The Truth About The Colour Of White Diamonds
October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
The vast majority of untrained observers (and many gemologists) cannot distinguish a colour grade from the one just above or below unless the diamonds are compared side by side in a controlled environment. Even when side-by-side, changes in colour are difficult to detect in I colour and higher diamonds.
Colour becomes much harder to detect once a diamond is set in a ring and placed in an environment that contains colour (as opposed to the all white background used in colour grading). For instance, a H colour diamond may look as colourless as a D when set in a ring under normal lighting conditions, especially if the two are not compared side by side.
For the best value in what would appear to the naked eye as a colourless diamond, look for G-J diamonds. Because colour is easier to detect in larger diamonds (just as a large carafe of white wine shows more colour than a small glass), opt for G-H in diamonds over 1 carat, and I-J for those under 1 carat. Once set in a ring, these diamonds will look just like higher colour grade diamonds. Instead of investing in higher color, invest in higher cut, the most important factor in a diamond’s brilliance.
Because diamonds with more facets reflect more light, they tend to hide colour better than other shapes. So, consider round, princess or other modified brilliant cuts over step cuts such as emerald or asscher if you are concerned about colour.
If you are concerned primarily about carat weight, and are on a tight budget, consider a yellow gold setting and a brilliant cut diamond in the K-L colour range. The yellow gold will complement the faint body colour of the diamond.
If, while shopping for a diamond, you are ever given a colour range (e.g. G-H) as opposed to a specific grade, be warned that the seller is probably grading his stones optimistically.
Colourless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds sell at a 5-15% discount to non-fluorescent diamonds since the fluorescence is perceived as a defect. In fact, the visible effects of faint to medium fluorescence are perceptible only to a gemologist using a special UV light source.
Because the fluorescent glow is usually blue (which is the complementary colour to yellow) fluorescence can make diamonds of I-M colour appear up to one grade whiter. For this reason, I-M diamonds tend to sell at a slight premium when they possess Medium to Very Strong fluorescence.
Overall, fluorescence should not be a major factor in the diamond purchase since its effects on appearance are negligible, if not slightly positive. The exception would be to exercise caution in purchasing a diamond with strong or very strong fluorescence in D-H color diamonds (which do not possess enough yellow color to offset the blue fluorescence).