Diamond Color Chart - The Color Grade Scale Explained

“Color” refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless. Diamond color has a significant impact on its value. The color scale ranges from D to Z, from colorless to light yellow.

To ensure the highest quality diamonds for your selection, Shapiro Diamonds carries diamonds in the color range from D-J only.

D-F: Absolutely Colorless. The highest color grades, which are extremely rare.

G-I: Near-Colorless. Color slightly noticeable only when compared to diamonds of better grades. These diamonds do not appear to have any color in normal circumstances. These grades offer excellent value, and appear completely white when mounted.

J-K: Very Faint Color. Color slightly detectable to the human eye, but still a nice diamond.

L-Z: Color Detectable. Color noticeable to the untrained eye. These color grades are not carried by Shapiro Diamonds.

The farther from colorless that a diamond’s grade is, the less rare and therefore less valuable it is. When buying a diamond, take into consideration that it is often very difficult to detect the difference between a colorless diamond (D-F) and a near colorless diamond (G-H), especially when it is mounted in jewelry. Diamonds with a J-Z color grade usually have yellow shading that can be detected by the naked eye. However, a well cut stone with good proportions will still release the brilliance and fire of a lower colored diamond, dispersing light in such a way so as to create a beautiful stone.

Diamonds also come in a range of natural fancy tones, such as blue, pink, green, and red. Such diamonds have so much color that they are not graded on the normal scale D-Z. These fancy diamonds are particularly rare. They are always more expensive because of their rarity. Color does not have an exclusive impact on a fancy colored diamond’s value. The value of a stone is affected by a combination of qualities including shape, clarity, cut, and carat weight, as well as its color.


Diamonds with florescence exhibit a bluish glow in many different types of lighting. The effect of fluorescence depends on the combination of the color of the stone in question and the strength of the fluorescence. Faint fluorescence has very little effect on a stone of any color. Medium blue fluorescence and strong blue fluorescence can have a positive effect on stones of low color (J or worse). The fluorescence actually has the effect of making the stone look closer to near colorless. On stones of high color (D-G), strong or medium blue fluorescence can make the stone look milky instead of colorless or near colorless.

Best Value: Color

For the best value in diamond color, Shapiro Diamonds carries only diamonds in the color range of D-J. Diamonds with a higher color grade, appear whiter. The whiter the diamond, more light is able to pass through it, making it sparkle and shine. Diamonds with a color grade of I and higher are near-colorless or colorless, and are recommend best value, since their color is undetectable to the untrained and unaided eye.