Complete Guide to the D Color Diamond

Written by: Benjamin Khordipour, Jewelry and Gemology Expert
March 14, 2022 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

D color diamonds are stunning and sit at the top of the color scale. If you are looking for the very best, you should aim for a D color diamond. However, there are many factors to consider when buying a diamond. 

Let’s look at what you need to know about D color stones. 

What Is a D Color Diamond? 

D colored loose diamond on tweezer against black satin fabric

A D color diamond is a stone that appears colorless both when viewed with the naked eye and under magnification. 

Although many people assume that diamonds are transparent and colorless, most have a hint of color. Their pigmentation may range from a slight tint invisible to the naked eye to darker colors visible without magnification. 

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the diamond color grading scale in the 1950s. The institute understood that having an objective color spectrum would build trust when trading diamonds. The scale ranges from D to Z, starting with the stones that appear colorless even when viewed under a microscope. D color diamonds are the highest on the color scale as they have no discernable color. These rocks are scarce, and only a tiny percentage of them are available on the market. They are, therefore, the most expensive diamonds in the color range. 

What Is the Whitest Color Diamond?

Diamond Color range graph highlighting D color diamond

When properly cut and set, a D color stone will appear brilliant, ice white, and is considered the whitest color diamond in layman’s terms. However, this does not mean that it is actually white. Like water, it is colorless and transparent. 

The term “white diamond” is often applied to stones on the D to Z color scale. This classification may be misleading because gems on this scale are not actually white. They go from colorless to having varying tints of light yellow, brown, or gray pigmentation. 

Shop D Color Diamond Rings

Shop our collection of stunning diamond engagement rings that showcase center diamonds with GIA certifications certifying that they are D color.

Why Do Diamonds Start at D? 

loose diamonds near tweezer and jewelers loupe

The GIA diamond color grading scale starts at D to differentiate it from any other classification table that came before it. 

Before GIA created the color scale, gemologists described colorless stones using words like “river” or “water” to express their transparency. Other groupings followed the geographical locations of diamonds. An example of this is the Cape Diamonds. The pale yellow rocks categorized as Cape diamonds were either mined at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa or looked similar to the stones found there. 

The American Gem Society (AGS) also had a grading system with classifications that started from “A.” The AGS scale is another reason why GIA went with a different rating system. 

GIA decided to create a color-rating system that would be an industry standard and build trust in the diamond trade. The GIA diamond color scale has been in use since the mid-1950s and is now the diamond industry standard. 

Understanding D Color on the Diamond Color Scale 

D color diamonds sit at the very top of the diamond color scale. 

Diamonds get their color from tiny particles trapped within the stone during its formation. The diamond goes from D to Z and has 12 distinct grades. The more color a gem has, the lower it is on the scale. The exception to this rule is the fancy color diamonds that fall outside the D to Z classification—most diamonds found in the market range from colorless to containing slight shades of yellow or brown. 

Gemologists grade diamonds by comparing them to master stones with an established color. They are viewed facedown under an industry-standard light and on a white background. Most color variations are invisible to the naked eye but equate to significant differences in the rating and price of a diamond. 

The color of a diamond informs its value. Here’s how D color diamonds compare to other stones on the color scale. 

Diamond color scale graph highlighting D color diamond

D Color 

D color is the highest grade on the color scale. These stones are colorless and transparent even when viewed under magnification. D gems are rare and tend to be the most expensive to procure. D color diamonds are often set in white gold or platinum to accentuate their icy brilliance. 

E and F Color

GIA also rates E color and F color diamonds as colorless. The difference in pigmentation between these grades of gems is tough to distinguish with the naked eye. Trained gemologists can distinguish between D, E, or F colored rocks. 

D to F gems are often set in white gold and harmoniously. White gold will have less contrast with the diamonds than yellow or rose gold. 

G, H, I and J Color 

Diamonds that receive a grade of G color, H color, I color, and J color are nearly colorless. They contain a hint of yellow pigmentation, but they could pass for colorless gems at first glance. They are not as rare as D to F stones and cost less than the higher-rated gems. You should set these rocks in white gold or platinum to display them at their best advantage. These metals will lessen their yellow tint. 

K, L and M Color 

GIA rates stones in the K color, L color, and M color range as faint colors. Their hue is more noticeable than G to J gems. Diamonds of this classification that weigh less than half a carat will appear colorless when mounted. Larger rocks may display a slight tint. 

N, O, P, Q, and R Color 

N to R color diamonds have a very light color. Their yellow or brown hues are more visible, making them less desirable gems. 

S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z Color 

Diamonds in the S to Z color range have yellow, brown, or gray pigmentation visible to the naked eye and are not often used to make jewelry. 

Most of the diamonds available on the market are colors G to L as they tend to appear colorless and are more affordable than stones classified from D to F. The way these gems are set by jewelers impacts their appearance. A colorless stone in a yellow gold setting will be yellow. That’s why D to J stones are popularly set in platinum or white gold, while jewelers match other gems on the scale with yellow gold mountings. 

How Much Does a D Color Diamond Cost?

D color diamonds are scarce, so they are the most expensive stones on the color scale. A one-carat, D color diamond of exceptional cut and VS2 clarity will cost $8,700. By contrast a J color stone of the same carat weight, clarity, and cut will cost nearly half of that at $4,300.

graph depicting market pricing for a D-color diamond based on carat size
Market pricing as of 2024. Contact Estate Diamond Jewelry for exclusive pricing.

As depicted on the graph above, D color diamonds of VS2 clarity and excellent cut will start at around $1,600 for a 0.5-carat stone and go all the up to about $370,000 for a 6-carat stone.

The limited supply of D color stones cannot meet the current demand. Therefore, market forces determine that these diamonds have a hefty price tag. 

Another thing you’ll notice looking at the graph below is the exponential increase in price as the carat weight increases. This is again due to the scarcity of larger diamonds. Because a whole diamond is more than the some of its parts, a 2 carat D color diamond costs more than four times as much as 1 carat diamond of the same specs even though the it’s only double the carat weight.

Note that the table below reflects pricing for a VS2 Excellent Cut D Color Diamond based on 2024 Market Pricing. Contact Estate Diamond Jewelry for exclusive pricing.

Carat WeightPrice
.50 Carat$1,600
1 Carat$8,700
2 Carats$38,000
3 Carats$99,000
4 Carats$176,000
5 Carats$307,500
6 Carats$369,000

D Color vs. E Color 

cushion cut and Ascher cut loose diamond on blue backdrop

D and E color diamonds are both in the colorless range of the spectrum. While a D diamond has no discernable color when viewed with the naked eye or under a microscope, an E color stone will have a very slight hint of yellow. Only a trained gemologist using advanced equipment will detect the pigmentation in an E-grade gem. 

D color rocks also get their top rating because they have fewer trace elements and chemical impurities. A D stone will contain fewer minerals than one of grade E. 

Though their color differences are subtle, the variation in price between D color and E color stones can be significant. 

Is Buying a D Color Diamond a Good Idea? 

25358 Bellmore D color antique cushion cut Ring
4.75 Carat Bellmore Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 25358

The decision to buy a D color diamond depends on the purpose of the purchase. D-rated gems are valuable because they are scarce. Therefore, they are great as investment assets. However, if you are looking for a diamond to wear daily, a D stone may not be a good value for the money. You can get a stone that is just as stunning at a lower price point. 

D color diamonds are the most expensive stones on the diamond color scale. When deciding on whether purchase these diamonds, the decision comes down to what purpose you would like the diamond to serve. It is definitely worth the price tag if you buy a D color rock to add to your investment portfolio. On the other hand, if the stone is for an engagement ring, you may be better off buying a diamond that’s lower on the color scale

Although D color gems are the most brilliant on the color spectrum, this is not the reason why they are so expensive. They are costly because they are rare. Their scarcity also makes them a good store of value. D color diamonds will satisfy that criterion when looking for an investment opportunity or a high ticket item for trade. 

When it comes to appearance, only a trained gemologist can tell the difference between a D color diamond and an E or F color. Even G and H stones will appear colorless to the untrained eye. If you are looking for a diamond for an engagement ring, it may be more prudent to source a lower gem in the color range. The stone will look just as good as the D color diamond but will cost significantly less. Therefore, E to G rocks will be better value for money. 

Top 7 Insider Tips for Buying a D Color Diamond

Customer looking at tray of vintage diamond engagement rings

There are several things you should consider when buying D color diamonds. For these stones, their cut and clarity will go a long way in determining the value of your gem. D color stones are investment-grade diamonds, so you should select all their features with this in mind. Here are some insider tips on what to consider when buying D color gems. 

1. Advice for Diamond Cut and D Color

A diamond’s cut determines how well it reflects light. A well-cut diamond will be more brilliant and make the stone look more prominent and whiter than it actually is. To get the most out of your D color gem, find a certified ideal cut diamond, as it will have better light performance than one that has not been as precisely cut. 

A precision cut may cost more than a regular cut, but it is worth paying a premium when your objective is to have a collection-grade diamond. 

2. Diamond Shape and D Color

10660 Aveyron vintage d color diamond engagement ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry
2 Carat Old European Cut Diamond Aveyron Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 10660

The round cut is the most popular diamond shape. It also costs 10% to 15% more than other shapes. With D color diamonds, you can pick any shape you would like without compromising much in terms of appearance. Therefore, it would be advisable to save some money by selecting an inexpensive shape that still displays the fire and brilliance of the diamond. 

3. Setting a D Color into a Ring

D color diamonds have an icy, white appearance. However, when you set them in yellow or rose gold, they take on the hue of the metal. Therefore, spending more on a D color stone would be disadvantageous if you reduce its brilliance by setting it in colored metal. With D color gems, white gold or platinum settings would best accentuate their transparency and icy white look. 

4. Tips for Surrounding Diamonds 

If you set a D color diamond with other surrounding stones, it would be best to match these smaller stones to the D gem. A halo or infinity ring with a D color stone as the centerpiece will look best with other D color rocks or, at the very least, E gems. Placing stones of visibly different color grades will lessen the attractiveness of your primary D color rock. 

5. Fluorescence in a D Color

Diamond inclusions can cause them to glow under UV light in a process known as fluorescence. Fluorescence can affect the value of a diamond. Strong fluorescence makes gems appear cloudy, while slight fluorescence in a lower-grade stone makes for a more transparent appearance. Often, diamonds with higher fluorescence sell at a discounted price. When selecting a D color stone, look for one that has, at most, only faint fluorescence. It will likely be more valuable. 

6. Diamond Clarity for a D Color

D color stones are considered investments. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all aspects of the diamond are of premium quality. A D color collection-grade stone should have the clarity to match. Choose a gem with VVS2 clarity or higher to ascertain that you have an exceptional diamond. 

7. Carat and D Color

A large carat, D color gem will sell at a premium price. The fact that it is rare increases the cost. When buying investment-grade D diamonds, look for a larger carat as it will be a better store of value than one that weighs less. A large carat D color diamond will sell for far more than other rocks of the same color and cut. 

A D color diamond is a collection-grade stone and will come at a premium cost. It is best to ensure that all aspects of the diamond are also investment-grade to get the best value for money. The stone’s cut, weight, and clarity should match its high color grade. Compromising on these factors lowers the resale value of your diamond. 

Are D Color Diamonds Considered Collection Grade Diamonds? 

Pear shaped d colored diamond ring on hand
3.14 Carat Graff Pear Shaped Diamond Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU SB615

A D color diamond with a clarity of FL to VVS2 is collection quality. These stones are the purest on both the color and clarity scales. Clear D color diamonds are held in particular regard by professional gem traders and auction houses as they retain their value over time. 

There is a category of diamonds set aside for rocks that don’t contain any nitrogen. These gems are classified as Type IIa. They are scarce and appeal to gem collectors. 

A flawless, round cut, D color stone that is also Type IIa, is the highest pedigree diamond available globally. D color diamonds are excellent collector items because they are incredibly scarce. The older they are, the more valuable they become, making them attractive to connoisseurs. 

Fancy Color White Diamonds 

12070M fancy pink colored marquis shaped diamond ring
1 Carat Fancy Light Pink Diamond Scandia Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 12070M

Some diamonds have distinct colors that fall outside the D to Z color scale. These stones have pigmentation that is visible to the naked eye. They are infrequent as the geological conditions required to produce them are rare. Colored diamonds outside the color scale have “fancy colors” and come in varying hues like blue, yellow, or pink. These gems are considerably more expensive than D color diamonds. 

White diamonds in the fancy color scale differ from white diamonds in the D to Z spectrum. Fancy color white diamonds are not colorless. They have billions of micro-inclusions that scatter light within the stone. These inclusions give the stone a milky or white appearance due to this light refraction. White diamonds are rare, and most of the ones submitted to GIA have come from the Panna mine in India. 

However, when most people speak of white diamonds, they will probably refer to the gems on the D to Z color scale. The whitest of these diamonds will be the D color stones. 

Talk to a Diamond Expert 

Afshin Negotiating prices on vintage ring at estate diamond jewelry showroom

D color diamonds cost a pretty penny. When spending that kind of money on a stone, it would be advisable to consult the experts. Our expert diamond consultants at Estate Diamond Jewelry consider all the aspects of a diamond to get you the best value for your money. We also help to identify an exceptional investment-grade gem so that you get the best value for your money. 

We will respond within one business hour.

D Color | E Color | F Color | G Color | H Color | I Color | J Color | K Color | L Color | M Color