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Diamonds - Colour

Most diamonds appear colourless but actually have slight tones of yellow or brown. The closer the stone comes to colourless, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are graded on a colour scale ranging from D (colourless) to Z (heavily tinted.) Only a highly skilled professional will detect any colour in E or F stones, and the colour in diamonds rated up to J will be virtually invisible when set in a ring or other jewellery.

Colour is only one of the four C's so even when a stone has a visible tint, such as K or above, it can still be very lovely if it has good clarity and cut. How the diamond is set can make a difference, too; you might not want to put a truly colourless diamond in a yellow gold setting since the yellow colour will reflect in the stone. On the other hand, a slightly yellow stone will appear whiter in a yellow gold setting.

Diamonds also come in a wide variety of other colours, including red, blue, green and a bright yellow known as "canary." These are graded as Z+ and are known as "fancy" diamonds. Ones with good colour are very rare and can sell for much more per carat than white diamonds.

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