Definition of Color

The word color brings to mind bold, vivid images, but when used in regard to diamonds, the meaning is quite the opposite. The most sought after diamond is actually referred to as colorless. The color of the diamond, according to the GIA, refers specifically to the body color of the diamond. This is the color of the diamond at the rough or precut stage. The color of a polished diamond can be easily seen when its table is face down against a white background while viewing it from the side. Diamonds range in color from colorless to yellow. There are also fancy color diamonds that are highly sought after such as pinks, canary yellows, and blues. These are extremely rare and can be quite expensive. 

The Importance of Cut to Color

The Resultant Color that most people see when observing a diamond is the combination of body color, clarity and cut. The cut plays the most significant role in determining the beauty and the resultant color of the diamond. The rainbow sparkle, intense radiance of light, and the elegant display of spectral colors that most people regard as the beautiful colors of a diamond are the direct result of the diamond's cut. Therefore, an extremely rare colorless and flawless diamond can easily look cloudy or lifeless if it is not well cut. On the other hand, a near colorless diamond with exceptional cut can face up whiter and brighter than a poorly-cut colorless diamond.

The GIA grading system standard for diamond color

Grade D,E,F: Colorless.
Also known as Fine White or River White. This diamond color is the finest and rarest.
Grade G,H,I,J: Near Colorless.
Known also as White, experts sometimes find them hard to distinguish from Colorless when they're set. (They're truly an excellent value choice.)
*David S. specializes in the colorless and near-colorless ranges
Grade K, L, M: Faint Yellow.
Referred to as Top Silver, these diamonds have a yellow tinge and are more common.
Grade M, N, O, P, Q, R: Very Light Yellow.
Grade S-Z: Light Yellow.

Buying Strategy for Color

Always conduct a side-by-side comparison viewing before making your final selection. If a colorless diamond is preferred and your budget is tight, then try to seek out value options that are possible in the Clarity category. Sometimes, a mounted, exceptional SI clarity diamond with slight inclusions off to the side can be as beautiful as a VS diamond. Such an exceptional SI clarity diamond will offer the purchaser significant savings. Never compromise the cut quality of the diamond to pursue a slightly higher body color; this will result in an inferior looking diamond with a poorer resultant color.