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COLOUR is very important in a diamond. Because, unlike Clarity » it is readily visible to the naked eye, many people coming into CPJ have an idea about it.

The best possible colour grade for diamonds is D: a D is fiery, brilliant, a thing of wonder, dazzling and glittering as it reflects and refracts the light. Grades of D, E and F are very rare, while grades of G, H and I are considered extremely high-end. Lovely work has been done with diamonds graded J–Q.

This colour scale D–Z, is for diamonds only, that is, the pure-clear stones so often used in engagement rings. Other gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires, do not use the D–Z scale. That is also true of “fancy diamonds”, which are of the same molecular composition as ordinary diamonds, but have a slight pink caste. Depending on other factors (size, clarity, etc) these can be extremely valuable. Beware of ordinary diamonds that have been dyed to appear “fancy”.

One complication: while the vast majority of diamonds are crystal clear in colour, there is a variant called a “fancy diamond”. The most striking examples are pink in colour. These are extremely rare and highly prized. Obviously, the D–Z colour scale does not apply, but considerations such as Clarity », Carat » and Cut » apply to fancy diamonds as they do to “white” diamonds.