The Diamond Color Scale: What Is It?

November 24, 2019 By swj-eric

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As a highly respected organization, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the universal leader of the diamond industry. Not only does the GIA offer the most trusted gemological educational program, but it also established the industry standards for diamond quality.

This includes the 4C’s Of Diamond Quality: carat, color, clarity, and cut.

Color is determined by how light reflects off a diamond. This color is then graded by a system called the diamond color scale.

And if you’re looking to sell diamonds, you may want to understand what the diamond color scale is.

What Is The Diamond Color Scale?

When it comes to diamonds, the color scale is a chart that indicates a diamond’s color. The scale includes a range of colors, which starts with “colorless” and ends with light brown. Each color throughout this range is represented by a letter.

Every diamond is assigned, or graded, with a letter. This grade specifies the diamond’s color (or the lack thereof).

What Are The Diamond Color Grades?

The diamond color scale includes 23 grades and five color categories. These include:  

  • D, E, F (Colorless): Colorless diamonds are also known as white diamonds. They can reflect the color of yellow gold, so it’s best to pair them with White Gold or Platinum.
  • G, H, I, J (Near Colorless): These diamonds have traces of color that can’t be seen by the untrained eye. I and J diamonds are more common than other grades.
  • K, L, M (Faint): Diamonds in this range have a subtle yellow tint. The color is noticeable by the naked eye.
  • N, O, P, Q, R (Very Light): Very light diamonds have a more obvious yellow or brown tint. There’s a low demand for these diamonds.
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z (Light): These diamonds have the most color.

Colorless diamonds (D, E, F) are considered to be the most high-quality stones. In other words, the less color a diamond has, the better quality it is.

Why Does The Diamond Color Scale Start With D?

Once upon a time, people used the first three letters of the alphabet — A, B, C — to grade a diamond’s color. Multiple A’s could even be used for higher quality stones. Meanwhile, other people used Arabic or Roman numerals, while others simply listed descriptions.

With so many systems, color grading diamonds was an inconsistent process. That’s why the GIA created an entirely new scale. They decided to start with D, unlike other kinds of grading scales. This made it easier for the GIA system to stand apart from the rest.

How Are Diamonds Color-Graded?

The differences in diamond color are so slight that only a trained eye can see them. Therefore, a GIA-certified gemologist is the best person to color grade diamonds.

The grade, after all, determines the stone’s quality and price. Accuracy is key, especially if you want to Sell Your Diamond Jewelry.

To grade a diamond, a gemologist compares it to other diamonds with known color grades. This is done with controlled lighting to ensure a correct assessment.  

Southwest Jewelry Buyers Can Color Grade Your Diamond

If you plan to Sell Your Diamond, it’s essential to know the color grade of your stone. This will determine your diamond’s quality, and ultimately, how much money you make.

At Southwest Jewelry Buyers, our skilled gemologists can grade your stone based on the diamond color scale. We’re also happy to discuss other factors that affect your diamond, including carat, clarity, and cut.

When you visit us in Scottsdale Airpark, you can expect a confidential, stress-free appraisal topped off with Award-Winning Service. To schedule an appointment, Contact Us at (480)-773-8004 today.