Color grade selection criteria of diamond is very important and should always be considered during its buying process. After going through this page, you should be in a position to take wise decision at the time of purchasing diamond.
But before proceeding further, you must first get yourself familiarized with difference between White and Fancy Colored Diamonds.
Color Grades of Diamond
Diamonds are graded from D to Z on GIA scale (GIA International Diamond Grading Scale). Grading varies with color of diamond.
D colored diamond is the rarest and most expensive of all. There are very few diamonds that are graded as D.
Diamonds graded from D to F are categorized in the "colorless" range. These diamonds, when set in jewelry appear white.
G to J color are "near colorless" and when mounted in a setting, these diamonds may appear colorless to the untrained eye.
K to M have "faint yellowish tint". Smaller diamonds under this category, when mounted appear colorless. Diamonds of 0.5 carat or more show traces of color.
N to R have "very light yellowish tint". Diamonds graded in this range show trace of color even in the smaller size range.
S to Z is categorized as "tinted light yellowish" these diamonds show increasingly yellow tints to even untrained eye, and appear very off-white.
Effect of Color on Price of Diamond
For instance, let’s suppose if the cost of a 1 carat, D/Flawless (here 'flawless' indicates clarity of diamond) diamond is $40,000 then the similar stone in E color grade will cost less, i.e. may be $30000.
Similarly, if a 1 carat D/VS1 (Very Small Inclusion) costs $20000 then the similar stone in E color grade may cost only $15000.
P.S. - Illustrations given above for color grade selection are only for explanation purpose, so it should not be used as pricing guide.
Color Grade Selection Tips
During color grade selection, always remember that when D, E and F color diamonds are set in jewelry, it’s extremely difficult to differentiate between the three.
So, I will advise you to compare them by placing them next to each other. This will help you make better decision.
You can also share Your Jewelry Buying Experience and read what other visitors have said.
Working with limited budget?
Suppose you are choosing your engagement ring and you have selected a ring with 1 carat stone of D color and VS1 (Very Small Inclusion) quality. Now, it may be possible that the choice is not in your budget. Then what will you do?
In that case, you may ask the jeweler for suggestions. Following can be jeweler’s suggestion and my opinion on that:
Jeweler: You can lower the clarity of diamond from VS1 to SI so that it fits your budget.
My opinion: Let me tell you when you lower the clarity, difference in sparkle of diamond will be quite visible. So, don’t straight away compromise on clarity of diamond.
Jeweler: I will show you smaller sized diamond of 0.80 ct that will meet your budget.
My Opinion: He says, since 1 carat diamond is not in your budget, you can choose smaller diamond for your engagement ring. What? Choose smaller diamond. Never!! You have always dreamed of big diamond for your engagement ring. Difference between a 1 ct diamond and a 0.80 ct diamond can easily be detected by naked eyes.
Jeweler: I will show you diamond with not so good cut.
My Opinion: Now he suggests you to compromise on cut. But think twice before agreeing. We know that diamond with not so good cut will be priced less but that will also be less sparkling. Again, this difference will also be quite visible.
I am sure by now you would be wondering that what all factors can be considered while compromising on your choice. Well, in that case I will suggest "Don’t compromise".
Just choose between H and I color. As mentioned above (in Color Grading section), it’s very difficult to differentiate between these two grades and D grade diamonds, that too when mounted on metal.
While the price of H and I grade diamonds will be substantially less than D grade, color of diamond will visibly remain same. This will ensure that you are not required to compromise on cut, clarity and weight of diamond while adjusting to your budgeting need. After all, it's all about your engagement ring which has to be The BEST!