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Purchasing a diamond is a big commitment. While you don't have to be an expert on the stones themselves, it's important to have a solid understanding of what qualities to look for. Clarity and cut are important, yes, but you also need to know about the different colors diamonds come in and how they fall on the diamond color grading scale.
Unless you want a diamond with a hint of yellow or some other color, you're going to want one that is as clear or white as possible. A diamond's color is determined while examined face-down under controlled lighting conditions. The color that's revealed during this examination is compared to a "master stone" to give the examiner a basis for the color grade.
The color grading system was developed by the Gemological Institute of America or GIA and ranges from D to Z. a "D" rating is the whitest while Z is for the brownest of stones.
Let's take a look at the grading scale a bit more closely so you'll know what your jeweler is talking about when you go to a store to make a purchase:
Now that you know the color grading scale, you can start asking yourself what you should look for in diamond color. That is, you can start browsing for a diamond to see what meets your preferences and budget. Ask to see several diamonds all lined up together of the different color grades so you can actually see the difference for yourself. The difference between an I-J and an E-F may not be noticeable in a mounted diamond, but you'll definitely notice a difference in the price tag.
Ultimately, you want a diamond that looks as colorless as possible with a high level of clarity. Remember: an informed buyer is a smart buyer. Good luck!
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