Colorless and near-colorless diamonds are the most valuable. Though most diamonds may appear colorless to the naked eye, the majority of diamonds contain slight traces of yellow or light brown when viewed under a jeweler's loupe. Depending on the diamond carat, a single increase in color grade can boost the value by thousands of dollars per carat.
A diamonds color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to establish the color value. Many of these diamond color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.
WHY DOES THE GIA COLOR GRADING SYSTEM START AT D?
Before GIA universalized the D-to-Z Color Grading Scale, a variety of other systems were used loosely, from A, B, and C (used without clear definition), to Arabic (0, 1, 2, 3) and Roman (I, II, III) numbers, to descriptive terms like “gem blue” or “blue white,” which are notorious for misinterpretation. So the creators of the GIA Color Scale wanted to start fresh, without any association with earlier systems. Thus the GIA scale starts at the letter D. Very few people still cling to other grading systems, and no other system has the clarity and universal acceptance of the GIA scale.
ARE DIAMONDS GRADED AS Zs CONSIDERED FANCY-COLOR?
No. Naturally colored diamonds outside the normal color range are called fancy-color diamonds. The FTC provides no guidelines for the use of the term “fancy-color” in the US, but there is general agreement in the international trade that fancy-color diamonds are either yellow or brown diamonds that have more color than a Z grade or they exhibit a color other than yellow or brown, like blue and pink diamonds.