Diamond color is graded on a scale that compares each diamond to a “Master Set” of pre-color graded diamonds. The scale begins at “D” (meaning the diamond is completely colorless) and ends with Z (meaning the diamond is quite yellow or brown). A truly colorless diamond is extremely rare. Most diamonds have some degree of yellow (or brown) in them, even if they look white to the eye.
Most vintage diamonds fall into the “near-colorless scale”. The differences in color are so slight that most people unless they are trained to look for it, don’t even notice any difference. The proportions of older diamonds often work to mask their color as well. When viewed from the top, vintage diamonds actually tend to look whiter than the color grade assigned to them.
The diamond that cast a “faint yellow hue” starts to show a little bit of an off-white color to the naked eye. The color is drawn out more significantly depending on what type of metal the stone is set in. For example, a stone set in yellow gold will cast a more yellow hue than a stone set in white gold, platinum, or silver. In fact, many yellow gold Victorian rings are actually “silver-topped”, meaning that the diamond itself is set in silver so that it reflects a more white shine.
We cannot get enough of “very light yellow” diamonds. The warm tones that antique diamonds sometimes exude are testimonies to their authenticity and history. As you can see by the pictures above, it is important to keep in mind that each diamond will strike each individual differently. Diamonds that look exactly the same on paper look completely different in person. The best part is that you’ll know your diamond when you see it!
When a diamond is yellower than a “Z” rating, it is then considered a “fancy” colored diamond, and its value actually increases. Diamonds can also be found in other colors like pink, blue, red, and purple – any “fancy” color diamond with a bright, strong color is extremely rare and therefore very valuable, desirable, and expensive!