The best color is no
color. The finest colorless stone carries a "D" rating, descending through each
letter of the alphabet to Z. Should a diamond have color, it may be seen as
either light yellow, yellow, brown, or gray.
Acting as a prism, a diamond can divide light into a spectrum of colors and reflect this light as colorful flashes called fire. Just as when looking through a colored glass, color in a diamond will act as a filter, and will diminish the spectrum of color emitted. The less color in a diamond, the more colorful the fire, and the better the color grade.
Diamond color is one of the most important factors to consider, as it is noticeable to the naked eye. A diamond’s color is graded on an alphabetical scale from D to Z, with D being absolute colorless ad Z being light yellow. Beyond Z-color, a diamond is considered to be a “fancy” color. Although many diamonds appear to be colorless, the many of them have at least a hint of body color.
A diamond’s color has a significant impact on its value. When buying a diamond, take into consideration that it is often very difficult to detect the difference between a colorless diamond (D to F) and a near colorless diamond (G to J), especially when mounted in jewelry. When directly comparing diamonds for color, most consumers are unable to detect a difference unless they are at least two or three color grades apart. An example of this would be that a "J" color to one person may be seen as either a "G" or "H" color by another person or possibly a "J" or "K" color by yet another. A variance in color can be from many different elements such as the type of light you are viewing your diamond in, the color of the setting that the stone is set in, or the colors surrounding the stone. These are just a few elements that could cause a difference in color. Diamonds that are absolutely clear are the most sought-after and therefore the most expensive. But many diamonds have imperfections – scratches, trace minerals or other tiny characteristics that can detract from the pure beauty of the diamond.
It is often surprising
to learn that diamonds also occur by rare accidents of nature in shades of pink,
blue, green, amber, or even red. These rarely occurring colors are referred to
as fancies and are evaluated by a different set of color standards. These
standards take into consideration various factors such as hue and saturation.
Fancy colored diamonds are the most expensive because of their extreme rarity.
Some fancy colors can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for diamonds of one
carat or less.
Fluorescence is not directly related to a diamond's color. This separate characteristic refers to the diamond's ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light. Our sun emits some UV light, but it is usually not great enough to detect fluorescence. The most common source of UV is a black light. When exposed to UV light, many diamonds will give off a distinctive glowing blue coloration. Although fluorescence may be displayed in various colors, blue is the most common in diamonds. Although fluorescence is a characteristic that can be measured, it is seldom an issue when selecting a diamond. Diamond fluorescence is a complex science, but in the world of diamonds, a fairly straightforward quality grading process. At the end of the day, the “eye is in the beholder” – but note that the highly fluorescent diamond is not necessarily the best.