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When choosing between diamond engagement rings, you will need to decide on your desired diamond colour and diamond colour grade. The colour and grade of the diamond will significantly impact the overall appearance and value of your ring. Understanding the various diamond colours will ensure the ring you choose resonates with your taste and budget.
In this guide, we explain the different diamond colours, the diamond colour scale, and the factors that impact diamond colour in an engagement ring.
Diamond colour refers to the hue present within a diamond. It’s one of the essential four C's you need to consider when evaluating the quality of a diamond for your engagement ring.
The most widely used diamonds in engagement rings are white diamonds, or colourless diamonds. While most white diamonds appear colourless, they often possess varying shades of yellow or brown.
The presence of colour in diamonds is usually a result of impurities during the formation of the diamond. For example, the presence of nitrogen can impart a yellow tint in the diamond. It can also be a result of structural defects which can affect the way light travels through the diamond, thus impacting its colour. Not all colour in diamonds is unwanted. Some fancy-coloured diamonds are among the most sought-after gems in the world.
The GIA diamond colour scale is an industry-standard system that grades white diamonds from colourless to tinted. This scale begins with the letter D (colourless) and goes all the way to the letter Z (light colour). Each letter represents a colour range based on the diamond's tone and saturation.
Diamonds graded D-F are considered colourless, with D-grade diamonds being the most devoid of colour. These diamonds exhibit a pristine beauty and are the most sought-after, also making them the most expensive. A diamond that falls in this colour range is an exquisite choice for an engagement ring, especially if paired with a setting that complements its brilliance. The sparkle of a D-grade colourless diamond engagement ring is timeless and unparalleled.
The diamonds that fall under the G-J category on the colour scale are termed as near colourless. They possess a hint of colour, but it's usually hard to detect unless compared side-by-side with diamonds of higher colour grades.
These diamonds are often a popular choice for engagement rings as they provide a balance between quality and cost. The near colourless grade allows you to invest in other aspects, such as a higher-carat diamond or a unique setting style to match your personal preferences.
The K-M range on the diamond colour scale is where diamonds begin to show a more noticeable yellow or brown tint. While they lack the clear, icy appeal of higher-grade diamonds, they offer an appealing antique charm.
These diamonds can pair well with yellow or rose gold engagement rings as these metals complement the warm tones of the diamond. These faintly coloured diamonds allow for a unique aesthetic that is more vintage and romantic.
Diamonds in the N-Z range exhibit a very light to light colour, showing an evident tint. These diamonds are not traditionally as valued as colourless or near colourless diamonds. They may not carry the same level of brilliance, but some may find that the pronounced colour brings character to the diamond.
Most diamond jewellers steer clear from offering diamonds in the N-Z colour range for engagement rings, although they may be available on special request. This is to ensure that the diamond serves as a stunning centrepiece in your engagement ring, capturing the essence of your momentous commitment.
Beyond the standard diamond colour scale are the fancy colour diamonds. These are diamonds that exhibit colours such as yellow, brown, blue, green, orange, pink, red, purple, and black. Yellow and brown fancy diamonds are the most common fancy-coloured diamonds.
You can also get fancy white diamonds which have a milky, opalescent appearance. This white colour is caused by sub-microscopic inclusions scattering light, giving the diamond its unique white appearance. These are the rarest fancy-coloured diamonds.
Fancy colour diamonds are evaluated differently than white diamonds. While white diamonds are graded primarily for their lack of colour, fancy colour diamonds are graded based on the strength and purity of their hue. Their grading ranges from Faint to Fancy Deep, with these diamonds having a strong colour.
When it comes to the appearance of colour in a diamond engagement ring, it's not just about the actual colour grade. Various factors contribute to how the diamond’s colour is perceived once set in an engagement ring.
Different diamond shapes can either hide or highlight the colour of a diamond. For example, brilliant round cuts are known for their ability to mask some of the colours due to the facet angles that reflect more light. Other diamond shapes, like emerald or Asscher cuts, tend to show colour more due to their broader facets.
Setting styles play a significant role in the perception of diamond colour in an engagement ring. A prong setting may reveal more of the diamond's actual colour, while a bezel setting can hide some of it. The metal colour of the prong or bezel setting can also either enhance or mute the appearance of the diamond colour.
The carat size can impact the appearance of colour. Larger carat diamonds may show more colour simply because there's more diamond in which colour can be present. This makes it essential to balance carat size with colour grade to achieve the desired look for your engagement ring.
The choice of engagement ring metal can influence how a diamond’s colour is perceived. For example, white gold or platinum can make a colourless diamond appear even more brilliant. Yellow or rose gold may complement or enhance the warmer tones in near colourless or faintly coloured diamonds.
The price of a diamond engagement ring is influenced by its colour grade. Colourless diamonds are the most expensive because they are rarer. Diamond prices decrease as you move down the colour scale.
The pricing for fancy diamonds depends on various factors. The more pure and vivid the colour of the diamond, the higher the value will be. Certain fancy colour diamonds, such as red, green, and purple, are also rarer, making them more expensive than the more common yellow and brown diamonds.
When choosing a diamond for your engagement ring, it is important to balance the desire for a high-grade colour with your budget. You also need to consider cut quality, clarity, and carat to ensure your diamond ring will shine brilliantly and capture the essence of your love.
Marlow’s Diamonds offers an array of diamond colours, from classic colourless diamonds to captivating fancy-coloured diamonds. We provide white diamonds graded between D to K, allowing you to find a diamond that ensures a beautiful engagement ring while balancing your budget.
Our experienced jewellers will happily guide you through the different colours, ensuring you make an informed decision when selecting your diamond.
Choose your desired diamond colour with our range of bespoke diamonds.