The Complete Guide To Diamond Color Grading 

Did you ever come home from faculty with a D in your document card?  

Diamond Color Grading

I did, and it wasn’t a fun revel in. had always achieved well in school, but as soon as I hit 6th grade and math elegance evolved from basic arithmetic to starting real mathematics, my straight-A streak ended with a bang. I was given my first C in 6th grade, and my first D in 7th. No count number how a great deal my teachers or my mother and father tried to explain the standards, it just didn’t join.  

I struggled through algebra, analytical calculus, and chemistry, but aced geometry and physics. (It might be 4 decades and one Apple Store genius later that I understood why. I’m a visual learner, and I aced geometry and physics because I could see the calculations in an illustration. The genius who placed an iPad in my arms had me at “are you a visible learner?”) 

So while we don’t want a D on our document cards, each diamond would love to get a D! It’s the very great coloration a diamond may be.  

Why is that?  

GIA’s Diamond Color Grading Scale History 

Diamond Color Grading

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) introduced its diamond coloration grading scale in 1953. Now the enterprise trendy, the size for colorless diamonds begins with D and progresses to Z.  

It isn’t, as generally believed, to go away room in case new diamonds discovered in the future are better than D. It’s because the authentic ways jewelers described diamonds had been everywhere in the location. People would use contrast phrases like “river,” or “water,” numeric values, or letters like “A” or “AA” or maybe “AAAA.” And there was no enterprise-huge settlement as to what even constituted one A, let alone 4. 

In the depths of the Great Depression (a time while people have been selling off a whole lot of jewelry), a former retail jeweler named Robert M. Shipley noticed the want to institute a uniform set of standards for the jewelry industry. He based GIA in 1931 as an education and studies facility committed to the look at of gemstones, and to at the moment is revered as the man answerable for revolutionizing the jewelry industry. He coined the idea of the Four C’s. In addition to GIA, Shipley additionally based the American Gem Society in 1934 as a professional guild of knowledgeable and sincere jewelers.  

GIA for colorless to light yellow diamonds

Diamond Color Grading Since its early days below Shipley, GIA changed into working to broaden an accurate, objective shade-grading gadget for colorless to light yellow diamonds. The intention changed into to broaden a system based totally on absolutes, as opposed to relative phrases and vague descriptions. A new manner of explaining color reviews become wished, and letter grading made the most feel. But it needed to be done in a way that wasn’t going to be careworn with the existing jumble of letters.  

Nobody become using D for a grade due to the fact, like in college, it had a poor connotation. Shipley’s protégé and successor Richard T. Liddicoat—himself a gemological legend—chose D because the location to begin as it was unlikely to be misinterpreted or misused. Each letter from D to Z represents many colorations primarily based on a diamond’s tone and saturation, and GIA’s color scale have become the worldwide enterprise general used today.  

The Diamond Color Grading Scale 

D means the diamond is colorless. E and F are also taken into consideration colorless on the GIA scale, as a minimum insofar as the bare eye can see. A high-electricity microscope can reveal minute variations among D, E, and F, however, the naked eye can’t see it. The higher the diamond is at the color scale, the greater treasured it’s far, and there’s an even bigger soar in value for the 3 colorless grades and specially D. 

Colorless (colloquially called “white”) diamond grades progress from D down to Z. But that’s now not where the tale ends. A diamond whose coloration is greater saturated than Z is re-categorized as a precious color diamond. And its price then begins to climb once more: greater coloration equals more cost. More on that quickly. 

How Is A Diamond’s Color Graded? 

In addition to organizing a color scale, Liddicoat and his colleagues also devised a method to grade a diamond’s coloration as it should be and always, inclusive of the exact wavelength of light for use, a specific way to keep and examine the diamond, and the historical past coloration against which this all takes location. He also pioneered the development of grasp stone units: diamonds of predetermined coloration in opposition to which each different diamond is carefully compared. This is to ensure that each diamond is graded with the same standards and in equal surroundings. 

While a skilled jeweler with a GIA Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) or AGS Certified Gemologist (C.G.) designation can grade a diamond quite as it should be in the shop. It’s a popular system for stones above a certain price to have a third-party verification (i.E., grading record) from GIA, AGS, or some other respectable gem lab. 

Visit a professional lab, and the first element you’ll notice is that the grading room is dark. Even a little ambient mild inside the room can affect the arrival of the stone as the grader views it.  

Each diamond grader has a special mild box at his or her workstation. The internal color, a neutral white, and the light source are each calibrated to Liddicoat’s standards. The grader positions the diamond as Liddicoat devised, perspectives it via a microscope, and compares it to the master set of stones to decide its color grade. In addition to color, it’s additionally being graded for its clarity, the high-quality of its facet association (cut), and getting weighed (carats).  

Diamond Color Grading And Value 

So, we’ve discussed that the most precious shade grades are D, E, and F. Diamonds with grades of G, H, I, and J are taken into consideration “close to colorless.” Still, the naked eye commonly can not figure the shade, particularly at G and the higher H levels. Combined with a good cut and readability, these stones are still especially precious and luxurious compared to comparable stones with decrease coloration grades. As grades move lower into the J variety down thru K, L, and M and underneath, the stones are considered “commercial” grades, and the fee drops thus. These are the stones you’d generally find in jewelry bought at mass marketplace shops or that’s advertised at a “discount.” 

Now, that’s no longer to mention those are terrible stones. They’re now not. They’re nevertheless taken into consideration to be gem pleasant, and loads may be executed to beautify their appearance visibly. An excellent cut that produces great scintillation and sparkle will dramatically improve their shade appearance to the naked eye. The placing they’re placed into can also decorate (or detract from) their coloration appearance. Using them as accent stones next to a colored gemstone makes their color look much less visibly critical. And, in the end, a tiny percentage of diamonds also own a high-quality called fluorescence that can impact the advent of their color.  

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