The four c’s of diamond grading -colour

What started as the brainchild of GIA founder Robert Shipley in 1940 is now a widely used as a guide in evaluating faceted diamonds. Of the 4 C’s – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight this article will explore colour grading.

The accepted standard in colour grading within the industry is the D – Z scale which the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) first introduced. Many people wonder why the colourless scale starts at D and not A and that is because previous methods had used A – C in their grading. So for it be clear and fresh, they started at D.

Colour, in the case of diamonds is actually measuring an absence of colour. This is because most “colourless” or “white” diamonds actually contain trace amounts of yellow, brown or grey colour. The less colour in a diamond, the more desirable and valuable it is. Although colour grade impacts the price of a stone, differences of one to three colour grades are not easily detectable to untrained eyes.

 majority of our clients, prefer diamonds in the range of F – H. Buying a diamond is all about small compromises. Most people have a budget and so they need to decide the aspects of the diamond that are the most important to them. Everyone’s tolerance for a small trace of colour through the diamond is different. They must then weigh this up against the budget and also what they may be willing to compromise on with regards to other factors such as clarity and carat weight. Basically, most Hope Diamonds clients fall into one of the following ranges:

D – E Colour is super important and they are happy to go for a smaller diamond with a higher colour grade

F – H Colour is important, but the imperceptible difference is not worth the extra money and they are happy to compromise a little to get a balance in colour, clarity or and carat weight diamond.

I – K Carat weight is valued over colour and would forgo the colour for a larger diamond.

Most of my clients sit in the middle range. With colour there is no wrong or right answer, it comes down to client preference. If you would like to make a time to come in and view some diamonds to see where your colour preference sits, book a time today here.

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