A Guide To Help You Understand The Diamond Color Grade Scale

Diamonds are precious gemstones that can cost millions of dollars for a single stone. For this reason, it is highly recommended that any person who wishes to purchase a diamond first do some research and study the different properties of a diamond. This will make the process of buying a diamond engagement ring, piece of diamond-fitted earrings or even a loose diamond considerably easier. Education also helps to ensure a person does not get ripped off and that they do not pay too much for a diamond.

When a diamond is graded, the diamond expert will consider numerous features of the diamond to decide how much the diamond is worth. Each quality assessed by the gemologist is noted and reported on a final diamond grading certificate, which serves the purpose of ensuring a customer is not charged too much for a particular diamond, as the certificate is presented to the customer with the purchase of the diamond. Unfortunately, if a customer is not aware of which qualities makes a diamond more expensive and which qualities reduces its value, then they may end up paying much more than they should for the gemstone. In this guide, we want to focus on the color grade of a diamond and discuss how the color of a diamond tend to affect its value.

The Diamond Color Grade Scale

One of the important factors, classified under the 4Cs of a diamond, that is considered during the appraisal of a diamond is its color grade. The way in which the color grade of a diamond is determined highly depends on the type of diamond that is being graded. The color factor of a diamond is completely opposite between a colorless diamond and a fancy colored diamond. When a fancy colored diamond is graded, then a better intensity and a more vivid color mean a higher price. A colorless diamond, on the other hand, tends to go up in value the fewer color hues present in the gemstone.

During the grading process of a colorless diamond, the gemologist can award the diamond a color grade between D and Z. This provides details as to whether the diamond is completely colorless or if it possesses hues of yellow in the stone. A diamond that has absolutely no color present is awarded a D color grade. A diamond with a significant amount of yellow hues present in the stone is awarded a Z color grade.

When it comes to the color grade of a diamond, it is important for a person to note that it is not necessary to opt for a D, E or even an F graded diamond in order to obtain a diamond that looks nearly perfect to the naked eye. Many lower color grades still offer an exceptional look to the naked eye, even when slight traces of yellow hues can be observed when the diamond is placed under a special microscope.


The color grade of a diamond tends to play a significant part in allowing a brand or supplier to determine an appropriate selling price for a particular diamond. Additionally, the color grade also plays a part in the visual appearance of the diamond. While fancy colored diamonds are graded based upon the intensity of the color, a colorless diamond has a higher color grade when fewer color hues are present. Knowing how the color of a diamond is graded, and what factors to look out for, is important for any person looking to buy a diamond – whether loose or fitted in a piece of jewelry.


1/5 - (1 vote)


Kevin Lee is a former tech advisor who cut his teeth in Silicon Valley. He now spends his time sharing his passion for investing in diamonds and jewelry. You can reach Kevin for any comments by using the contact form on this site. Don't forget to sign up for his free "Investing 101 Guide" by clicking on the button at the top right of this website.