Get Our Diamond-Buying Cheat Sheet  | Sign Up for Our Emails Now >

Diamond Color

What is diamond color?

Did you know that it’s very rare to find a diamond that doesn’t have any color at all? In fact, diamonds are found in almost any naturally occurring color, including gray, white, yellow, green, brown, and pink.

Some General Info About Diamond Color

  • Part of diamond valuation is determined by the absence of color.
  • Only certified grading professionals should determine a diamond’s color grade.
  • The tone of a ring’s setting can affect the appearance of diamond color.

Diamond Color is an Important Characteristic That Affects a Diamond’s Beauty

Like all of the 4Cs, diamond color is an important consideration when buying a diamond. While color affects price, there are a number of factors that can help you decide which color grade is right for you.

The GIA White Diamonds Color-Grade Scale is the Industry Standard

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) color scale is the industry standard for diamond grading. The GIA diamond color grades range from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Many people ask why the GIA diamond grading scale starts at D. Arcane systems used grades of A-C, 1-3, and I-III, etc. The GIA set out to standardize these diverse systems and started their scale fresh with a grade of D.

D Diamond Example
L-Z
K
J
I
H
G
F
E
D

D Color Diamonds (Absolutely Colorless)

D color diamond is the highest grade and is extremely rare—the highest color grade that money can buy. Eight percent of customers choose a D color diamond.

See D Graded Diamonds

Diamond grades at Blue Nile range from D (colorless) to K (faintly colored)

Colorless diamonds: The rarest and highest quality with a pure icy look.

Near-colorless diamonds: No discernible color; great value for the quality.

Faint color diamonds: Budget-friendly pick; pairs beautifully with yellow gold.

Helpful Hint: Diamond prices decline or increase in alphabetical order. For example, a diamond with a G color grade is less expensive than a diamond with a D color grade.

Blue Nile Does Not Sell L-Z Color Grade Diamonds

Diamonds in the L-Z range have a noticeably warm yellow hue which do not meet the quality and value standards at Blue Nile. We do, however, sell fancy colored diamonds that are graded on a different scale and are highly prized.

Are You Wondering Which Diamond Color is Best? It All Starts with Your Budget.

The absence of color in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E color grade, many go with a beautiful near colorless grade to make the most of their budget and allocate more on the best cut that they can afford (which gives them more sparkle).

Deciding whether or not you want to spend more on diamond color grade is partly related to the size and shape of the diamond that you are considering, and your setting preference. You can save by knowing how color affects these attributes.

Color is More Visible in Large Diamonds

If you’re buying a diamond under 1 carat, you might consider choosing an I, J, or K color diamond. Going over 1 carat? We recommend H color-grade diamonds or higher.

Recommendations for Diamond Color Based on Shape and Setting

Certain fancy-shaped diamonds hide color better than others—and can cost up to 25% less than a round-cut diamond. It’s also smart to consider the color of precious metal for your setting that best compliments the color grade of your diamond. For example, yellow gold casts a warm glow and looks best with diamonds with faint color. Platinum or white gold will make a near-colorless diamond look icier.

The Difference Between White Diamonds and Fancy Colored Diamonds

When is color a good thing? As mentioned before, diamonds occur in the natural rainbow spectrum of colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and more. These are known as colored diamonds. Only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural color, and the more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Fancy-colored diamonds are graded on a separate color scale and can be even more valuable than white diamonds.

Have A Question?

Contact us by phone at 800-681-8179 or email at service@bluenile.com.
In addition, Live Chat is available during most business hours.