Last Updated on 18/10/2020 by Wit Sudjaiampun
Last Updated on 12/02/2020 by Wit Sudjaiampun
What are ‘D Color’ diamonds and are they worth buying?
You might have heard of the D Color Belgian Diamond (also known as the “top color diamond”) because it is the most beautiful diamond color grade and is highly popular.
If you are looking to get your hands on a real Belgian cut diamond which is renowned for its beauty, surely you will want to buy one in the best diamond color grade possible which is the “Diamond Color 100%” (Thai diamond terminology) or the “D Color” in international terms.
When buying a diamond, its color is not something you should look over. Different color grades lead to different prices and values.
You may not have to know all the details on the color of diamonds but if you are equipped with the basic knowledge of this topic, you will be able to make smarter diamond purchases without the unnecessary overspending.
Most diamonds we see are colorless diamonds (“white” diamonds in Thai terms) which have many levels of clearness. If a diamond has a yellowish tint, it means that its color and clearness are bad and therefore it has a low value. The more clear and colorless a diamond is, the brighter and more valuable it is.
But this does not include cases that the diamonds have their distinctive colors such as blue, pink, and yellow – these are considered “Fancy Colors” and are extremely rare. They are much more valuable than colorless diamonds and in some cases, their prices may be multiples of the colorless diamonds.
Different Diamond Color Scales
GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is a highly renowned is the most trustworthy institution in the diamond industry, they were the ones who came up with the diamond color grading scale. The scale starts from the letter D and ends at the letter Z.
Thai people will usually refer to diamond colors as “เพชรน้ำ %”. “เพชร” (Petch) means diamond in Thai and “น้ำ” (Nam) means water, you can think of the Thai scale as to how similar to water a diamond is in clearness. “เพชรน้ำ 100%” means the diamond is clear as can be, in the GIA grading scale it is called the “D Color”
GIA Diamond Color Grading Scale
D Color diamonds is the best color because it has the least amount of color mixed in, making it look watery clear, and colorless. E Color and F Color diamonds appear similar and are hard to distinguish with just your eyes, only professional gemologists can distinguish between the D – E – F color diamonds (100% – 99% – 98% in Thai scale).
Generally, D – F diamond color grades are set into white gold settings because they have the same tone of white, making their combination harmonious; unlike the golden settings which have too much of a conflicting color, making the diamond look unappealing to the eye.
- Nearly Colorless
G – J diamond color grades are similar to the colorless diamonds at a glance even though they do contain a small amount of yellow tint. These diamonds should be set onto white gold settings to prevent the diamond from looking anymore yellow.
These diamonds are less rare than D – F (100% – 98%) color grade diamonds and so their prices are lower by about 10 – 15% even though their difference in colors is not that apparent.
- Faint Tint
K – M diamond color grades are diamonds that are visibly yellow at a glance. They are popularly set into gold settings because their warm tones go along well with each other.
Because these diamonds have such a visible yellow tint, their value is lower than the G – J diamonds by about 50%.
- Very Light Tint
Because of its yellowish or brownish colors, N – R diamonds will have a significantly lower value than the others. We recommend you do not buy diamonds of these color grades.
- Light Tint
Because these diamonds have a visible and unpleasant yellow or brown tone, we recommend you do not buy these diamonds.
Techniques to Buy Diamonds by Its Color Grade
When you buy diamonds, you should give a lot of importance to its diamond color grade. Other than considering your purchase with the help of a GIA diamond report, you should also see the diamond in real-life – you could also ask an expert for their advice.
If possible, try to see if the diamond has a yellowish tint. Check what it looks like when you shine yellow and white light onto it.
You should make sure that the diamond looks clear when it is in its setting, this is an important step to ensure that your diamond will look brilliant and stand out from its setting.
Next, I will advise you on how to choose a diamond color grade that suits its shape and setting.
White Gold Rings
Round diamonds: H – J Color (96% – 94%) unless you have quite a large amount of buying power and desire only the most beautiful things in life, I say this because if you select a diamond color grade of over “H”, you will have to pay a lot more for just minor increases in the color grade that may not be clearly visible.
Fancy Shape Diamonds (Princess, Emerald, Asscher): G – I Color ( 97% – 95%)
Other Diamond Shapes: F – H Color (98% – 96%)
Round Diamonds: K – M Color (93% – 91%) because the gold color of the ring will harmoniously blend with the colors of the diamond. Even if you choose a diamond of a higher color grade, it will still look yellow because of the ring.
Fancy Shape Diamonds (Princess, Emerald, Asscher): J – K Color (94% – 93%)
Other Diamond Shapes: I – J Color ( 95% – 94%)
Eternity Ring or Infinity Ring
Round Diamonds and Fancy Shape Diamonds (Princess, Emerald, Asscher): G – I Color (97% – 95%)
Other Diamond Shapes: F – H Color (เพชรน้ำ 98% – 96%)
All Diamond Shapes: F – H Color (98% – 96%)
Understanding the Color Grades of Diamonds
You may have heard that diamond color grades are one of the most important things to consider when you plan to buy a diamond gem. This is not always true.
Diamond color indeed plays an important role in the beauty and fire of the diamond, but in reality – diamonds that are 1-2 grade apart will usually appear the same to most eyes. For example, if we give an average Joe the chance to review diamonds ranging from G – J color (97% – 94%), he will not see the difference in color at all.
You may think selecting a D color grade diamond is a good decision, but from my experience – I advise you to prioritize “Cut Quality”.
The Difference Between Neighbouring Color Grades
Try testing your eyes from the picture down below. We have 9 diamonds, all have different color grades. On the left side, the diamonds are facing up and are in a random order whilst the diamonds on the right side are facing down and are in the correct order.
Can you match the diamonds on the left to its pair on the right side?
Here’s the answer: 1 = G, 2 = L, 3 = E, 4 = F, 5 = J, 6 = D, 7 = H, 8 = K, 9 = I
Most people are not able to distinguish between diamonds that are one color grade apart, even though their price gap between them is quite large.
Your Eyes and the Principles of 4C
The beauty of a diamond is made up of many factors.
The 4C of diamonds are often considered together to determine the beauty and brilliance of a diamond, because of this reason – using just your eyes may not be appropriate for considering the “Color” or the “Clarity” of a diamond.
The 4C should be used as a team when considering the overall beauty of a diamond, your eyes alone are not able to consider all 4 factors separately, but it can consider the beauty of a diamond as a package and so you should not focus solely on a diamond’s color grade.
Base the Importance of the Diamond Color Grade by the Diamond’s Shape
To make the selection of a diamond color grade easier, we recommend you to consider it along with the shape of the diamond as well for a clearer picture.
As each diamond shape has its own unique cuts and edges, diamond color grades are also important to consider on a case by case basis with each diamond shape because the order the diamond edges are arranged in is what will determine how much light will reflect within the diamond.
We have made a list of how important the diamond color grade is in different diamond shapes so you may get a better understanding with 1 being the least important and 10 being the most important.
- Round: 3
- Princess: 5
- Emerald, Asscher: 6
- Oval, Marquise, Pear, Heart: 7
- Radiant, Cushion: 8
Diamond Buyers Beware
Round Shape Diamonds are the most popular diamond shape in the world with around 2 in 3 diamonds sold being in this shape.
When you are buying a round shaped diamond, color is not the most important factor in determining the beauty of the diamond. For example, if you bring a round diamond of I – J color grade (95% – 94%) and ask most people what color grade these diamonds are – they would still say they are D color grade diamonds (unless they are experts).
The Setting Can Camouflage the Yellowness of the Diamond
Selecting the right material for a diamond’s setting will help hide or add on to the true color of the diamond. For example, white gold rings are great at accentuating the clearness of the diamond.
In simple terms, you will only know an I color grade diamond is indeed an I color grade diamond if there is another diamond of a higher grade next to it. Even professional gemologists use this comparing method to grade diamond color, they will usually place the diamond on a white piece of paper and then compare it to a “Master Diamond” to grade the diamond color.
Select a Center Diamond Which Matches the Surrounding Diamonds
Considering diamond color from only one diamond is a difficult task even for gemologists unless they happen to carry around a sample diamond at all times which is probably impractical, not to mention improbable.
Diamond color is important if you plan to buy a halo ring, an eternity ring, or an infinity ring. Initially, we advise you to match the surrounding diamonds to have the same diamond color grade as the center diamond. If not possible, you should at least select the surrounding diamonds that have a lower diamond color grade than the main piece to make the center diamond more eye-catching.
If you are planning to buy a single diamond ring without any surrounding diamonds, I recommend you to focus your budget on other components such as Clarity or Cut rather than Color to save your budget.
How Does Fluorescence Affect Diamond Color
Another equally important factor is “Fluorescence” because, to some extent, it also affects the diamond’s value.
Fluorescence is the reaction of the diamond gem when stimulated with Ultraviolet (UV) light which is the same light that is used to make your teeth whiter.
If the diamond has a “Strong Blue Fluorescence”, it will make most diamonds appear more cloudy but if a diamond of the lower color grades has “Slight Fluorescence” – it will make the diamond appear clearer. You should consider this on a case-by-case basis.
Conclusion: Many Other Factors Are More Important Than Color
The best method to select an appropriate diamond is to consider all components of the diamond which will most affect the beauty and the brilliance of the diamond.
You should consider diamond color once you have made up your mind on the diamond shape and cut because as we have said previously, you should not let diamond color determine your decision.
If you want us to help you select a diamond which suits you most, you can contact us now so that we may help you in this task which is tedious and requires expertise, that is, the task of selecting the best diamond for you from an enormous quantity of diamonds so that you may receive the most brilliant diamond possible within your budget. Tell us what you want and we’ll find it.
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