5 Things You Need to Know about Diamond Color

Elbert Grims
5 Things You Didn't Know About Natural Diamonds | Natural Diamonds

As you go around and shopping for an engagement ring for your significant other, or even just shopping for yourself, you may have noticed that some diamonds are colored. What is the best color for diamonds? Which color diamond is the hardest? You need to know about the 6 things to know about diamond colors if you want to understand the quality and how these colored diamonds are valued. Here are some things you need to know about diamond color:

  1. Colored diamonds are graded and valued differently from colorless diamonds

The color of the diamond is arguably the most important factor in colored diamonds. Some of the common colors that diamonds come in are yellow, brown, pink, red, blue, orange, purple, green, gray, or black. 

Unlike GIA’s D-to-Z grading system for colorless to light yellow diamonds, which is based on the absence of color when the diamond is viewed table down, the grading system for colored diamonds is based on the presence of color when the diamond is viewed face-up.

  1. Engagement ring setting could influence the perception of diamond colors

And because diamonds are highly reflective because their facets are essentially an arrangement of tiny mirrors reflecting light and the surroundings so the prongs and shanks of a ring could influence the color that you see in the diamond.

  1. Diamond value is based (in part) on the absence of color

The color of the diamond is important and most diamonds that are used in engagement rings are near-colorless with hints of yellow and brown. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer it is, and this would be obvious when you look at the price.

GIA Color Scale

Colorless: D, E, F

  • The rarest so in return, they are the most valuable

Near Colorless: G, H, I, J

  • The color is often unnoticeable except for trained graders

Faint: K, L, M

  • Color is still difficult to see by the untrained eye

Very Light: N, O, P, Q, R

  • The color is subtle and could be seen in larger stones by an untrained eye

Light: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

  • Color could be seen in stones of different sixes and the diamond may appear slightly yellow or brown but do not have sufficient color to be considered a “fancy” colored diamond
  1. Treatments can improve diamond color

If you want to alter the color of your diamond, you could alter it by using treatments. If any treatments happen on the diamond that you are planning on buying, then the seller must legally disclose them. 

High pressure, high temperature (HPHT) processing would have to be the most common technique used to alter, enhance or remove color. HPHT treatment can change some brown diamonds into colorless ones or other colors like yellow, greenish-yellow, or green.

Another process of changing the diamond’s color is Annealing. It uses controlled heating and cooling to change the color of gem material, especially after irradiation. Irradiating a diamond or coating it is another method used to enhance a diamond’s color.

  1. Diamond fluorescence has little to no impact on diamond color

Diamond fluorescence is visible light temporarily emitted by some diamonds when they are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, fluorescent lamps, or other sources. This emitted light that could be seen because the UV rays could display various colors (often blue in diamonds), intensities (faint to very strong), and distribution patterns. When the light source is removed, the fluorescence is no longer visible.

What do diamond colors mean?

  1. Orange

Compared to the other fancy color diamonds, the orange diamond is considered extremely rare. Orange diamonds are formed because the boron is present during the formation process of a diamond. An orange diamond represents courage, energy, and enthusiasm.

  1. Red and pink

When it comes to the colors of its range, the red diamond is the rarest, with only 30 diamonds known to exist in the world. Fancy pink diamonds, similar to red diamonds, are also almost just as rare and valuable. They both symbolize strength, passion, confidence, and power.

  1. Blue

Blue diamonds are exceptionally rare and the color is because the boron is present during the formation process. The blue diamond represents peace, truth, devotion, eternity, spirituality, and chastity.

  1. Black and white

Many people have considered a black diamond to be a less traditional alternative to a colorless diamond engagement ring. The traditional symbolism of a black diamond is passion, action, and energy, but the modern meaning of the color is power, creativity, and purity.

White diamonds, on the other hand, represent holiness and cleanliness and they would have to be the most common color of diamond that people are looking for.

  1. Yellow

The yellow diamonds are considered to be extremely popular and they have been used to create some of the world’s most iconic jewelry items. The color represents hope, humility, happiness, and friendship.

  1. Green

A green colored diamond comes in a variety of extremely rare olive green and yellowish green colors and green diamonds are formed due to the exposure of radioactivity. Green diamonds symbolize youthful strength, abundance, prosperity, and nature.

  1. Brown

They are often referred to as cognac, coffee, or champagne color diamonds and they are formed due to nitrogen being present in the formation process. Brown diamonds are available in high amounts and symbolize order, stability, and clarity.

An engagement ring is intimate and symbolic, representing your love and commitment to the person you picture spending the rest of your life with. With that being said, it is great to know different diamond colors and maybe even their possible symbolism.

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