When choosing diamonds, you must next consider your diamond colour, or lack of colour to be exact, as this greatly impacts your diamond's value. Rarity and purity are based on colourlessness, which is difficult to spot to the untrained eye.
Clear, completely colourless diamonds are seen as the most valuable, while lower grade diamonds have a slightly yellow or brown appearance. The less tinged your white diamond is, the truer colour it will reflect, giving it more value and beauty.
Coloured diamonds such as pink, yellow and blue are graded separately and can be even more rare and valuable than the traditional colourless diamond.
Follow the universal master colour grade scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America to see where your chosen diamond sits on the scale to suit your needs and budget.
Also consider the ring setting. White gold and platinum are best suited for colourless or near colourless diamonds bringing out their beauty and brightness.
Any tinge of yellow will appear more prominent against a white gold or platinum setting, while yellow or rose gold is more forgiving with diamonds that have a slight yellow or brown tinge.
D, E, F diamonds are considered completely colourless. Even though there is some variation in colour between them, this is impossible to distinguish and can only be detected by gemologists in a colour-controlled environment. These diamonds look best set in white gold or platinum.
G, H -Near Colourless
These diamonds are considered near colourless and contain traces of colour which are very difficult to detect, visible only when compared side by side with higher grade stones. G&H diamonds are more common than D, E & F so are considered great value.
I, J -Near Colourless
I-J graded diamonds contain slight traces of colour and are more common to find. These are considered to be good value diamonds that are suitable for white gold or platinum settings.
K, L, M -Faint Yellow
A faint yellow tinge is more easily detected by the naked eye in K, L and M diamonds, making them less expensive than higher grades. Set in yellow gold, these warm diamonds can be of exceptional value if you're on a budget.
N, O, P, Q, R -Very Light Yellow or Brown
Diamonds in this colour grade have an easily visible light yellow or brown tint and will work best in a yellow gold setting. These diamonds are more affordable than most other diamonds.