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Color of the Diamonds

Color scale of diamonds

The color of the diamonds is codified by the diamantaires and laboratories issuing certificates of authenticity using specific terms or letters... what do  they correspond to?

The positioning of a diamond in the scale of shades of white can only be done by specialists under a specific light and only with unmounted stones.

According to geographical areas of the world, there are different terms that are used.... to simplify we use 2 of the 3 mainly used for the sale of diamonds:

The letter from the GIA classification "Gemological Institute of America" associated with the name of CIBJO " Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie- Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie " with the Scandinavian equivalent classification in the table below.

Letter code



Scandinavian Standard



Exceptional white +




Exceptional white




Extra white+

Top Wesselton


Near colorless

Extra white

Top Wesselton


Near colorless




Near colorless

White shade

Top Crystal


Near colorless

White shade


K - L

Faint/light colored

Slightly Tinted

Top Cape

Diamonds codified by letters M and the following are considered "colored" or yellow and cannot be described as "white."

When a diamond has a plain color shade: yellow, pink, red, blue... we quantify the intensity of its color with the words: "Fancy Light," "Fancy," "Fancy intense" and for the more pronounced color "Fancy Vivid" to which, of course, is added its color.

There are also special coding for diamonds from the Australian Argyle mine, which is the largest producer of pink and cognac diamonds... and has created its own coding, the Argyle Scale.

The color of a diamond is also influenced by its fluorescence: lighting rich in ultra-violet type "neon", or daylight mountain light, stimulate fluorescent diamonds and change their color. This therefore ranks diamonds on a scale ranging from "no fluorescence" to "very strong fluorescence."

In conclusion untrained human eye can only appreciate some groups of shades of color... this is why we often talk about colorless or white diamonds, nearly colorless or shaded white, slightly colored... and also the influence of the shape and the quality of the cut that determines its brilliance, comes into play to guide the pleasure of the happy buyer!