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Color
In addition to carat weight and clarity, an equally important quality that affects the value of diamonds is color. In fact, color is a very important factor in a diamond’s value. Ideal diamonds are supposed to be colorless, and those that come close to this ideal are the most expensive, not to mention beautiful and rare. The most beautiful diamond is compared with the purest water due to its colorless limpidness. Consequently, these colorless crystals have good refractive properties; meaning, they glitter or sparkle when light strikes them. Without such refraction, their being colorless would render them quite undetectable.

 Literatures commonly illustrate color rating using the GIA scale, in which diamonds are graded from being colorless to near colorless, to faint yellow, very light yellow, and light yellow and finally, light-fancy type. This color scale is divided into six grades, namely: “D/E/F” for colorless, “G/H/I/J” for near colorless, “K/L/M/N” for faint yellow, “O/P/Q/N/R” for very light yellow, “R/S/T” for light yellow and “X/Y/Z” for light-fancy type. That the grade of diamonds begins with “D” is said to indicate that diamonds are a unique class.

The GIA Color Scale for Grading the Color of Diamonds:

 D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 Colorless Near Colorless
 Faint Yellow
 Very Light Yellow
 Light Yellow

The color scale in Table 2 is often used in grading laboratories, yet said scale is just one of the numerous international color grades for polished diamonds. Other known scales are the Traditional UK, German RAL Scan DN, Scan DN (under 0.5 carats), CIBJAO and IDC. The Traditional UK scale has such color rating progression as finest white, fine white, white, commercial white, top silver cape, silver cape, light cape, cape and dark cape. Some grading scales are so detailed and have more color grades than the others, such as the IDC, which uses the scale from exceptional white +, to exceptional white, rare white +, rare white, white, slightly tinted white, tinted white, tinted colour 1 and so on until tinted colour 4. Also, the German RAL Scan DN grades color of stones 0.5 carat and above using the following scale: river, top wesselton, wesselton, top crystal, crystal, top cape, cape, light yellow, and yellow.

International Color Grades:

 Traditional UK German RAL Scan DN (0.5 carats upwards) Scan DN (under 0.5 carats) GIA CIBJO IDC
Finest white

Fine white

White

Commercial white

Top silver cape

Silver cape

Light Cape

Cape

Dark Cape













River

Top wesselton

Wesselton

Top crystal

Crystal

Top cape

Cape

Light yellow

Yellow















Rarest white

Rare white

White

Slightly tinted white

Tinted white

Slightly yellowish

Yellowish

Yellow

















D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S-Z

Exceptional white+

Exceptional white

Rare white+

Rare white

White

Slightly tinted white

Tinted white

Tinted color














Exceptional white+

Exceptional white

Rare white+

Rare white

White

Slightly tinted white

Tinted white

Tinted color

Tinted color 1

Tinted color 2

Tinted color 3

Tinted color 4







Diamond graders usually use a colorimeter or spectrophotometer for convenience, greater objectivity and accuracy of results. Yet really good graders can determine stone color with naked eye; their only tools are the good natural north daylight and their impeccable training. This latter method of manual color grading, however subjective, derives its dependability upon the master grader’s training.
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