Diamond District

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Color is one of  the four C’s, or characteristics upon which white diamonds are graded at the NYC Diamond District. However, some people become understandably confused because some colored diamonds are also graded using a different grading system. The difference is in the type of diamond, White Diamonds or Fancy Diamonds.

White diamonds are graded using the four C’s or the four characteristics.




      Carat Weight

In a regular white diamond, less color equals higher clarity. The more yellow or brown coloring a diamond has the less valuable the diamond is. The most common color in white diamonds is yellow caused by traces of nitrogen elements.

Natural Fancy Diamonds

If a colored diamond contains too much color that is caused by a naturally occurring process, it is called a Natural Fancy Colored Diamond, or just Fancy Colored Diamond. Large amounts of naturally occurring nitrogen within the diamond will give you a Fancy Yellow. The element Boron creates Fancy Blue diamonds. Diamonds with browns, pinks, and red hues are the result of Crystal Lattice defects that occurred during the formation of the stones.  

Fancy Colored Diamonds are graded in just about the same way as white diamonds with the exception of color. In white diamonds, less color is rated higher. In Fancy diamonds, the NYC Diamond District Master Jewelers look for more color and grade on “Hue” and “Intensity.”

White Diamond Grading Process

Gemologists and Jewelers like the professionals at the NYC Diamond District use a color grading system that grades using letters D through Z of the English alphabet. The letter D has the least amount of color or is colorless. This is desirable and very rare. The letter Z has the most color within the normal range of color and indicates a diamond that is far less valuable.

 Our grading process is performed by the Professional Diamond Graders of the NYC Diamond District in a strictly controlled environment. A special filtered cool white light is used and the graders use a set of G.I.A. colored diamonds with which to compare the diamonds to be graded. The G.I.A. issues sets of diamonds that are graded against their Master Set so that all grading is compared to the same high standards adhered to at the NYC Diamond District.

Grading Chart

D is colorless perfection in a diamond. It is rare and very valuable.

Colorless Diamond
E – F represents diamonds that have virtually no color.

Colorless Diamond
G – F A very faint amount of color can be detected by placing the diamond face down on a neutral color by a trained Gemologist.

Near Colorless
G – H The color is difficult to detect unless held side by side with a diamond of superior color grade.

Near Colorless
H – I These diamonds appear colorless until mounted. Even then, it takes a trained Grader to spot the color.

Noticeable Color
J – Z has a distinctly noticeable color and is the least desirable.