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

Diamond Colour

What is diamond colour?

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

Some general info about diamond colour

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

Diamond colour is an important characteristic that affects a diamond’s beauty

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

The GIA white diamonds colour-grade scale is the industry standard

The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) colour scale is the industry standard for diamond grading. The GIA diamond colour 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 standardise these diverse systems and started their scale fresh with a grade of D.


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

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

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

Faint colour 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 colour grade is less expensive than a diamond with a D colour grade.

Blue Nile does not sell L-Z colour 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 coloured diamonds that are graded on a different scale and are highly prized.

Are you wondering which diamond colour is best? It all starts with your budget.

The absence of colour in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E colour grade, many go with a beautiful near colourless 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 colour 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 colour affects these attributes.

Colour is more visible in large diamonds

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

Recommendations for diamond colour based on shape and setting

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

The difference between white diamonds and fancy coloured diamonds

When is colour 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 coloured diamonds. Only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural colour, and the more intense the colour, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Fancy-coloured diamonds are graded on a separate colour scale and can be even more valuable than white diamonds.

Learn More about Coloured Diamonds

Next: Diamond Clarity

Have A Question?

Contact us by phone at 0800-098-8541 from United Kingdom, 00800-2583-6453 from Ireland, or 00353-1-899-1351 for all other EU countries or email at
In addition, Live Chat is available during most business hours.