Colored diamonds get lofty asking prices and hammer prices at auctions, yet there is something classic and alluring about a white or colorless diamond. How often have you seen a solitaire diamond engagement ring featuring a colored diamond at the center? More often than not, diamond solitaires tend to be colorless or white.
The term “white” refers to the colorless gems that fall within the D to Z color scale. However, diamonds that fall in that color range are not exactly white. Their hues can actually range from colorless, resembling a pure water drop, to those having tints of light gray, light yellow or brown. The rarity and value of these diamonds are based in part upon how closely they move toward colorlessness. When all things are equal, the more colorless a diamond is, the more expensive it becomes.
White Diamonds are Not Colorless
White gemstones are not color graded according to the D to Z color scale since they are white, not colorless. The term “white” does not show up on the GIA color spectrum either, since it is the sum of all possible colors.
What Makes the Diamond Appear White?
The submicroscopic inclusions scatter light that passes through the gemstone, giving it a translucent milky white face up appearance. Sometimes, a white diamond is also referred to as “opalescent” due to flashes of color that is viewable with the face upwards. In some instances, this translucent appearance of white diamonds is similar to white opals with a weak play of color.
There are also diamonds whose colors fall not within but outside the above-mentioned color range, and they have different colors. The geological conditions needed to make natural colored diamonds are rare, making them loftily prized. Colored diamonds’ hue also represents colors in the rainbow. Brown and yellow diamonds are the most commonly available, followed by blue and pink diamonds. Purple, green, orange and red diamonds are generally the rarest ones aside from white counterparts.
White diamonds are rarely submitted to the Gemological Institute of America; however, a few that the institute examined came from the mine in Panna, India. In case you happen to spot one of these opalescent gemstones during a museum visit or a shopping spree, consider yourself extremely lucky and savor the moment.