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Diamond Color and Clarity Guide

As with regular diamonds, color and clarity are important factors in determining the value of a color diamond. However, whereas clarity is paramount in determining the value of a colorless diamond, it is the rarity and intensity of color that determines a color diamond’s value.

Natural color diamonds can be various shades of:

- Yellow

- Orange

- Red

- Pink

- Purple

- Blue

- Green

- Olive

- Brown

- Black

- Grey

- White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow, brown, and grey diamonds are fairly common, while pink, purple, blue, green, and orange are somewhat rarer. Red is the rarest and most expensive color diamond of all. Keep in mind, however, that all natural color diamonds are considered somewhat rare—only about 1 in 10,000 diamonds is naturally color.

In addition to the primary color, natural color diamonds may have secondary colors, which will also affect their value. For example, while a pure, vivid yellow would be most expensive, an orangey yellow or brownish yellow diamond would be more affordable, as these blended colors are more common. The secondary color of a diamond affects its intensity, which is a key variable in its value.

Intensity Color Chart for Diamonds

Intensity of color is the second factor that determines a color diamond’s value. In order to create a uniform classification system for diamond color ratings, gem analysis laboratories have developed the fancy color diamond color grades. At the darkest end of the color scale are “Vivid” diamonds, followed by “Intense”, then “Fancy”, then “Light”.

The stronger the color, the rarer and more expensive the color diamond. The lighter the color, the cheaper and more common it is.

Color Diamond Clarity Chart

Like clear diamonds, color diamonds are rated on the traditional diamond clarity scale:

 

F

Flawless

free from all inclusions (internal defects ) or blemishes (external defects)

IF

Internally Flawless

no inclusions visible at 10x magnification

VVS1

Very, Very Slightly Included

inclusions extremely difficult to locate at 10x magnification

VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included

inclusions difficult to locate at 10x magnification

VS1

Very Slightly Included

minor inclusions difficult to locate at 10x magnification

VS2

Very Slightly Included

minor inclusions somewhat difficult to locate at 10x magnification

SI1

Slightly Included

noticeable inclusions, easy to locate at 10x magnification

SI2

Slightly Included

noticeable inclusions, very easy to locate at 10x magnification

I1

Included

obvious inclusions, somewhat easy to locate with naked eye

I2

Included

obvious inclusions, easy to locate with naked eye

I3

Included

obvious inclusions, very easy to locate with naked eye

Unlike clear diamonds, for which higher clarity is better, many color diamonds are quite valuable even with an SI1 or SI2 clarity rating because the inclusions (internal defects) are often crystals of the same color as the diamond, creating a more brilliant appearance.

 


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