]]>Photo credits: Justin (Flickr)All people agree, from royalty to high profile celebrities to die-hard romantics, that diamonds are extremely precious stones—and precious investments.The cost and value of diamonds is usually based on the 4 C’s: Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut. Out of all four, colour is probably the hardest to choose as diamonds come in a huge assortment of different hues. But by understanding the basics of the 4Cs, you’ll have a better insight of how they interact with each other and how they will help you to best choose a stone that suits both your taste and your budget.Variations of Diamond ColoursColorless diamonds, called white diamonds, are extremely rare. In fact, most diamonds that you see in jewellery shops are coloured. It’s against the white diamonds that all other shades of diamonds are compared to.There is a set of guidelines that is typically used to grade diamonds. These guidelines were devised by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Graded diamonds are normally compared to the colour of what are known as control stones, a preselected set of gems of specific colours.The Diamond Colour Grading ProcedureIn order for diamonds to be graded, they need to be loose. That’s because once the stone is set into a metal, it can affect the shades. For example, a yellowish stone can look a lot more yellow when set in yellow gold. Or even less yellow when set in platinum or white gold.The loose diamonds are placed pavilion-up and table-down and then viewed with a 10X loupe – a small magnifying glass used by jewellers.Finally, a lettering system ranging from D to Z is used to help identify the amount of colour each diamond possesses. D is awarded to the rarest and colourless of diamonds.Colour Grades for DiamondsColourless diamonds as well as those that are yellow or even yellowish brown are all grouped into the below categories. These categories don’t apply to the fancier coloured diamonds which have their own separate colour grading standards.• D-E-F – colourless diamonds• G-H-I-J – nearly colourless diamonds• K-L-M – faintly tinted diamonds, usually yellows• N-O-P-Q-R – lightly tinted diamonds, also usually yellow. The tint on these diamonds can been seen with the naked eye.• S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z –tinted diamonds, normally yellow and can progress towards brownish. The tint is visible to the naked eye, even when the stone is mounted.There are other factors that affect the colour of diamonds.FluorescenceThere are also tests that determine whether or not a diamond exhibits fluorescence. Fluorescence refers to the stone’s colour changes when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Since this radiation is a component of daylight and can also be present in rooms with fluorescent lighting, those diamonds can look as though they change colour pretty often. Stones that appear yellow will appear even more yellow under certain lighting conditions, and those that appear blueish will actually look whiter or colourless when under UV light.Colour Treatments for DiamondsThe colour of some high-quality wholesale diamonds can be dramatically changed with HPHT, or high pressure/high temperature process. These changes tend to be permanent. Coatings can also be used to change the colour of the diamond temporarily.Settings Can Enhance the Colour of DiamondsIf a loose diamond looks lightly yellow to the naked eye, it can appear colourless when mounted in a white setting like white gold or platinum. If you were to mount the same diamond in a yellow gold setting, the yellowish tone of the stone is normally enhanced.Final WordThe colour grade of a diamond affects its price, but it’s by no means the most important characteristic of high quality wholesale diamonds. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to buying a D to F graded stone, it doesn’t mean owning a beautiful gemstone is out of your reach.
Diamond grades G to J are just as beautiful and suitable. An experienced jeweller selling wholesale diamonds in Australia or anywhere else can help you evaluate and select the best diamond for your needs and pocket.