Color Grading Fancy Colored Diamonds

Step 4: Gem Grading

Lesson 14


grading colored diamonds - the Hope Diamond
“Hope Diamond Closeup,” at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC., by Mbalotia. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0.

Diamonds come in every color of the rainbow. Our standard white diamonds are either colorless or tinted slightly yellow. We gemologists consider all other colors “fancy colors.” Fancy colored diamonds occur at an estimated rate of one to two carats for every three thousand carats mined. Due to this rarity, these fancy diamonds demand higher prices than white ones.

We can’t grade fancy colored diamonds by white diamond grading standards. In 1994, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) refined their standards for fancy colored diamonds to meet current demands. This is the most commonly used system. Once you understand it, it’s very clear.

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