The most expensive diamond color is pure white. Many people think of diamonds as having no color, but some of them do. This can lower their value. These are not to be confused with colored diamonds; those are of a different kind.
How Diamond Colors are Judged
Color grading is done using the alphanumeric scale. The top of the line is D and the lowest is Z. The letters A, B and C are not utilized.
Pure white diamonds have a D grading. A D grade means the color and clarity are of the highest quality. This of course commands the highest price. The cheapest are diamonds with a yellowish tint.
Diamond Color Grading Scale
D: pure white – the most highly valued color
E: exceptional white – colorless
F: excellent white – colorless
G: good white – colorless
H: white – colorless
I: slightly tinted white / white when seen from above
J: a bit tinted white / commercial white
K: tinted white / acceptable when mounted
L: tinted white / requires yellow setting to look its best
M: a bit yellowish / tinted color-champagne
N: a bit yellowish / tinted color-champagne
O-R: yellowish / tinted color
S-Z: yellow / tinted color
Most Popular Colors
Pure whites are the most expensive diamond colors, but their price is expectedly prohibitive. Some of the more popular colors are yellow, purple, green and pink. The colored diamonds are available in different shades. The more vivid the shade, the more expensive it will be. The lighter shades are more affordable.
Common Color Grading Techniques
Comparison methods are used for color grading. A “master stone” is used as a basis for comparison. The grader will determine if the stone is comparable to the master stone color wise.
Large scale diamond grading facilities have master stones of all diamond colors. An independent retailer however, will only have samples of the most popular colors.
The standard grading sets are comprised of five diamonds arranged in 2 grade increments. Graders usually do not have a D master stone. In terms of comparison, the E master stones are more important. Graders’ judgment is used for intermediate grade diamonds. Grading is done with the pavilion up and facet down. Color grading can also be done mounting style.
While pure white is the most expensive diamond color, its value will also be determined by other factors. The carat, clarity and cut all play roles in determining the price of the stone.