Diamond Color Chart & Buying Guide: Understand Grade Scale


A diamond’s color refers to how clear or yellow it is. In general, the highest quality diamonds are totally colorless, whereas lower quality diamonds can often have a slight yellow tint.

Diamond color is measured using the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA color scale which goes from D (colorless) all the way to Z (light yellow or brown in color). Between D and Z (the normal color range), there are numerous diamond color grades, ranging from near colorless to slightly yellow.


  • The absence of color is generally one of several indicators of good value.
  • The color grade of a diamond should always be determined by a grading professional.
  • The grade and value of diamonds differs between colored and colorless diamonds.
  • Diamond colors are graded from D to Z, with most diamonds used in jewelry falling somewhere into the D to M range.
  • The setting of the ring can play a role in the perception and view of the color.

Colorless Grades

Diamonds graded from D to F in color are regarded as colorless. The difference between each grade is only something a trained professional will be able to tell, with the use of special equipment.

Colorless diamonds are the highest quality you get on the diamond color scale, containing the faintest trace of color, impossible to notice with the naked eye.

Near Colorless Grades

Diamonds with a color grade from G to J are considered “near colorless”. These diamonds’ color may be noticeable if viewed side-by-side with a colorless diamond, but in most cases will appear colorless when viewed on their own.

Diamonds in this grade generally provide the best value, as they are cheaper than colorless diamonds but lack any clear tint that’s noticeable to the naked eye.

Faintly Colored Grades

Diamond color grades from K to M are regarded as having a “faint” color. With these diamonds, it’s easier to notice a yellowish tint with the naked eye.

For most tastes, there is a clear drop-off in beauty between a near colorless and faintly colored diamond. However, diamonds in this range can offer superior value if placed in a setting that masks color, like one made from yellow or rose gold.

With this out of the way, let’s look at the GIA’s diamond color chart and how it relates to shopping for a diamond.


A diamond color chart shows you the progression of color as you move further down the diamond color scale. Here is a chart that helps you figure out which diamond color is best when purchasing a diamond.

Still not sure which color to choose? If you want to make sure you’re navigating the diamond buying minefield properly, feel free to contact us for personal help. Our experts are here to do all of the heavy lifting and bring you only the very best diamonds to choose from.