A diamond’s color grade is based on its presence or lack of color. A diamond can be colorless, near colorless or have a noticeable color- usually in the form of a pale yellow. The highest color grades are D, E and F are the rarest and most valuable diamonds because of their colorless qualities. Diamonds with color grades G, H, I and J are considered near colorless diamonds but can range from being slightly tinted to having a noticeably yellow tint.
Typically, when viewing a diamond, the first thing you will notice is how the stone sparkles. This is the diamond’s light performance based on how well proportioned it is. This is followed by the detection of color. Hence, color is the second most important characteristic of a diamond.
The best known color grading system was pioneered by GIA Gemological Institute of America, which launched the alphabetical form of organization in the early 1940’s and has now become the most reliable way of accurately distinguishing one stones color from the other. Starting with D as the highest color grade possible, having no trace of color whatsoever, and progressively going down the alphabet all the way to Z, the more evident the color becomes.
D: Absolutely colorless) – the highest color grade, extremely rare diamond
E, F: Colorless - E color diamonds are extremely close to D color diamonds, both E and F color diamonds contain minute traces of color that can only be detected by an expert gemologist, rare diamonds
G-H: Near-colorless – contains color but is not easily detectable unless compared to diamonds of higher grades, excellent value diamonds
I-J: Near-colorless – slightly detectable color, exceptional value diamonds
K-M: Noticeable color – color is evident with the unaided eye
N-Z: Noticeable color – significantly colored stones