Colour Explained

Diamond is composed almost entirely of carbon but does contain traces of other elements. These elements cause diamonds to have body colours in shades of yellow, gray and brown.

Diamonds listed on the database are graded using the Gemological Institute of America nomenclature using letters from D to Z with D being colourless.

Colour grades are established by comparing the diamond in question to a set of standard master diamonds, under controlled conditions.


D to F

Diamonds in the D to F colour grades are considered colourless. It is only by direct comparison to colour master diamonds can a slight variation in colour be discerned between these three colour grades. To the untrained eye, D to F coloured diamonds will look the same once mounted in jewellery.

Near Colourless

G to J

Diamonds in the G to J colour grades are considered near colourless. If the diamond is well cut, diamonds in this range will face up very well and only a slight tint of colour will be noticeable. This is a very popular range of colour in the New Zealand market as it allows a good balance between size and budget.

Faint Yellow

K to M

Diamonds in the K to M colour grades are considered faint yellow. Again, these diamonds if well cut will face up well in jewellery but the colour will be noticeable to the untrained eye. This allows the purchase of larger diamonds if your budget is limited.

Very Light and Light Yellow

N to Z

Diamonds in the N to Z colour grades are considered very light and light yellow. Diamonds in this colour range show a very noticeable yellow, brown or gray colour. Diamonds in this range are considerably less valuable than diamonds in the D to M range. There is low demand for diamonds of these colour grades in the New Zealand market.