What is color?
Mother Nature creates diamonds in different colors. Don’t think of these colors as red-like-a-ruby or blue-like-a-sapphire. These differences in color are very subtle. Think of color like the difference between crystal clear spring water and lemonade. Some diamonds lack any tint or body tone and are clear as icy spring water. These icy “white” diamonds provide the perfect backdrop for displaying the inner blaze that result from a diamond’s unique optical properties. Other diamonds with varying tinges of yellow (or brown) look as if a glass of water had drops of lemon squeezed in until it became lemonade; this added color mutes the powerful inner-blaze. Think of it like two 100 watt light bulbs –one white and one a yellow bug light. Of course, the white one is brighter. But keep squeezing lemon until a diamond becomes intense like the sun, then movie stars wear them. That’s because when they’re super-saturated with color, they’re scarcer than icy white ones ……and classified as fancy colored.
With fancy colors, the intensity of the color is more important the brightness or clarity of the diamond. Perrywinkle’s places a high importance on color. Purchase as high of a color as you can afford in the size you’re hoping for. When we say high “color” we really mean “absence-of-color” since the best color is no color at all. Color, or body-tones, are usually yellow but can also be brown. “Color” means something completely different, yet interactive with, “fire,” which comes from a diamond’s unique ability to bend light like a prism producing brief inner flashes of reds, blues, and greens.
How is color graded?
The highest grade in the GIA scale is “D color” all the way down to “Z.” The reason it begins with “D” instead of “A” was to avoid confusion with the many competing color-grading scales that were already in existence prior to 1953 when the GIA introduced its system. Color grades are determined without any high tech machinery. When a diamond is professionally graded, a trained gemologist compares each diamond, placed upside down on its table (top surface), to a set of master comparison diamonds in a predetermined standard lighting and viewing environment.
Grade: D, E, F
D: Completely colorless. Very rare. The highest grade. Perrywinkle’s strongly recommends this color, unless budget prohibits.
E : Colorless. Minute traces of body-tone detectable to an experienced gemologist. No perceptible difference in body-tone from D once the diamond is set into jewelry. Rare. Very high grade. Perrywinkle’s strongly recommends this color.
F: Completely colorless. Very rare. Very high grade. Perrywinkle’s strongly recommends this color.
Grade: G, H
G: Near colorless. Body-tone is readily detectable to an experienced gemologist. Slightly noticeable difference from colorless diamonds when compared side-by-side in a setting. Still a high grade color that Perrywinkle’s recommends.
H: Near colorless. Body-tone readily detectable to a novice when compared side-by-side with colorless diamonds. Significant difference from colorless diamonds when compared side-by-side in a setting. A higher than average grade color that is still recommended by Perrywinkle’s
Grade: I, J
I: Near colorless. Body-tone easily detectable to a novice when compared side-by-side with colorless diamonds. Significant difference from colorless diamonds when compared side-by-side in a setting. A respectable color grade especially if used in yellow gold.
J: Near colorless. Body-tone is obvious to a novice when looking for it. Near colorless is its official technical term but it is not near colorless in reality. Body-tone is less noticeable if set in yellow gold and may appear one to two color grades higher if medium to strong fluorescence is present. Recommended only in some circumstances.
Faint to Light color. The body-tone is so obvious that it detracts from the diamond’s beauty. Not recommended unless you require a particular size for your diamond yet have a limited budget.
Grade: X, Y, Z
If the body tone is yellow then it looks somewhere between lemonade and the sun. In certain cases, it can be set into jewelry so that it appears as if it’s “Fancy Yellow.” This is desirable because its price will be much lower than that of a Fancy Yellow.
Some diamonds look as if a glass of spring water had drops of lemonade squeezed into it. Keep squeezing in lemon juice until a diamond becomes intense like the sun then movie stars wear them. That’s because when they’re super-saturated with yellow (or other colors) they’re much scarcer than icy white ones and they are classified as fancy-colored. Perrywinkle’s can show you ones that look like lemon supreme (or other colors) then explain factors such as hue and saturation that affect their price.