Blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, pink, grey and violet – colours of the rainbow? Yes – and also the many possible colours of diamonds!
Many are surprised to hear this, as the majority of diamonds sought after in today’s market, range from near colourless to light yellow. The same unique factors that create most of a diamond’s beauty – being chemistry and structure – also create this wide range of diamond colours.
The natural creation of a diamond by Mother Nature not only results in each diamond having unique clarity characteristics, it is also contributes to the unique natural colour of each diamond.
It is not yet fully understood what exactly causes a diamond’s unique colour; however, it is agreed that various combinations of trace elements and crystal distortion create a wide spectrum of colours.
Given a diamond is composed of mostly pure carbon, when the arrangement of atoms is close to perfectly symmetrical (the chemical composition and crystal structure are close to pure – aka. perfect) a diamond will be completely colourless.
Diamonds are typically graded on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Colour Grade Scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). The GIA Colour Grade Scale consists of 23 letter grades. It is interesting to see that the GIA Colour Grade Scale does not indicate one specific colour grade – it is uses closely defined ranges to determine a diamond’s colour. Like a rainbow, diamond colours form a continuous colour spectrum.
Keep in mind, coloured diamonds are not graded on the GIA Grade Scale from D to Z, as they are considered fancy colours.
What does this all mean? Generally speaking, the whiter the diamond, the more valuable it is. A premium is paid at both ends of the colour scale because of the rarity, not necessarily because of the beauty of the diamond. This is similar to the two other C’s – clarity & carat weight. Colour’s impact on value is linked to rarity.
Here at Spence, we use a certified GIA DiamondLite to show you your diamond’s true colour. Under proper lighting conditions and compared to master stones, we are committed to helping you find your special diamond in the exact colour you desire.
Interpreting the Gemological Institute of America Colour Grade Scale above:
- D grade is absolutely colourless.
- E & F grades are essentially colourless. The differences between D, E & F are minute.
- G,H,I & J grades are considered near colourless.
- K,L & M grades are considered faintly tinted.
- Grades N through Z the light tint colouring becomes more visible.
- Diamonds darker than Z or coloured diamonds are considered fancy colours, and are not graded on the GIA Colour Grade Scale above.
A few photos of “Diamond Divas” flaunting coloured rocks: