White Diamonds are graded according to the GIA standardized grading chart ranging from D (highest grade) to Z (lowest grade). Loose diamonds may be graded by comparing them under white light to a set of master stone diamonds to determine the exact color grade.
Grading laboratories will typically possess a full set of master stone diamonds, one for each color, for maximum accuracy whereas an independent appraiser or retailer will tend to grade diamonds based on experience or current stock.
The value of a diamond is determined primarily by the 4 C’s; Carat weight, Cut, Clarity and Color. The beauty of the diamond will be determined by a combination of the cut, color and clarity, as well as any fluorescence the diamond may have. The most desirable and most expensive color grade is D (besides fancy colored diamonds such as blue and pink).
D-E-F color grades are colorless grades and have no visible discoloration, even under lab conditions. These are the most sought after diamonds.
G-H color grades are white and will only have very slight traces of discoloration under lab conditions or when compared side by side to higher grade diamonds. In regular light, these diamonds are completely colorless.
I-J color grades are very slightly tinted yellow. With well cut diamonds, these diamonds can have a white face-up, especially when set in yellow gold, and therefore while being considerably lower in price, they attain similar beauty to higher grades and therefore are excellent value. Recommended for solitaire rings rather than solitaires with accents. Perfect for pendants and earrings, considering their exceptional value.
K-L-M color grades are tinted yellow and it is recommended they be set in yellow gold settings for optimal beauty, unless the intention is for a yellowish colored stone. The color would be especially obvious when set in a piece of jewelry with whiter diamond accents.
N-Z color graded are borderline on light fancy yellow color and should be considered outside the regular “white” diamond chart.
What is right for you?
Tips from the eyes of a jewelry manufacturer and designer (not just a diamond expert).
• When you want the top quality.
• When your ring has high quality small diamonds.
• Usually best for white gold or platinum.
• When you want a white diamond.
• When you want the best value for money without compromising on beauty.
• Very well cut diamonds will have a completely white face, so recommended for jewelry where the face is shown more than the side.
• Best in yellow gold, also suitable in white gold or platinum solitaires.
• Recommended without high quality diamond accents.
• Recommended when on a budget and want a beautiful solitaire at the best price.