Color (or lack of color) is the most notable and most beautiful characteristic of most gemstones. In diamonds, color refers to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Colorless diamonds allow more light to pass through them and so they appear to sparkle more brilliantly. Diamonds with no color in them (truly white diamonds) are rare finds and are among the most expensive.
Fancy diamonds (canary yellow and pink) are prized for their color and hue. These fancy or fancy-colored diamonds can be any color from blue to bright yellow and are extremely rare, hence extremely expensive.
Diamond Color Grading
The diamond color grading system was first used by the GIA in the 1950s, who used alpha tags to describe each color. The top color is D and the spectrum follow down through the alphabet as the diamonds gaine more yellow. Hence:
- D-E-F - Top colors and mean that diamonds are colorless
- G-H-I-J - These diamonds are near colorless and often represent excellent value (no color is generally visible to the untrained eye)
- K-L-M - Start to show obvious color (can be minimised with good alloy choice)
Color is particularly important for colored gemstones. The most valuable gemstones have a vivid color, that looks even and which is saturated throughout the whole stone. All gems tend to have a preferred color or a relatively small range of preferred colors. The more the color varies from this range - lighter or darker, more vivid or less - the less valuable the stone tends to be.
Color is composed of three dimensions: hue, tone and saturation.
- Hue refers to the impression of color which is noticed immediately, such as red, yellow or blue.
- Tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of a stone.
- Saturation defines the degree of purity of a hue.
Gemstones by Color
You will find the following gemstones (and birthstones) in the following colors: