On Diamond Color Grades and an Ideal Range for Buyers

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On Diamond Color Grades and an Ideal Range for Buyers

diamond color grades range

When it comes to buying diamonds for any purpose, chances are you’ve heard about what are known as “the four Cs.” Referring to cut, color, clarity and carat weight, these four metrics represent the primary components of any diamond, helping define its beauty, structure and overall value.

At AAA Jewelers, we’re happy to explain the four Cs for any of our custom diamond jewelry pieces, helping you understand their interplay and which elements you want to prioritize for your diamond purchase. In today’s blog, we’ll go over some basics on the second C here: Color. How is color determined within diamonds, and why is it valuable? In addition, we’ll also look at some common shapes within a popular color grade, and why that grade is often a great choice. Let’s get started.

Grading Based on Absence of Color

Within the diamond world, higher value is generally assigned to those rarer diamonds that are as close to totally colorless as possible. The absolute most valuable diamonds have absolutely no color, and rather are completely white and colorless.

For this reason, diamond colors are graded based on the absence of color, not the presence of it. Letter grades are used for diamond color, beginning with D – lower letters in this range indicate colorless and highly valuable options. As you get to the back of the alphabet, you see more and more color, all the way up to Z-graded diamonds, which will have a light yellow or brown coloration.

It’s also important to note that color is graded from the bottom of a given stone. Diamonds are set upside-down and graded against a set of master stones to obtain their color grade. This is to ensure there is no confusion based on certain diamond cuts showing more or less color when turned over.

Common I-Grade Diamond Shapes

As we noted above, many buyers want a colorless diamond – or as close to it as possible within their budget. For many on a moderate budget, the lowest grades will be outside the price range; this is why the I color grade, and those around it, have become so popular among such groups. These diamonds do have a tiny bit more color than truly colorless options, but you have to look really hard to notice it with the naked eye – there is no yellow or any other major tint to I-grade diamonds.

With this in mind, here are some I-grade diamond shapes that are commonly found today:

  • Cushion cut: Cushion cut diamonds hide color very well with modern cutting styles, which conceal any warmth with detailed proportions.
  • Oval or pear: These cuts are chosen specifically to not have a strong tint of yellow or any other major color.
  • Step cuts: Also called Emerald or Asscher cuts, these contain a facet arrangement that brings parallel lines to the pattern – this limits color being shown as much as other elongated shapes.

For more on diamond color grades and why the I-grade and similar levels are perfect for many buyers, or to learn about any of our diamond engagement or fashion jewelry, speak to the staff at AAA Jewelers today.