D Color Diamond: Complete Guide and Grade

Published by Virtu on

Suppose you have a pretty flexible budget and want to buy the best colorless diamond; what color grade would you opt for? If you do not know which diamond is considered the best to buy from all the Gemological Institute of America’s approved color graded diamonds, you are at the right place! If you are wondering what the GIA is, it is a non-profit institute dedicated to research and education regarding gemology and jewelry. The GIA-approved color grade scale starts from D and ends at Z. Each range within this color grade scale is given a name, with D to F known as the colorless range. As you go down this color grade scale, all diamonds that fall within the later color ranges have increasing hues of yellow or brown color.

If you have the slightest idea about diamond shopping, you must know that the diamond with the greatest value is one with all perfect 4 Cs. The 4 Cs of a diamond include its cut, color grade, clarity grade, and carat weight. And when it comes to the best color grade, a diamond with no internal color (i.e., colorless) is considered best. Diamonds with no internal or external color are graded with the color grade D and are the most expensive diamonds on the entire color grade scale.

Now you know that the best diamond to buy is a D color diamond, but its color is not the only factor you should look out for while shopping. We have created an in-depth shopping guide for D color diamonds to help pick the best option for you.

What is a D color diamond?

As mentioned earlier, a D color diamond falls within the colorless range of the color grade scale. However, not all diamonds are colorless and vary drastically in color. When most of us think of diamonds, we think of transparent, crystal clear stones whose sparkle we can see from miles away. The truth is, most diamonds have slight hues of yellow or brown color, which increases as you go down the color grade scale. There are naturally occurring colored diamonds like blue, red, pink, and green diamonds, but these go beyond the color grade scale and are rare to find.

Some diamonds within the near-colorless range are difficult to tell apart from a D color diamond through the naked eye. In contrast, some diamonds’ yellow hue in the later color ranges is easier to spot without the help of a gemological microscope.

Every diamond is evaluated and graded for value and quality by the GIA and sold with a certificate, listing grades and names for its 4 Cs. A D color diamond is the highest quality diamond among all others and is the most expensive to buy since they are rare compared to the diamonds in the remaining color grade ranges. However, it might not always be a great idea to invest in a D color diamond in certain situations because it comes at a hefty price.

Visually comparing a D color diamond

By now, you already know that D color diamonds have the perfect color grade. Still, it is not always a good idea to invest in them because experts recommend that customers buy a diamond based on what they visually find appealing. When you compare a D color diamond with diamonds from other grades, you will notice how most of them look almost identical to the D color diamond, making it difficult to tell them apart from it. It is easier to tell which of them are a lower grade with certain diamonds because they have a very obvious yellow hue.

For example, if you compare a 1 carat D color diamond with a 1 carat K color diamond of the same cut and clarity, you would easily be able to spot the difference in their color grades as the K color diamond is seven grades lower than the D color diamond. There is also a huge difference in their prices as you would expect. The D color diamond would cost around $5000, whereas the K color diamond would be priced at $2000.

If we compare a D color diamond with an F color diamond of the same carat weight and cut, it will become really difficult to find the difference in color between them since they both lie in the colorless grade range of the scale. However, a D color diamond will always be more expensive than its counterparts from the same range.

How well a diamond hides its internal color depends on several other factors, including its cut. We have covered this in more detail in the following sections and provided simple guidelines on choosing the right cut for your diamond.

Cost of a D color diamond

As mentioned earlier, D color diamonds make the smallest percentage of diamonds from the color grade scale. They are extremely rare to find and thus, are the most expensive. As you move down the color grade scale, diamonds become more affordable. Obviously, if you are on a tight budget, D color diamonds are not the right choice for you. Although they have been assigned the best color grade, experts suggest that it is not worth paying extra bucks for a property if you can not visually tell it apart when comparing them with diamonds from the near-colorless range. So, even if you are not on a tight budget, think again before opting for a D-color diamond. The extra colorlessness of the D color diamond does not significantly impact its appearance, but the price differences are significantly high.

Always remember that there is a lot more to a diamond than its color. If a D color does not have a well-defined cut, its color properties will not help make it appear more beautiful. In such a case, a diamond with a lower color grade with a brilliant-cut would look far more appealing to the naked eye.

Two of the most important factors that have a significant impact on the appearance of your diamond are its carat weight and cut. A sharper, better cut means a diamond will have more brilliance, whereas a higher carat weight means a diamond will be larger and more impressive. The color of a diamond does not have more impact on its appearance than these two factors.

When is a D color diamond an ideal choice?

There is no right or wrong answer to such a question. It all depends on how much budget you are willing to assign to buying a diamond, but if money is not a problem, you can easily opt for a D-color diamond without a second thought. D color diamonds are the symbols of elegance, luxury, and status. If you want to go all out and spend any amount of money, go for a D-color diamond!

However, it might not always be the best pick to buy in certain situations. One such situation is when you want to place your diamond in a yellow or gold color jewelry setting. In such a case, buying a D color diamond will serve no purpose because it will be pointless to pay so much money only to have the diamond appear slightly colored in a yellow or gold setting.

If you do not have a flexible budget, investing in a D color diamond would mean you have limited options for choosing a nice cut and a higher carat weight. These two factors impact a diamond’s appearance the most, so missing out on them would not be a great idea because you would technically be paying for a feature that no one can detect with their naked eye. We have shared some recommendations below for choosing a diamond with different cuts and properties.

Round Diamonds

Brilliant round cut diamonds are the best at hiding any internal yellow or brown hues. A round cut is an ideal choice if you want to opt for diamonds in the near-colorless range. However, you should only buy a D color brilliant round cut diamond if you have a very high budget. Always ask yourself if it’s worth paying extra for the high color grade of a D color diamond in your situation. It will only be worth it if you are choosing a silver or white jewelry setting where the color of the diamond shows more obviously.

Other cuts and shapes

A D color diamond in any shape will only be worth it if you have set a high budget. From the value perspective, it is recommended that customers look at diamonds in the G to I color grade range for any cut or shape, specifically for the emerald and princess cuts.


Like with color, the clarity of the diamond is graded on the clarity grade scale, which is approved by the GIA. The clarity grade scale starts with Internally flawless (IF) and ends at Included (I). It is not worth paying for the flawless clarity of a diamond if you can not visually see the difference when compared with lower clarity grades.


When exposed to ultraviolet light, diamonds with the fluorescence property emit a soft glow. Typically, the fluorescence property is considered a defect in any diamond, which is then sold at a discounted price. D color diamonds with the fluorescence property are priced at a similar price as H or I color diamonds with no fluorescence property. However, if a D color diamond has a faint fluorescence property, you can hardly notice any haziness or milkiness in it. Despite barely having any cloudiness, they are sold at a discounted price and are cheaper than non-fluorescent D color diamonds.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What budget should I set for my fiancé’s engagement ring?

The budget you set for your fiancé’s engagement ring should take into account a few other factors. The first factor you should consider is the size of the diamond you want. If you are sure about buying a big diamond, it will cost you a lot more. Next, you should decide on the kind of cut you would like. Some cuts are better at hiding internal color than others. Then you should take into consideration the color and clarity. It is not worth paying extra for a flawless color and clarity grade when you can buy an almost identical diamond in lower color and clarity categories.

  • How do diamonds get a yellow or brown hue?

The yellow or brown hue in diamonds is caused by the presence of nitrogen atoms as part of the pure carbon structure of the diamond. The nitrogen molecules absorb blue light, making the diamond reflect different shades of yellow. Even the smallest nitrogen trace in the compound composition can create a light-yellow colored diamond.

  • Why does the Gemological Institute of America’s color grade scale start with D?

The choice to start the color grading system with the letter D was made to differentiate the GIA color grade scale from other unclearly defined scales that used terms like ‘A’ or ‘AA.’ Another governing body, known as the American Gem Society, had its own numerical based grading system which was reserved only for its members. Hence, GIA used new terms when developing its color grading system and started with the letter D.


There is no doubt that a D color diamond is one of the most beautiful stones to exist. They fall within the colorless range of the GIA color grade scale and are rare compared to other diamonds with slight hues of yellow or brown. Due to their rarity, D color diamonds are heavy on the pocket and can be difficult to fit into your budget. Buying a D color diamond is a good idea in situations where you know budget is not an issue. It is also recommended to buy a D color diamond when you are sure to place the diamond in a silver or white jewelry setting. However, if you are on a tight budget, you should focus more on the diamond’s cut and carat weight because these factors can significantly impact its appearance. It is not always worth paying for a diamond’s flawless color because it is a factor that humans can barely detect with their naked eyes.

Categories: Jewelry


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