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The 4 C’s highlighted: the third C, Color

April 6, 2017/ BY Frank van Poorten

The color of a diamond –or rather the lack of it – tells us something about the value and quality of the diamond. A diamond that consists of carbon only is pure white. This is the highest quality and most rare form of a diamond. If the carbon is polluted with for example nitrogen, the diamond will be yellowish or light brown color. The more a diamond is affected, the lesser bright its color is.

The color of a diamond

The color of a diamond is determined by using verification stones. These are diamonds in all different colors and gradations. Usually goes: the less color, the more valuable the diamond is. However, it is not like yellow(ish) colors are worthless. An example is a yellow stone that was recently sold at an auction for 8 million euros. Quite something for a polluted stone don’t you think? Below is a scale that explains how a diamond is graded based on color and the absence of it. The closer to the start of the alphabet, the purer the stone.

Yellow diamond necklace

Kleur Huidige benaming Oude benaming
D Finest white + Jager
E Finest white River
F Fine white + River
G Fine white Top Wesselton
H White Wesselton
I Slightly tinted white Top Crystal
J Slightly tinted white Crystal
K Tinted white + Top Cape
L Tinted white Top Cape
M Tinted color Cape
N Tinted color Low Cape
O Tinted color Very Light Yellow
P-Z Tinted color Light Yellow


Colored stones

Colorless and yellowish stones are not the only possible colors for a diamond. Diamonds are found in every color imaginable. Something happened to every diamond that is not white or yellow. A blue diamond for example, is polluted with boron. A green stone has been in contact with radioactive rays during the formation of the diamond and was also exposed to a much higher temperature than it normally would be. Within a red, pink, orange or brow diamond, the crystal lattice has been damaged during the transport from the core to the earth’s crust. The crystal lattice is the way the atoms are connected to each other. When these atoms are shifted, it will damage the lattice. This cause the light to reflect in a different way than it does for regular diamonds.

Blue, green, pink and mainly red diamonds are the rarest colors and are therefore the most valuable diamonds.   

colored diamonds

Learn more about colored diamonds and gemstones

Both colorless and colored diamonds are stunning because of their amazing sparkle. Read more about colored diamonds and gemstones or see our collection of colored stones. The fairest colored stones and diamonds can be seen during a free diamond factory tour. Our experienced guides love to tell you everything about the 4 C’s as well.

> De 4 C’s highlighted: the first C, Carat
> De 4 C’s highlighted: the second C, Cut
> De 4 C’s highlighted: the fourth C, Clarity

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