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Tips on Colour

Some content on this page are contributed by Good Old Gold, with thanks.

Buying Certified Diamonds

The best way to ensure that you are getting the colour you pay for is to buy diamonds with reputable certificates. AGS, GIA and HRD labotaries s have very strict standards on colour grading. If you buy a diamond accompanied by a certificate issued by these labs, you can be assured that the colour grades stated on the certificates are correct, except for borderline cases where judgement is required during grading.

It is also important to note that some laboratories have poorer standards on colour grading. For instance, the IGI and EGL labs frequently grade the colour of diamonds one grade higher than what they really are.

Buying Uncertified Diamonds

Uncertified diamonds are cheaper, since it costs money to send the diamonds to the laboratories for testing.If you are buying cheap and small diamonds, you may not care if the supposed colour grade of the diamond is wrong.

However, for your more expensive purchases, you should get the jeweller to give you a money back gaurantee. Then bring the diamond to a qualified appraiser for testing. Should you find the colour grade to be substantially different, return the diamond for a refund.

You may also want to check the diamonds visually before you make your purchase as follows:

  • Always observe diamonds loose, not mounted. It is difficult to observe the colour of a diamond accurately when set in a ring, even for a qualifed gemologist.

  • Have a flat white card ready. A flat white business card is sufficient.

  • Ask for a colourless cz (cubic zirconia). CZs are naturally colourless, although they may be artificially coloured.

  • Put that stone against the flat white background, and compare it to the cz. Bear in mind that Colorless diamonds (DEF) are colorless against a flat white background. Near colorless (GHIJ) has an ever so faint tint against a flat white background. Faintly tinted (KLM) diamonds have an obvious tint against the white background.

Assuming the diamond is not certified and the jeweller says the stone is a "G-H" in color or an "I-J" in color. Either assume the lower of the two grades or assume he is wrong altogether. There are many jewellers who will tell you "what you want to hear" just to get your cash in their pocket.

When in Doubt

When in doubt, do not buy. Mistakes in colour grades are costly as diamond prices fall substantially with each drop in colour grade. It is better to walk away with your money in your pocket. As they say, 'a fool and his money are soon parted'.


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