Madelle Morgan, Romance Author
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Diamonds 101: The Four Cs – Color

“My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.” – Elizabeth Taylor

Carrie Underwood’s new husband, NHL hockey player Mike Fisher, gave her a gorgeous yellow diamond engagement ring back in December 2009. A round brilliant cut of at least 5 carats, the yellow flawless diamond is said to be worth $150,000. The tiny diamonds in the band and setting bring the total up to 12 carats or more. What a fabulous custom-designed ring by Jonathon Arndt, jeweler to the stars! Carrie has worn his jewelry at several awards shows.

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Colored or “fancy” diamonds are very popular with those with bags of money to spend, but most of us regular folks must choose from a wider and more affordable selection of colorless diamonds.

Gemologists grade the color of a cut diamond before it is put in a setting using the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale below. The setting can affect the colour. For example, a gold setting will enhance a yellow tint. The highest grade, and therefore more expensive, diamonds are graded D-E-F.

D-E-F  Colorless

G-H-I-J  Nearly colorless

K-L-M  Faintly tinted, usually yellow

N-O-P-Q-R  Lightly tinted, usually yellow. Tint can be seen with the naked eye.

S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z  Tinted, usually yellow, may progress to brownish. Tint visible to the naked eye.

But say you want a trendy colored diamond like this pink emerald cut. What should you consider?

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First, fancy diamonds come in a range of colors and are quite rare and expensive. Naturally-colored diamonds are labelled “fancy colored” diamonds. The most affordable are the yellow diamonds because they are relatively more plentiful.

Second, buyers need to be wary of color-treated diamonds passed off as genuine yellow, pink, blue, or other colored diamonds. Key words to watch for are “tinted” or “color-treated”. Tinted diamonds may have a yellowish tint but are graded at the bottom of the GIA A-Z scale for colorless diamonds. That is, they are not considered to be fancy colored diamonds. Color-treated means the color has been artificially enhanced through special treatments.

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Fancy colored diamonds are graded on a different GIA scale.

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If you are comparison shopping, the About.com web site provides excellent guidance on selecting a colored diamond. Beautiful photos accompany the article. It’s worth a visit.

Colored or white – what’s your preference?

I'd love to hear your comments

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