Diamond Colour

What colour is a diamond? Many say they’re colourless, however, look closely and most contain subtle tints of yellows, soft pinks and rich browns. Truly colourless diamonds are known as white diamonds and are extremely rare and the most valuable. A diamond’s colour is measured using a combination of tone, hue and saturation.

Diamond colour is very subtle. If a diamond has yellow or brown tints, it won’t necessarily appear obviously yellow or brown. Most people in the jewellery industry would not notice colour hints on diamonds close to M on the colour scale.



Although D-Z Colour Diamonds are the most widely used, less valuable natural diamonds come in a variety of colours including blue, green, black, orange and red.


Subtle differences in colour can dramatically affect the value of a diamond. Two diamonds with the same carat, cut and clarity can be worth very different amounts, based on colour alone.

Diamond colour is graded from D to Z – D being the whitest, most colourless diamond and Z containing noticeable yellow, brown or pink tints. The letters D to Z represent a range of colour based on a combination of tone, lightness or darkness and saturation. This combination is called depth of colour and is a measure of how noticeable the colour is.

buying guide


Be very cautious about purchasing enhanced diamonds. This is when a coating is applied to enhance a diamond’s colour by hiding an undesirable tint. The stone may look beautiful today, but these treatments are not permanent and are often sold dishonestly.

At Alicia J, we only deal with GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified diamonds. The GIA analyses diamonds and issues certified reports which detail the diamond’s colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. If the GIA determines a stone has undergone treatment that is temporary or could cause damage to the stone in the future, they will not issue a grading certificate.

We always recommend asking to see a GIA report before purchasing a diamond. As an independent third party, the GIA issues trustworthy and accurate reports so buyers know they are getting a fair deal and can resell in the future if needed.


The shape of a diamond affects how apparent the colour appears. For example, if you have a Step or Emerald cut that has little brilliance, deficiencies in colour can become more visible. Colour can also be easily detectable in the pointed tips of shapes such as Oval, Pear and Marquise. It is therefore advisable to choose a higher colour grade in these shapes or opt for a cut such as a round brilliant that is less prone to showing off body colour.


Always think about the design of your jewellery, not just the diamond. The metal you choose in which to set the diamond must work with the diamond’s colour. Yellow gold helps disguise yellow or brown hints within a diamond, while white metals can make the yellow or brown tones more apparent. However, white metals also enhance the appearance of colourless stones, meaning gold is not always the superior choice.

Still confused?

We’re here to help. We’re diamond experts and will guide you through the entire buying process to help you make an educated, informed and confident decision.