As you’re shopping for diamonds, a diamond color chart comes in handy if you’re trying to understand the subtle color differences of D-to-Z diamonds. A simple online search for “diamond color chart” delivers a host of different graphics showing the relationship between diamond color and the respective color grade. The one thing nearly all these diamond charts have in common is that they’re derived from one standard – the GIA Color Scale.
This is the official “chart,” or scale that is printed on GIA diamond grading reports as a reference for communicating a diamond’s color quality. And this is terminology your jeweler will use when talking about diamond color and value. So it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the GIA Color Scale.
In this post, you can learn about and download the official GIA Color Scale, work with an interactive diamond color chart to see the relationship between grades and colors, and watch a useful GIA Diamond Color Grading video to see how GIA evaluates diamond color.
Official GIA Color Scale
GIA developed the definitive diamond color scale or chart in the early 1950s, a time when there were a lot of different and subjective terms in the marketplace for describing a diamond’s color: white, blue white, AAAA, for example.
The GIA scale begins with the letter D, representing colorlessness, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, representing light yellow, light brown or light gray. The 23 color grades on the GIA Color Scale (or diamond color chart) are subdivided into five subcategories, which are: colorless (D-F); near colorless (G-J); faint (K-M); very light (N-R); and light (S-Z).
Each letter grade has a clearly defined narrow range of color appearance.