A perfect Diamond is completely colorless or white. When referring to Diamond color, it is in fact a matter of how little color a diamond has. Color in a diamond appears as a yellow tinge and results from nitrogen present in the diamond. The more color present, the lower the grade and quality of the Diamond.
Imagine a window, the less tinted the glass is the more light can shine through. Similarly, diamonds which have less color transmit light clearly and brightly, creating the sparkle and fire which are the most sought after qualities in a diamond.
White or colorless diamonds are rarer and more valuable. Most experts will consider color as the second most important quality in choosing a diamond, after diamond cut. This is because the eye is attracted to a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle, resulting from the quality of the cut and then from the level of color.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a grading scale for color present in a diamond, measured by trained gemologists and ranging from the highest “D”, perfectly colorless – to “Z” having a strong, noticeable yellowish brownish tinge. The scale is highly sensitive; the color variations so slight that the human eye can not even detect some of the changes in shade.
The color of a diamond does not change; it is part of its make up. However, there are factors which will make the natural color of a diamond appear brighter or whiter, most importantly its cut. A cut which maximizes the travel of light will cause a diamond to shine and sparkle more, therefore seeming brighter. A poorly cut diamond can interrupt the light flow through a diamond and cause it to appear dull or flat. Although every diamond has a natural color, there is a treatment for stones with less desirable color may be irradiated to improve or even change the color. It is mandatory by law that any treatment applied to any diamond must be disclosed to the consumer.
The setting in which a diamond is placed will also affect the color look. When using platinum or white gold, the color will be more noticeable, and it is advisable to opt for the best color possible, while yellow or rose gold settings might camouflage and blend well with slightly more color.