Loose Colored Diamonds

Loose Colored Diamonds

Diamonds are in different colors, there are different natural fancy colored diamonds. While shopping for diamonds, you are more likely to come across white and yellow colored diamonds. When it comes to buying online loose colored diamonds, the whiter diamonds are better. When you come across loose yellow diamonds, be aware that the yellow color is as a result of Nitrogen. A trace of Nitrogen in any diamond affect the value in the real-world sense of it. This is due to the less sparkle that yellow stones produces compared to whiter diamonds. Great amounts of light is able to pass through the stone, generating sparkle and shine.
There’s an exception to the rule in the instance of Fancy Yellow Canary Diamonds which attract same value as white diamonds. There are four color grades of Fancy yellow diamonds; Fancy Light Yellow, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow and Fancy Vivid Yellow. The deeper the shades of Fancy Canary Diamonds, the higher the price unique natural fancy colored diamonds. This has been discussed elaborately in a dedicated web page on Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds.
Look through the color chart below on colored loose diamonds. Please note that in order to be able to identify the color on your computer monitor, the colors has been exaggerated. These colors will be more subtle in real life.

Perception of Color in Colored Loose Diamonds

In a diamond, how it is cut, the size of the stone and how it is mounted will determine the amount of color visible to the eyes. When you have a bigger stones, it will determine the obviousness of the color.
There’s sensitivity of color when it comes to diamonds. What may appear as a yellow diamonds to someone may look whitish to another eyes. For such eyes, a higher grade of color may be needed to satisfy their needs. An average diamond shopper do not always yellow tints in diamonds having a grade G to J due to the slight color nuance.
What appears as color in diamonds in a combination of the bodycolor, brilliance and dispersion. Bodycolor is the natural color of the stone and is a result of the different color the stone attracts.
Brilliance is the total amount of light returned to the eye by reflections from within the stone and from its surface. This often is referred to as the “brightness” and “life” of the stone and determined largely by the cut of the diamond. The better the cut, the more light is reflected within the diamond and back through the top of the loose natural fancy diamond.


Dispersion, or fire, is a spreading and separating of white light into its component hues, much like a prism. Even a colorless diamond will flash rainbow colors due to dispersion. Both brilliance and dispersion are desirable for beauty but are not measured or documented on any certification. Have a look at the figure on the right to see the illustration of dispersion (courtesy of IGI).
Keep in mind that color is graded with the diamond upside down in controlled lighting conditions. What you see looking a diamond face up is impacted more by the brilliance (cut of the diamond) than the color of the diamond. Color grading is not an exact science and even the certification laboratories will disagree about a diamond’s color grade. Remember, color grades are a range and at one point a high H is equal to a low G color. The distinction between color grades is so fine that sometimes the same stone will get different color grades if sent to the same grading laboratory a second time.

Color and Price

Prices for whiter color grades increase more dramatically than the actual visible color difference to the eye. Color grades D, E and F are colorless and it is very difficult to see the differences between these because by definition they are colorless. However, there is a significant price difference because D color diamonds are rarer than E and both are much rarer than F color. Please have a look at the figure below to see the difference in pricing when it comes color.
In the near colorless range (G, H, I and J), there is a more noticeable difference. While G color is very close to colorless, J color is very close to faint yellow. Most J color diamonds have a slight yellow tint. Diamonds with H and I color grade diamonds appear white and are great values because they are more plentiful than the colorless grades and therefore are less expensive.
To know what color grade you are comfortable with, go look at some diamonds side by side. Remember to be comparing HRD or IGI certified diamonds so you can be sure of the color you are actually seeing.
It is also helpful to be looking at similar sizes and shapes. Some shapes, like rounds, are brighter than others. Princess cut diamonds tend to be deep and darker looking than a round with the same color grade.
Diamonds with greater carat weights tend to show more color than smaller diamonds with the same color grade. Beware of the jeweler that tells you a higher clarity diamond makes it appear whiter. Clarity has no impact on color and this misinformation was meant to trick you into buying low color, high clarity stones they have in inventory and cannot get rid of.
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