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Diamond Colour

Colour is another important aspect of distinguishing quality in diamonds detectable by the human eye. 90% of diamonds have a very slight hue of yellow or brown. The colour is determined by comparing the gemstone to an internationally approved set of master stones in a gemmology lab. Diamond are graded table down (or upside down) for the gemologist to properly see body colour through the profile of the diamond. The intensity can vary from colourless to slight yellow or brown. The scale is alphabetically graded from D-Z. The average colour grade in the marketplace is in the range of I-K colour. Many consumers do not notice any body colour in the diamond until the K-L-M range. The most desirable diamonds are in the colourless range and are graded in the H or better colour.

The colour system originated 75 years ago when diamonds from Africa and Russia were usually tinted yellow. More recent mines are producing a large number of diamonds that exhibit a slight brown, grey, or salty hue. These are often referred to as top light brown (TLB). The colour system does not recognise TLB. While these diamonds can be less expensive for a jeweller to purchase, savings are not usually passed on to the consumer. We recommend that the consumer insist that the jeweller state on the receipt or appraisal if any brown, grey, or salty hues exists.

There are many diamonds in the marketplace inflated by one to three colour grades to amplify a better perceived value or to make a quick sale. Ensure that you trust your jeweller’s certification, as many jewellers in the marketplace do not have any credentials. 

Looking for a more colourful option? Why not consider a coloured diamond? Natural and enhanced coloured diamonds are available in a wide array of colours. From blue to yellow to pink we are pleased to have an array of these precious gems in stock.

Tinted Diamonds


Ask to see your jeweller’s professional credentials. If they have any formal training from a reputable institution they will be proud to share this training with you. This vital information will indicate their expertise. Other professionals have their degrees available to view in person – always expect it from the jeweller you are choosing to work with.