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Fancy Color Diamonds occur in 27 Basic hues. Fancy Color Diamonds can be modified by one or more secondary colors, The colors are coded C1 through C27. The main hues are:


No Color Name Color Abbreviation
1 Red R
2 orangy Red oR
3 reddish Orange rO
4 Orange O
5 yellowish Orange yO
6 Yellow Orange YO
7 Orange Yellow OY
8 orangy Yellow oY
9 Yellow Y
10 greenish Yellow gY
11 Green Yellow GY
12 Yellow Green YG
13 yellowish Green slyG
14 Green G
15 bluish Green bG
16 Blue Green BG
17 Green-Blue GB
18 greenish Blue gB
19 Blue B
20 violetish Blue vB
21 bluish Violet bV
22 Violet V
23 Purple P
24 reddish Purple rP
25 Red-Purple RP
26 Purple-Red PR
27 purplish Red pR
Special Diamond colors
Pink Pk
Brown Br
X to Z X to Z


Understanding the system:

In order to facilitate the understanding of the system, eight hues were chosen to demonstrate charts for hues that the observer is more likely to encounter and occur at relatively broad ranges of appearances.

The eight representative hues include: yellow in warmer and in cooler appearances. The Yellow hues zone: orange/yellow (warmer), Yellow/green (cooler), yellow/orange, orangey red (orangey pink), red (pink), purplish red (purplish pink) and blue.

By representing a range of hues around the hue square, these charts illustrate the full range of appearance transitions in warm and cool colors.

Additional colors: pink, brown and gray.

Pink is used as a substitute for red colors in the medium to light tones and moderate to weakly saturated versions of reddish purple, red purple, purple red, purplish red, red, orangey red and reddish orange.

Since light or dark colors at low levels of saturation are challenging to discern, brown/brownish or gray/grayish were added to the description of weaker or darker colors. When we examine warm hues, such as yellows, orange or red they appear to look browner, while cool colors, such as blue or green appear grayer.


Naming a color

One should note that the main color is described last, hence a brownish yellow is a predominantly yellow gem with a brown moderator and an orangey brown is a predominantly brown stone with an orangey moderator. The description of the main color and the moderator has a great influence on the value of the gem.



Let us begin by becoming familiar with the appearance of yellow diamonds. Choose yellow from the pulldown of major hues (see arrow). The yellow hues are framed. Generally, yellow may appear in cooler or warmer colors. The cooler colors are towards the yellow/greenish yellow hue boundary, and warmer ones towards the yellow/orangey yellow boundary. Let’s start with the warmer colors:

The lightest of these colors are part of the GIA D - Z color scales. The colors start from fancy light colors to fancy, which cover a fair amount of tone/saturation combinations. Lighter tones of intense colors are termed Fancy Intense and lively, full colors are termed Fancy Vivid. Darker, deeper saturated colors are termed Fancy Deep and very dark, low saturated diamonds are Fancy Dark. Brown occupies warm Yellow colors in space, which are low saturated and dark to very dark.



In the orange-yellow, a similar pattern occurs. Very light colors are in hue range of D - Z brown diamonds. No Faint to Very Light grades are in this hue range. Since brown diamonds are very common, grades of orange yellow and yellow orange with a brown appearance are to be found usually towards the very low saturations in the lower tones but also occupying some of the much darker saturated tones.

In these charts the term Brown can be modified by yellow or yellowish. In the yellow-orange chart lower saturation colors from light tone to dark tone, may be modified by brown or brownish.

The cooler yellow colors are towards the green hues. Commencing with Yellow/greenish yellow hue boundary and reaching Green.

Here the yellow green chart represents a cool color, which is a hue between green and yellow. As a cool color, its weaker, darker colors appear predominantly gray.



Let us discuss the pink and red charts. Most natural diamonds of this hue will be described as predominantly pink. Only a few highly saturated and darker colors exist and can be described as red. Pink diamonds occupy also some of the lighter colors towards the orange and some of the lighter colors towards the purple. In the orangey red chart many colors can be described as predominantly pink. In the purplish red chart a substantial number of the colors can be determined as predominantly pink from fancy light to fancy dark pink and here again, only very rarely does a gem occur in the highly saturated high tone, fancy purplish reds.

Pinks from light, fancy light, fancy, fancy intense and fancy vivid occupy the moderately to high saturated, relatively lighter tones of red hue, but even the darkest of pinks do not reach the highest tones and the high saturation, which is usually associated with red. Here again, a brown moderator is used to describe some of the colors. The low saturation moderately toned of the pinks may be described as brownish pink, while the very dark, low saturation maybe be described as red brown or reddish brown. Not many samples of fancy red colors exist.



Moving to the cooler colors we realize that most blue diamonds occur in a relatively narrow saturation range, usually low saturation. Since blue colors reach their highest saturation in the medium to dark tones, highly saturated dark gems are very rare indeed. Hence, most blue diamonds appearing in nature are of lower saturations and their appearance varies primarily due to tone. Many of the low saturation dark blue diamonds appearance is modified by gray. Some very dark low saturation may be predominantly gray.

Diamond Club

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