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Diamond Colour 101


A diamond is a highly precious stone and is one of the hardest known natural materials in the world. Many high profile celebrities, royalties and ultra-rich people buy diamonds both for adornment and investments. When in time of unforeseen financial problems, diamonds can be easily sold for a high amount.

The price of a diamond is generally based on 4 Cs – Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut. Among these four, the colour may be the hardest to decide because there is a wide array of diamond colours to choose from. There are a variety of colours of diamonds found in the market today. There pink, yellow, blue, brown, red and many other colours. In fact due to structural shifting and a variety of impurities, many other tints of diamonds exist. 

To the jewellers, diamonds have colour grading to determine the price of the stone. Grades D-E-F generally refers to the colourless type. Diamonds having these grades are usually the more expensive types and very difficult to find because of their rarity. Grade G-H-I-J are the nearly colourless types and maybe relatively expensive. Diamonds having grades K-L-M have usually yellow tints. Grades can reach up to Z and price decreases as the grading approaches Z. 

If you are a purist and have a lot of money, settle for diamonds with a grade of D-F. They are the best the industry but they may be sold by select few jewellers. Near colourless diamonds within G-I grade show no noticeable colour and tints to the naked eye can also be an excellent choice. 

It is very common to find fancy and coloured diamonds in the market today. Even though they are designed for mass appeal, the still exude elegance and style so it is no wonder that one can see high profile people in public functions wearing these stylish coloured diamonds. 

Fancy and colourful diamonds are created by irradiation which can turn yellow or brown diamonds into greens, blues, reds and other fancy coloured ones. These fancy coloured diamonds are an inexpensive alternative to the rare and very expensive natural colourless diamonds. But these fancy coloured diamonds should not be considered as an investment. If you want to buy one of these fancy coloured diamonds, make sure you ask the jeweller for care instructions. 

There are two general grading for fancy coloured diamonds. The first is based on basic hue like yellow, blue, green, etc. The second grading is based on intensity. In general, the more intense the colour, the more expensive the coloured diamond costs. As an example, a fancy vivid pink diamond is more expensive than fancy light pink even if they have exactly the same clarity, shape and size. 

To conceal yellowish tints in diamonds that may affect the diamond’s quality and price, some jewellers trick buyers by applying coatings to the diamonds to change the colour. These coatings will eventually rub off in time. If you are buying diamonds, this is one aspect you should be wary about.