Diamond color holds an important place among the 4 Cs, alsmot as important as diamond cut styles. To a casual observer, a lot of diamonds appear completely colorless on first sight, but that is often little more than an illusion. Most diamonds on the market have at least slight tints of color in them. In the majority of cases, the stone has a yellow hue. There are “colored diamonds” as well, but these are not subject to the same color grading system.
Origin of the Diamond Color Scale
Many scales of diamond color grading were previously in use, up until the GIA brought in something a lot more consistent than the confused mess that people had been struggling with. The GIA color scale is the most commonly preferred scale today, owing to its superior reliability. The grading systems previously used had diamonds rated as I, II, III, etc, but that was too simplistic considering there are many different things that play into the overall quality of a stone. One major drawback of those was that there was no dependable indication of the true color of a stone unless you saw it firsthand. GIA fixed that with its new scale, which marks color starting at D and ending at Z. “D” diamonds are absolutely colorless, while those at or near “Z” have the most color in them. The choice of “D” as starting point owed to previous scales all using with “A”, “B”, and “C” almost randomly. GIA skipped those letters to prevent confusion in case terminologies were ever to overlap. You can see that the color range goes as far out as Z, but it is not a common practice for jewelers to stock diamonds towards that end, because those are rarely good enough to buy.
D to Z Color Scale
Despite diamonds occurring and sold in all colors and sizes, it is hard to find one that is truly colorless. So these cost more, and are always seen as good collectibles. It is these diamonds that are in the D color grade, and most of the time, they are of relatively smaller size. As you proceed down the scale, you would be able to find the intensity of color going up. On the other hand, you would also be able to get much bigger stones for the same price, or lower pricing on similarly sized diamonds.