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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Color in Diamonds
Let's begin the first true summer month with a brief discussion of color in "white" diamonds. Most people think of diamonds as being colorless, but the vast majority of them actually have a slight tint of yellow or brown. This comes from minute impurities in the diamonds carbon crystal structure. Due to this characteristic, gemological laboratories classify the "whiteness" of a diamond on a alphabetic scale from D to Z. True "colorless" diamonds are classified as D, E, or F color and are rarer in the marketplace and thus the most expensive. Diamonds classified as G, H, I, or J color have a slight tint of yellow that is difficult for the untrained eye to see, and thus are classified as "near colorless". These diamonds are still white enough to satisfy the majority of diamond shoppers, and their prices are much more reasonable. Many "faint color" diamonds labeled K, L or M can appear white under certain lighting conditions, however, shoppers often can see a noticeable tint of color, and thus prefer whiter stones for engagement rings and wedding bands. Advances in gemological grading have made these lower color stones less desirable and thus they are mostly used in lower quality jewelry. Older family diamonds often fall in this lower color range, since the technology for grading color was more lenient earlier in the 20th century, and thus resulted in larger slightly off color diamonds. Diamonds below this range are often used to cut "melee" or very small diamonds used in fashion jewelry like pendants and earrings where the quality of the stones is less scrutinized.
Posted by Jake Rosen at 9:38 AM