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Grading Fancy Coloured Diamonds

By 16.01 September 20th, 2018 No Comments

The GIA developed the fancy coloured diamond grading scale in the mid-1970s due to a rise in popularity of fancy coloured diamonds. The GIA therefore needed to develop a standardised way of classifying and understanding the stones. Due to the large number of colour combinations present in the fancy coloured diamonds they decided to rather use a description rather than a letter as it is done with regular diamonds.

 

Fancy Coloured Diamonds are graded on a different scale to regular diamonds. With regular diamonds one uses single letter grades as see here.

Diamond color grading

The Fancy coloured diamond scale developed by the GIA looks like this.
FCD Grading

With fancy coloured diamonds the basic colour of the diamond must be determined and compared to a set of predefined reference diamonds. The GIA developed a grading system that makes use of colour space areas which are split into ‘boxes’ (see below) Reference stones are then placed into these specific “boxes” according to their colour and hues.

The GIA developed a grading system that makes use of colour space areas which are split into ‘boxes’ (see below) Reference stones are then placed into these specific “boxes” according to their specific colour and hues. The diamond being graded will then be placed in one of these boxes for comparison to find a colour characteristic that closely matching its own.

The implementation of the grading methodology is done in a standardized manner for the grading results to remain consistent every time.

Defining the Colour of a Diamond

The GIA’s fancy colour grading system for fancy colour is based on 3 main attributes ofaspects, tone, hue and saturation.

Hue refers to the primary colour of the diamond such as green, red, blue, brownpink etc… In total,. The GIA currently recognizes 27 different hues and each of these hues have awith their own range of possible colours.
Tone defines how dark or light the hue of the diamond is.
Saturation refers to how intense the coloration of the diamond is.

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12 Fancy Colored Diamonds

Colour descriptions assigned by GIA

Generally speaking the darker the hue, the more valuable the diamond. The colour can be anywhere between a faint hint of colour to a bold and vivid shade. The GIA developed an intensity scale to accurately define the level of intensity the diamond has.

The GIA colour grading system have nine grades to distinguish the colour range of the diamond, the grades assigned are based on the overall effects of the diamond’s hue, tone and saturation. The main grades are: Fancy Vivid, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Dark, Fancy, Fancy Light, Light, Very Light and Faint.

Warmer hues like yellow red and orange gradually appear to look brownish as their saturation decreases. Cooler shades like green and blue tend to gravitate towards a more greyish colour.

Whilst the carat, cut, and clarity are all extremely important factors when grading the quality of the diamond, the colour and intensity of the diamond are the most relevant characteristics when assessing the value of the diamond.

Every detail counts when grading a coloured diamond as the smallest mistake could be the difference between thousands of diamonds. The GIA grading system is understood and accepted throughout the world so when it comes to fancy coloured diamonds it is advisable to make sure that your diamonds has been graded by the GIA.

 

Clarity

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Color

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Carat

The international unit of weight, used for measuring diamonds and gemstones. 1 carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.

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Clarity

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Color

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Cut

Nothing is more impactful on a precious stone’s brilliance than its cut. The cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. Known in the industry as ‘fire’, referring to the coloured light reflected, and ‘brilliance’ for the uncoloured light. The cut of a diamond – its form and finish, its depth and width, the uniformity of the facets – determines its beauty. The skill with which a diamond is cut determines how well it reflects and refracts light. A diamond should be cut proportionally, neither very shallow not very deep, given its dimensions. A diamond’s cut is its most important characteristics and a measure of its apparent beauty.

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Certificate

A diamond certificate or grading report provides an expert opinion on the quality of the diamond and is provided by an independent gemology lab. Trained gemologists with specialized equipment measure the weight and dimensions of the diamond and assess quality characteristics such as cut, color, and clarity. Brilliant Earth diamonds are certified by the world’s leading gem grading labs including GIA, IGI, and GCAL.

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Depth

The height of a diamond, from the culet to the table referred as a Depth of the diamond . Depth % is the height of the diamond as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

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Table

Table referred as the largest facet of a gemstone, located at the top. Table % is the table width as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

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Polish

Polish refers to the smoothness of the exterior of a diamond. Polish is graded from Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. Polish grades of Good or higher have the least effect on the brilliance of the diamond and recommended by us for the finest quality jewelry.

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Symmetry

Symmetry refers to the angles to which the facets are aligned. Basically exactness of the shape of a diamond, and the symmetrical arrangement and even placement of the facets. If facets are misaligned, the diamond may poorly reflect light. Symmetry is graded from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. We recommends diamonds with Good or higher symmetry grades.

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Fluorescence

Describes the diamond’s response to ultraviolet light. In diamonds with strong or very strong fluorescence, there may be some interference with the flow of light which causes a milky or oily appearance. Canadian diamonds almost always have none to slight fluorescence.

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Measurements

Diamonds with “fancy” shapes are measured according to their length, width and depth. These diamonds will have a longer axis (the biggest measurement) and a shorter one that represents their width. The depth indicates the measurement of the diamond from the bottom to the top. The relative proportions of a diamond ultimately affect its quality and value.

Round-shaped diamonds are never perfectly round even though they may seem to be that way when you look at them. There is a tiny variation between maximum and minimum diameter, so dimensions are reflected as measurements of maximum diameter, minimum diameter and depth.

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