completely colourless diamonds are the rarest to find and of course, the most sought after. Something of importance to note is that even though we may refer to a diamond as slightly tinted or not entirely colourless, the colour to the naked eye is actually very hard to see until we get up to the higher end of the colour scale. It's not until around stages S-Z that we get into diamonds of noticeable colour or "yellow diamonds".

cushion cut yellow diamond ring with diamond halo on ladies hand

Mellow Yellow

Diamond experts will classify the colour of a diamond by looking at the intensity of yellow saturation observed in the stone. The variation between each colour grade is very fluid and the colours are not clearly defined, it takes a very trained eye to be able to confidently classify a diamond's colour. As we go up in stages it becomes easier, as there becomes less transparency and more colour saturation, but the early stages of white or colourless diamonds can look very similar. Another factor in the colour of a diamond is the size of the cut stone; two diamonds of different sizes can be cut from the same rough diamond and look like they have different colour simply because the facets are larger and therefore light reflects more easily through the larger stone.

oval cut yellow diamond engagement ring with diamond halo

Getting Fancy

Diamonds that hold actual visible colour saturation are considered "fancy colour" diamonds. As mentioned above diamonds can be found in pink, green and blue hues however those are quite rare - but still do exist! Yellow fancy diamonds are more common and are often used in jewellery in a beautiful way. Yellow diamonds, or tinted diamonds, begin their own scale after 'Z'. They can range from lightly saturated yellow to deeply saturated yellow going from 'light' to 'intense' to 'vivid'. Fancy-coloured diamonds are a great way to get a unique look while still possessing the strength of a diamond. Many people love the idea of using coloured gemstones for engagement rings but, unfortunately, coloured gemstones lack the durability of a diamond and can be easily scratched which is why diamonds are of preference for engagement rings or rings that will be worn every day.

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Continue through the Diamond Guide to Clarity>>


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