When it comes to buying and selling diamonds, there are different factors that contribute to the price of the diamond. And one of the is the color of the diamond. It goes without saying, but even the most subtle of differences in the color of a diamond can affect its value. So the clarity, carat, and cut can all be the same for two diamonds, but even the slightest hint of a color can make a huge impact of the overall value. It is important to understand this difference.

There are a few different colors you will find diamonds in. The normal color range for a diamond will fall between colorless to light yellow. Within this range, the colorless diamonds are the most rare. Thus it is the colorless diamonds that are the most valuable. The colorless diamonds set the standard for grading and pricing for other diamonds in the normal color range.

When determining the color grade of a diamond, the GIA laboratory has a control method. They compare diamonds to round brilliant diamonds of color called masterstones.


Many diamonds emit a visible light called fluorescence when they are exposed to ultraviolet radiation. UV radiation is invisible to the human eye, but it is all around us. Under the prefect circumstances, you can see fluorescence in around 35% of gem diamonds. The most common fluorescence in gem-quality diamonds is blue. In more uncommon instances, fluorescence can be yellow, white, orange, or honestly many other colors.

When there is strong blue fluorescence, it can make a light yellow diamond look closer to colorless one in sunlight. Blue and yellow are actually color opposites. So they tend to cancel each other out and the blue fluorescence masks the yellow color. However, if the fluorescence is too strong, then it can make the stone look cloudy or “oily,” which can lower the value of the diamond.

Color Grading Scale

When evaluating a diamond for color, the evaluation is done based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, which in turn means it sells at a higher value. GIA has a color-grading system from D to Z. This system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and viewing conditions to the aforementioned masterstones.

This D to Z grading scale is the most widely accepted for grading out colors. D represents the most colorless and it goes down from there. So conversely, Z has the most color possible. It is worth noting that many of the color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye. However, though hard to spot with your eye, you will surely spot the difference in price!

Contact Us Today

Lieber and Solow has years of experience working within the diamond industry. So we can help define the perfect price points for the diamonds you need. For more information about understanding the color grading scale and its importance to the price point, please give us a call. The number for our office is 212-354-4060. When you call, we can go over what you are looking for and provide you with fair and accurate price points. Be sure to read more about the importance of diamond quality factors and how they may make or break the price point of any given diamond.