While diamonds come in a variety of colors, and distinct colors (known as “Fancy Diamonds”) are rare and prized, the majority of people are interested in colorless or near colorless diamonds. Colorless diamonds can be completely colorless, or have a faint to light yellow tint. The yellow tinting is seen as a detriment to the quality of the diamond as it will have a muting effect on the light entering and reflecting out of the diamond, essentially dulling its appearance.
Color is rated on a letter scale, from D to Z, with D having nearly no color. Within this range diamonds rated D-F are considered Colorless, G-J Nearly Colorless, K-M having a Faint Tint, N-R having a Very Light Tint and S-Z having a Light Tint. As a rule, anything with a rating lower than M should never be considered for an engagement ring.
Color Based on Band Material
When buying a diamond that will be set in either Platinum or White Gold, the stone should reside in one of the two “Colorless” ranges. Because of the white reflective nature of the band, any yellow tinting found within the diamond will become apparent. Inversely, a Yellow Gold band can accentuate a diamond with a Faint Tint positively. With the band already being yellow, it helps to mute any of the natural tinting found within the stone, making it appear like a diamond with a higher Color rating.
Color Based on Shape
If you are using a setting with multiple diamonds bracketing a solitaire, by choosing a lesser Color rating for the adjoining diamonds, the center diamond will appear to have a high rating. Additionally, the Shape of a diamond can be used to gain value in relationship to the Color as well. The simplest Shapes, Round and Princess, will reflect the most light and thus will benefit most from a higher rated diamond on the Color scale. While diamonds with more unique shapes, such as Pear, Heart or Oval, can mask some of a diamond’s tinting and are thus more accepting of a higher Color grade.
How much do adjacent Color ranges really matter?
In our quest to continuously find added value when selecting a diamond, it is important to note that determining the Color of a diamond is incredibly difficult. Unlike a diamond with a poor Cut, which will be evidently dull; or a diamond with poor Clarity, which will have noticeable inclusions; telling a diamond with an F Color apart from a diamond with an H Color is quite difficult, especially with the naked eye. As such, when choosing which elements of a diamond can be sacrificed in order to better others, Color is a prime candidate as a value-added proposition. Furthermore, choosing a Yellow Gold band and a more intricate Shape will allow you to make a diamond in the K-M Color range look spectacular. If you would like to see how choosing a slightly lower Color range can help achieve significant savings, please reach out to us and we’ll walk you through it.