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The 4 C's: Color

Most people don’t associate Color with a diamond except when they talk about naturally colored diamonds. In fact, when we talk about Color in a diamond, we are actually talking about how colorless the diamond is. The Color grading scale begins at D, which is colorless, and goes all the way down to Z. As you get farther in the scale, you start to see a brown or yellow color intensifying!

When a Graduate Gemologist evaluates a diamond for Color, they compare it to a set of master stones that has been meticulously created to represent each Color on the scale. They also use a special light that is daylight equivalent, and generally, they grade in a dark room. The color of a shirt or the color of a wall can reflect additional color into a diamond, so graders wear and surround themselves with neutral colors so that they don’t mis-grade a diamond!

There is an underlying expectation when you purchase an engagement ring or upgrade for an anniversary that all diamonds are colorless, which is not the case. This is why there are 23 color grades! Some people have a more discerning eye and can see the warm color with their naked eye when the Color grade falls below a G grade. Seeing Color in a diamond isn’t a bad thing, but it is up to the wearer and her/his expectations!

When the Color of a diamond goes beyond the last grade of Z, it goes into another grading scale for fancy colored diamonds! Some of the colors diamonds can naturally be are brown, yellow, blue, pink, red, purple, orange, green, and black! Next week, I will talk more on naturally colored diamonds!

In the past 3 weeks, we have learned about Carat, Cut, Clarity, and finally, we conclude this four part series with Color. It’s important to learn about these 4 C’s because they are the primary way faceted diamonds are evaluated since the grading standards were introduced in the 1930’s. Prior to that time, every jeweler and diamond wholesaler had their own standards which made it extremely difficult for the consumer to know what they were buying. The 4 C’s have become a roadmap, and when you understand them, it’s easy to be confident in your most special purchase! (Start reading the other blog posts on the 4 C’s at )

As the science of diamonds continues to grow with technology, my curiosity and fascination increases! Book your one-on-one appointment with me to talk more about them!

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