Diamond Color Explained
By Maury Kauffman
1/24/2023 at 3:16 PM
Did you know, I am the number one seller of high value diamond engagement rings in Tucson? If you’d like to know why, please read my Google Reviews. I am fortunate to meet and assist so many wonderful clients. Many men and couples have questions about diamonds and their engagement ring and bridal bands; it’s my sincere pleasure to educate them. With that in mind I’ll spend the next few blogs writing about the specifics of diamonds and this month about diamond colors.
Color along with clarity, cut and carat (weight) are the “4Cs” of diamond grading. The 4Cs and the corresponding Diamond Grading System were created by The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the 1950s so that diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language and diamond customers could now know exactly what they are purchasing.
GIA developed the definitive diamond color scale because there were a lot of different and subjective terms in the marketplace for describing a diamond’s color: white, blue white, AAAA, for example.
Today, a diamond’s color is measured on an alphabetic scale from D-Z. A “D” grade is considered Colorless (as are E-F). Grades G-J are Near Colorless, K-M are Faint, N-R is Very Light and S-Z are Light in color.
The number one question I’m asked about GIA’s color grading scale is: “Why does it start at D?”
The answers is, up through the late 1950’s jewelers had all sorts of descriptions for the color of diamonds, including calling them: A or AA or AAA or B or C, etc. However, the letters didn’t correspond to anything because there was no uniform code or scale. When the GIA created the 4C Diamond Grading System, it decided to start the color scale at “D” to differentiate itself from all of the miscellaneous names and descriptions used in the past. Thus “D” became the best color (colorless).
Here’s a great video that details how a diamond goes through the GIA color grading process.
If you have questions about the color grading of diamonds or GIA’s 4C scale or about purchasing a diamond or engagement ring or wedding bands in gold or platinum, I’ happy to help you. If you’d like to learn more or are ready to own a beautiful new piece of fine jewelry, please schedule an appointment. There is never any buying or selling at the first meeting. All we do is chat. I’ll introduce myself and explain how my business works and answer all of your questions. We’ll then proceed however you like. Thanks and I do sincerely appreciate it.