What Is Diamond Color?

At Emerson Fine Jewelry, we believe that understanding the intricacies of diamond color is essential when selecting the perfect diamond for your jewelry piece. In this blog, we'll further explain the nuances of diamond color, exploring its significance, grading, and impact on a diamond's beauty and value.

Understanding Diamond Color

Diamond color refers to the presence or absence of coloration within a diamond, primarily visible as a tint in the gemstone. In the most valued diamonds, which are colorless, this tint is absent, allowing more light to pass through and enhancing the stone’s inherent brilliance.

Diamond Color Grading and Value

Diamond color is evaluated using a scale that ranges from D, representing colorless, to Z, which indicates light yellow or brown hues. This grading system was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the foremost authority in diamond grading. The scale is designed to provide a consistent and standardized method for assessing the color of diamonds. 

The color grade of a diamond is one of the key determinants of its value, with the degree of colorlessness being a pivotal factor; diamonds closer to colorless (D) are typically more valuable, reflecting their rarity and highly sought-after aesthetic.

  1. Colorless (D-F): Diamonds in this range are considered the most valuable and rare. They exhibit no visible color and are highly sought after for their exceptional brilliance and purity.
  2. Near Colorless (G-J): Diamonds in this range may have a slight hint of color, usually yellow or brown, but it is often not noticeable to the untrained eye. These diamonds offer excellent value for those seeking high-quality stones without the premium price.
  3. Faint to Light Yellow (K-M): Diamonds in this range begin to show more noticeable hints of yellow or brown. While still suitable for jewelry, they are less valuable than higher-grade diamonds.
  4. Very Light to Light Yellow (N-R): Diamonds in this range exhibit a more pronounced yellow or brown tint. They are less common in fine jewelry but can still be used in certain settings.
  5. S-Z: Diamonds in this range have a noticeable yellow or brown color. While they may not be as valuable as colorless or near-colorless diamonds, they can still be beautiful and creatively fashioned.

Setting and Metal Color

The choice of metal color for your setting can significantly impact how the diamond's color is perceived. Here's how different metal colors can affect the appearance of your diamond:

Yellow Gold Setting

A yellow gold setting can complement a diamond with a slight yellow tint. The warm tones of the metal can enhance the diamond's color, making it appear more cohesive and balanced. This setting is particularly suitable for diamonds in the near-colorless range (G-J), as the yellow gold can mask any faint yellow hues in the diamond.

White Gold or Platinum Setting

A white gold or platinum setting can enhance the brilliance of a colorless diamond. These metals provide a neutral backdrop that allows the diamond's natural color to shine through. The cool tones of white gold or platinum can make a colorless diamond appear brighter and more vibrant, showcasing its beauty and sparkle.

Rose Gold Setting

Rose gold is a popular choice for engagement ring settings due to its romantic and feminine appearance. While rose gold can complement a diamond of any color, it may not be the best choice if you're trying to minimize the appearance of color in your diamond. The warm tones of rose gold can possibly enhance the warmth of a diamond with a slight yellow tint.

Diamond Shape

The shape of a diamond can also impact how its color is perceived. Some diamond shapes are better at hiding color than others. Here are a few examples:

Round Brilliant

The round brilliant cut is known for its ability to hide color. Its symmetrical shape and faceting patterns can help disguise any hints of color in the diamond, making it appear whiter and more colorless than it actually is. If you're concerned about diamond color, a round brilliant cut diamond may be a good choice.

Princess Cut

The princess cut is another popular choice for engagement rings. While it can hide some color, its square shape and large table (the flat top of the diamond) can make any color more noticeable, especially near the corners of the stone. If you prefer a princess cut diamond, consider selecting a higher color grade to ensure the diamond appears as colorless as possible.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a rectangular shape with step-like facets. While this cut can showcase the clarity of a diamond, it may not hide color as well as other shapes. If you choose an emerald cut diamond, consider selecting a higher color grade to minimize any visible hints of color.


When purchasing a diamond, it's essential to ask for a diamond grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory such as the GIA or AGS. This report provides detailed information about the diamond's color grade, among other characteristics, allowing you to make an informed decision. At Emerson Fine Jewelry, our diamonds are certified by either GIA or AGS to ensure confidence in your purchasing process. Here's why certification is crucial:

  • Accuracy: A diamond grading report from a reputable laboratory ensures that the diamond's color grade is accurate and unbiased. This information is vital when comparing diamonds and determining their value.
  • Confidence: With a diamond grading report, you can have confidence in the quality and authenticity of your diamond. It serves as a guarantee of the diamond's specifications, giving you peace of mind in your purchase.
  • Comparison: The diamond grading report allows you to compare diamonds based on their color grades, helping you choose the diamond that best suits your preferences and budget.


Understanding the nuances of diamond color grading, the impact of setting and metal color, and the role of diamond shape can help you make an informed decision when selecting a diamond. By choosing a diamond with the right color grade for your preferences and budget, you can ensure that your jewelry piece is not only visually stunning but also a valuable investment for years to come. At Emerson Fine Jewelry, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality diamonds that meet your standards of beauty and excellence.