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One of the 4Cs includes diamond colour, which impacts its appearance as well as value. In a highly common phenomenon, when light hits and enters the diamond, most of it is reflected back to our eyes in ‘rainbow’ colour patterns. This phenomenon, known as the fire of the diamond is usually reduced when the stone has visible colour in it, decreasing its reflection capability.
Here are all the ways how you can search for visible colour in a diamond, which affects its sparkle, fire, and value.
In general, diamonds are famous for being crystal white as they reflect more than 80% of the light that enters them (based on their cut). However, you must have come across several stones that look far from the white bright and elegant diamonds that you’re so fond of, but why so? Because diamonds come in several shades, including pink, blue, and yellow.
Although the idea of colourful diamonds sounds interesting, the presence of the yellow tint in a white diamond acts as a ‘deformity’, thereby lowering the stone’s market value. In simple terms, a diamond with less body colour will reflect more true light, in turn increasing its value.
Let’s take a deeper look into the world of diamonds and their variety of shades.
Every diamond in the world has been assigned a colour grade by Gemological Institute of America (GIA) depending upon the shade they possess. Grading of stones in such a way helps in determining the diamond value and their usage. Thus, while a diamond may not be certified by GIA, every diamond that makes it to the market is graded based on GIA’s grading chart.
It is pretty standard across the globe. The grading scale starts from D (colourless) and goes all the way to Z (light colour). The colour-grading of the diamond is based on the stone being colourless. So, if a stone carries less or no colour, they are graded higher in the scale. Interestingly enough, all the diamond stones from grade D to Z are termed under ‘white diamonds’ even though they contain a varying degree of colours to themselves.
Note: Fancy coloured diamonds, such as pink, blue, and yellow, are graded on a separate scale.
A Quick Overview of Diamond Grades
D is the highest diamond grade, and the stones belonging to this grade are almost as clear as water and ice. They reflect the maximum amount of light that enters them. The grade E and F contain slight traces of colour in them, which can only be detected by an expert eye, i.e. a gemologist. Evidently, the diamonds that fall under D, E, and F grade are rare in the world and carry hefty price tags along with them. They often go well with white gold or platinum as yellow gold or rose gold might turn the attention away from the diamond’s brilliance.
Same as its name, the stones falling under this section of grade display nearly zero colours in them. The diamonds appear clear and without any traces of colour by the naked eye and often require a keen observer or a tool to capture the shades that might be in the stones; their less than perfect appearance even makes them moderately expensive. The diamonds graded G and H are good for platinum and white gold, while I and J graded stones can be mounted on yellow gold.
This grade of diamond possesses a faint tint of yellow shade that is visible with the naked eye. You can clearly differentiate between higher-grade diamond and this grade diamond by comparing them with your eyes. As a result, they are less desirable and do not cost a fortune, although they can still be used as jewellery along with yellow gold and rose gold.
They have almost nil reflection as compared to above-mentioned grades. These stones have very visible colour in them, often yellow and brown. Subsequently, their market demand, as well as market value, is less, making them less desirable for jewellery making.
These lowest grade diamonds are easily noticeable to carry yellow or brown tint. They are the least expensive diamond and considered unfit for making any kind of ornament.
As per the explanation above, you must have understood how diamond grading is essential to know the market value and demand. No one wishes to buy diamond jewellery that possesses less brilliance and no elegance. Thus, the diamond value in the market is based on how clear, brilliant, reflective, and colourless a diamond is.
For instance, a diamond that falls under grade D, E, and F is likely to have high value and demand owing to its colourless structure and brilliant reflection. In simple terms, the higher the position of the clarity grade, the more expensive and elegant will be the diamond. However, in such cases, you need to ensure that the diamond of your liking is within your budget before you finalize on buying it. For the safer side, you can usually go till grade K, L, and M, if you’re thinking of shopping diamond mounted on yellow gold.
There are a few necessary tips that you must follow if you’re thinking of buying a diamond for the first or even the nth time.
Always focus on the colour of the diamond. Take the stone in your hand, tilt it in different light sources, and see if there is any visible colour spots or tints in it. While you can always buy the diamond if it has faint shade, but try to keep your stone choice between the D to M, based on your budget.
Secondly, focus on the diamond cut as well. While colour determines the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond, it is the cut that finally has a say in the stone’s overall colourless and brilliant appearance. So, always look for the combination of cut and colour while buying a diamond.
Always pay the right price, and how can you do that? By obtaining the certifications that prove the authenticity and originality of lab tested and analyzed diamond.
Lastly, choose the right set of setting to go with your diamond. For example, a white gold mounting will look amazing for a high-grade diamond, and yellow gold mounting will appear to be good for faint coloured diamond stones.
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