Color is one of the most important aspects of a diamond’s visual appearance and a major factor in diamond pricing. D is the highest grade of diamond color and is basically a way of saying “this diamond is totally colorless, you won’t find a whiter stone out there”. On the GIA’s diamond grading scale, certain diamonds are grouped together into subsets. D colored diamonds are the highest color grade within the colorless diamonds that include D, E, and F grades. These diamonds are incredibly rare and are considered the most desirable. However, colorless diamonds are significantly more expensive than near colorless diamonds that may appear just as white when placed in a setting.
If you’re like me you may find it a little strange that the color grades don’t start at A color. Before the GIA was founded there was a preexisting color scale that ranged from A to C. To differentiate themselves and avoid confusion, the GIA began grading diamonds on a scale of D – Z. Now that the GIA is recognized as the industry standard, other grading agencies have adopted the same color grading scale and the industry sticks to the D – Z range with D being the whitest and Z being the “most colored”. Beyond Z there are diamonds that are considered “fancy colored diamonds”, these do not receive a letter grading and the presence of color is actually treated as a positive instead of a detractor in this range. Basically, if you’re buying a diamond you either want it to be very white or have very deep or saturated color – typically colored diamonds are used for non-engagement jewelry but they can be used in unique engagement rings as well.
Since D is the whitest of the diamond colors and is extremely rare, D colored diamonds are by far the most expensive. For perspective we’ll compare a few 1 carat round shaped diamonds with VS2 clarity to see how much more expensive a D colored diamond. At the time of this writing, the least expensive D color version on StoneAlgo was $7,491, however the cheapest G color was $5,973 which is 20% less expensive. The question you need to ask is whether the D colored diamond is worth this 20% premium. While G is considered to be near colorless, whereas D is considered colorless, the appearance of color is so slight that even a trained jeweler may not notice it unless the diamond is placed right next to a D colored diamond for comparison sake. So, a D color diamond is typically considered overkill in terms of color grade. We’d recommend you only consider diamonds in the near colorless spectrum unless you have an excessively large budget and are willing to get a much smaller diamond for your money.
There are a lot of moving parts but generally speaking we try to maximize carat size for our given budget by sticking to the lower end of the color ranges we specified and searching for VS2 or better diamonds. SI1 diamonds are great if they’re eye clean, but they are a pain to find and often end up costing just as much as a VS2 diamond would. If you need one-on-one advice, we offer free support to all our users – simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org