While colorless diamond has long been considered the rare gemstone, it is now giving way to its colorful counterpart. In the diamond market, the colored gem is more and more the object of investors and collectors, because of its rarity. 

Because of its natural color, the stone is meant to be a real value of refuge, in addition to seducing by its subtle color. We must know that there are around a dozen colors known to date, the most known and most sought after are the pink diamond or the red gem. Yet the rarer the color, the higher the price of the gemstone on the market. Also, to make sure to invest in a color diamond at its fair value, it is necessary to know the universal ranking.

What is the color classification?

To determine the quality and value of a colored diamond, laboratories and gemological organizations have set up a color scale. As it is really difficult to precisely define the color of a stone with the naked eye, the classification allows non-connoisseurs to get a precise idea of ​​the quality of the stone and its rarity. It should be known that the estimation of the color of a diamond is decisive for its expertise, since its color determines its price simply.

In the world-famous diamond gradation system, the color grading scale starts with the letter D as “Diamond” and ends with the letter Z. It is necessary to count in all nine very specific color categories. Be careful, however, never to miss the diamond certificate, which is none other than the gem’s identity card. 

If the expert report mentions “color enhanced”, it means that the diamond has undergone an artificial modification of color. This type of gemstone is undoubtedly the cheapest on the market, unlike stones with a natural hue and whose price is often very high.

Category D formerly known as “Jager”

For diamonds, category D is one of three major categories of rare diamonds. Formerly known as “Jager”, Class D refers to colorless precious stones with the naked eye. This category groups together any gem of an exceptional white, identifiable only under magnifying glass or under a microscope. 

The color D is also one of the most sought after diamond market, because it is concretely stones containing no atom of color. For non connoisseurs, relying on the diamond certificate is then the only option to ensure the authenticity of such a stone.

For diamond dealers, jewelers, collectors and investors, class D is still divided into three sub-categories. Indeed, even more detailed scales have been developed to accurately determine the exceptional white diamond. For the CIBJO or International Confederation of Jeweler for example, in this same category D it is possible to mention sub classes D for an exceptional white (+), E to indicate an exceptional white and sub-category F for extra white stones ( +).

Category E or “River”

In category E which is no more than a subclass of the color D are placed the colorless diamonds to the naked eye always. Only gemologists are therefore able to differentiate a Class D stone from a Class E gem. The “River” category refers in particular to an exceptional white, which of course makes diamond a good investment. Concretely, it is the degree of whiteness of the stone which allows the specialists to integrate it into the category E.

In addition, it should be understood that by integrating this classification, the colored diamond can nevertheless present tiny traces of hue. Only the expertise of an expert gemologist can certify whether the gem is in the Diamond category or the River class. 

Also, it is always advisable to read the evaluation report of a given stone, in order to make sure to make an acquisition at its fair value. It must be known that even if the gem presents minimal traces of color, it is nonetheless a rare stone.

Category F or extra white +

Still in the class D, the color F corresponds for its part to a very beautiful whiteness. Extra + white is recognized by professionals and connoisseurs in the field of diamonds. With the naked eye, it would be difficult to differentiate between the stones of class D, E and F. However, an expertise makes it possible to identify concretely the degree of whiteness of the gem, as well as the presence of insignificant traces of color.

To better understand the difference between the color F and the previous class, it is that the classification F emphasizes the presence of very low color. With the naked eye the stone is certainly colorless, but the analysis of a gemologist experiment allows to precisely define the presence of color atom in the gemstone. 

Logically on the market, an F-colored diamond has a high price, but more affordable compared to the price of the class E gems. This category of diamond is still very coveted by purists.

Category G or “Top Wesselton”

For pure diamond enthusiasts with indisputable brilliance, G-colored gems are a real reference. It is in fact diamonds of exceptional whiteness, highly sought after in jewelery. The “Top Wesselton” gemstones, the former name for the G color, are characterized by the extremely low hue of the gem, which only the expertise of a gemological specialist can make it. authentication. Of course, placed next to a diamond of a higher degree – class F or color E for example – the gemstone G is easy to detect.

Category H or “Wesselton”

In jewelery, color H is also very successful. This classification of the diamond formerly known as “Wesselton” refers to very white precious stones. The gem is almost colorless to the naked eye, but presents the presence of color to an extremely low degree. Level quality price, the color diamond H is a good investment, and its beauty is unquestionable mounted on a jewel, whether it is a ring, earrings, a bracelet or a necklace.

It is therefore the colored lights appearing during the exposure of the diamond which make it possible to identify the whiteness of the diamond. At this level of diamond coloring, the valuation of a diamond or a jeweler is more than enough to validate the authenticity of the stone. 

However, if doubts remain, it is recommended to ask the jeweler or diamond dealer to present the diamond certificate. The report will deliver all the more information to verify that the classification of the stone really corresponds to its price.

Category I or “Top Crystal”

Because the color classification of diamonds is intended to be a reference for connoisseurs, however it is always recommended to know the basics of this classification if you want to invest in a diamond or a jewel with a colored gem. 

In class I or category “Top Crystal” of its former name designates a stone of a nuanced white. In this category, the low color presence is perfectly distinguishable with the naked eye. The color I is recommended for large stones, making sure that they are well pruned in good proportions.

Because precisely the weak colored shades of the gem are visible to the naked eye, the precious stones of this class are very seldom the object of certificate of authentication. The jeweler himself can then guarantee that a diamond is ranked I. For this category of gem, it should be preferred in brilliant size with a slight fluorescence. Despite this certain presence of colored fires, a colored diamond I is still considered a colorless diamond. However, it is easier to find than a D grade diamond.

Category J formerly called “Crystal”

After category I, the ranking of diamonds also includes class J designating a nuanced white color. Concretely, the class J formerly called “Crystal” designates a diamond having a visible hue of face. The nuanced white of the gem is thus visible to the naked eye, it is rare to see this class of gemstones be the subject of a diamond certificate. At the level of jewelers and diamond dealers, the distinction between class J and class I is more than obvious.

However, for people with no knowledge in the field, it is always interesting to rely on the analysis of an expert to authenticate a diamond color J. Diamonds and jewelers will know whether it is of a J-rated gem, notably by making a comparison with the naked eye of a grade I diamond with a category J stone. Beyond the visual appearance of the stone, in particular its brilliance and its fluorescence, the price of a J-colored diamond is often lower than the price of a gem ranked J or D for example.

Category KL, the former “Top Cape”

After the graded white graded diamond, KL colors refer to a slight hue of the stone. The class “Top Cape” now called KL class refers to a slightly tinted diamond. Colored lights are easily visible to the naked eye for connoisseurs. For a nonprofessional, the KL color diamonds still look white. 

It is important to note, however, that this slight coloration is visible only on medium or large gemstones. Since the stone is less than 0.10 carat, only a professional eye can confirm the color of the stone because of the manifestation of a saturation of color.

It should be known that most often, this class of colored diamond is divided into two, namely the color K and the color L which are particularly close. However, they both refer to a lightly tinted gem. If for the HRD laboratory or High Diamond Council it is the same color, for the International Confederation of Jeweler, K and L correspond to two distinct colors.

Category MZ: between “light cape”, “cape” and “dark cape”

For connoisseurs of the diamond world, the class MZ designates a tinted gem. Concretely, this category of diamond color brings together the different yellow shades of the gemstone. The color M designates for example a stone of a very pale yellow, while the color Z designates a more pronounced yellow. 

Of course, the color of the diamond is easily visible to the naked eye, but only a real expertise can measure the true degree of color of the gem. This explains why the MZ class was formerly called “light cape, cape, dark cape”, because of the different shades of yellow possible.

If the yellow hue of the diamond is visible to the naked eye, it should be understood that the hues depend on the amount of nitrogen atoms present in the structure. On the other hand, if the classification scale of the diamond stops at the color Z, the deformation of the crystal and the presence of chemical elements in the structure causes the appearance of other colors of the diamonds, particularly rare colors. 

These colors can range from canary yellow to light brown, through red and pink, extremely rare colors such as purple, not to mention the blue, green or gray that is very close to the white diamond. It is precisely because of the rarity of these colors that they do not appear in the scale of color classification of diamonds.

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