When shopping for a diamond, it is generally preferred to choose a stone with the least amount of color possible. Diamond color is graded on a scale from D-Z and is divided into five broad categories (colorless, near colorless, faint, very light and light). Diamonds come in all colors of the spectrum. The predominant color you see in a diamond is yellow, which is caused by the trace element nitrogen.
Generally, when comparing color between two diamonds, the diamonds need to be at least two color grades apart to even begin to see a difference. As you can see from the images below, when diamonds are in the face up position it is almost impossible to see any color. When viewing the diamond from the side profile, you may start to detect some color; however, diamonds are admired for their beauty from the face up position and not the side.
Colorless Diamonds (D-F):
Diamonds within the colorless range are the most rare and valuable of all those on the color scale. D/E color stones display virtually no color, whereas F colored diamonds will display a nearly undetected amount of color when viewed face down by a gemologist.D Color E Color F Color
Near Colorless Diamonds (G-J):
Diamonds within the near colorless range appear colorless in the face up position, but do display a slight amount of color when viewed face down against a perfectly white background. This trace amount of color will be undetectable to an untrained eye once the diamond has been mounted. Near colorless diamonds offer a tremendous value for their price.G Color H Color I Color J Color
Faint Color Diamonds (K):
Diamonds within the faint color category may show a slight hint color when viewed in the face up position; however, these are another wonderful option for those who are not sensitive to color. Some even love the color scheme that is displayed from these diamonds.K Color
While the most predominant color found in a diamond is yellow, it’s not uncommon for a diamond to take on a brown color. This is thought to be caused by internal graining, which results from structural irregularities often in combination with an impurity like nitrogen.