Diamond Color Chart & Clarity Scale


The four Cs of diamonds are cut, clarity, color, and carat. However, to most diamond buyers, color and clarity (along with diamond shape) are the most important factors as they directly impact the overall look of the diamond more so than cut and carat. Diamond color is all about the diamond’s natural color, or more specifically, the lack of color, whereas clarity refers to the absence of visible blemishes or undesirable inclusions.

When exploring new diamonds and comparing the four Cs, it can be easy to get caught up in finding the best diamond color and forgetting about the other elements. While some view colorless diamonds as the most sought after, the truth is, diamond color is more about the rarity of the stone rather than its beauty and quality. 

Here at Roman Malakov, we are passionate about helping you find the perfect diamond for you, considering various factors, including our diamond color guide.

Diamond Color Clarity Chart & Scale Guide

A diamond color and clarity chart can help you identify the best diamond clarity and color for your preferences and budget. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created an international color scale for diamond color, and it also has a universal grading system for diamond clarity. When we combine these two components, we get a diamond color and clarity chart that helps us analyze the important aspects of diamond appearance.

The GIA’s diamond color chart categorizes diamonds from colorless to light, providing lettered labels for each variation, which offers insight into the different diamond color meanings. The diamond color grades begin with the letter D, which includes diamonds that are the rarest and most colorless. The chart then goes through each letter, all the way to Z, with each diamond having more color than the ones before it. In the diamond color scale chart, letters represent the specific gradation of colorlessness:

·       D-F are colorless

·       G-J are near colorless

·       K-M are faint

·       N-R are very light

·       S-Z are light

When we take into account clarity and the diamond color chart, we have more variations that help us see how clear and beautiful each different diamond is. Since clarity is based on a lack of inclusions, this factor rates diamonds from flawless to included. It features six categories, each with some variation, for 11 total grades. Those include the following:

·       Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes whatsoever, even under 10x magnification

·       Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions under 10x magnification

·       Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions that are extremely slight, only highly skilled graders would notice them under 10x magnification

·       Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Some very minor inclusions under 10x magnification

·       Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

·       Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Obvious inclusions under 10x magnification, some may be visible to the naked eye, and they may affect the brilliance of the stone

Different color diamonds can fall into different categories of clarity, so you will want to weigh the overall look of each variation to ensure you’re selecting the perfect diamond for you. It’s important to note that while there are many variations of grades in both color and clarity, many of these differences are hardly noticeable to the untrained eye. Generally speaking, only highly experienced diamond experts can recognize differences in color and clarity. These differences can drastically impact grading and price, of course, so it’s important to know where your priorities lie with clarity and diamond color charts.

What Is Diamond Color?

While most diamond colors are slight shades of white, yellow, gray, and brown, other diamond color ranges do exist. Since the colors are based on trace amounts of minerals that are present while the diamonds are forming, they can vary greatly in overall appearance.

The diamond color scale is based on three primary factors: saturation, hue, and tone. Saturation is all about the strength and intensity of the color, while hue refers to the diamond’s overall color, such as white, yellow, or pink. Meanwhile, tone encompasses the lightness or darkness of the color.

Diamond Color Comparison

Diamond color comparison is about more than just comparing diamonds side by side. With most natural colored diamonds, the main goal is to make sure they look great in the jewelry piece they’re being purchased for. If you’re shopping for colored diamond rings and want a diamond to set in a yellow gold ring, you don’t need to be as concerned with a colorless grade. But if you’re searching for a larger diamond with white color for a focal point of a necklace, you will want something more colorless and with better clarity. The goal is to make the final jewelry piece as beautiful and sparkly as possible. This doesn’t always mean finding the clearest and most colorless diamond but is rather about comparing diamond color vs. clarity, along with cut and carat, to find the best diamond for you.

In addition to the typical white and colorless diamonds, there are a wide variety of different color diamonds that we call fancy diamonds. These are extremely rare and unique, coming in a variety of colors including yellow, pink, blue, green, and red. Fancy colored diamonds often increase in price as their color increases in saturation, which is the opposite of regular colored diamonds. Although most fancy colored diamonds have more muted and lighter colors, they are unique and beautiful in their own right and are highly sought after worldwide.

FAQs About Diamond Color

What Color Are Diamonds?

Although some fancy colored diamonds do exist, the vast majority of diamonds fall in the standard color range from colorless to white, light yellow, light gray, or light brown.

What Color Diamond Is the Best?

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that generally rings true for diamonds as well. While completely colorless diamonds and fancy colored diamonds are the rarest and therefore the most expensive, the diamond color that is best is the one that you love the most.

What Is the Rarest Color Diamond?

Red diamonds are the rarest diamond color. Is it estimated that there are fewer than 30 red diamonds in the world. 


Contact a Jewelry Expert at Roman Malakov

If you want to learn more about diamond colors or are ready to shop for the perfect diamond, contact Roman Malakov or come into the store today. Our jewelry experts are ready to welcome you and guide you toward your ideal diamond for whatever jewelry piece your heart desires.