The characteristics of the fancy color diamonds

The value of a fancy color diamond is got by classifying the 4Cs, but especially by analizing three further characteristics: the distribution of the hue, tone and saturation.

  • Color distribution refers to color and how uniform it is through the diamond;
  • Saturation is the force weak or saturated strength of the color;
  • Tone is the amount of light or darkness in the diamond.

The 4Cs are a series of evaluation characteristics or parameters that give a specific value to the white diamond and to the fancy color one.

Carat: is the diamond size, its weight is equal to 0,20 gr (1 carat = 0,20 gr).
Color: is the main aspect of the fancy color diamonds.
Clarity: the clarity is more important for white diamonds than for the fancy color ones. The color intensity makes irrelevant any potential impurities.
Cut: the fancy color diamonds cut can have different shapes to focus on the color of the stone and give the best effect.
Fluorescence: (considered the 5th C), if the fluorescence is too strong in fancy color diamonds, there will be a more satured color that increases the value of the diamond.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has developed a system universally used to classify the fancy color diamonds worldwide. The four areas of evaluation are: Hue, Saturation, Tone and Color Distribution.


Hue is the most important element. If the color is more intense, the diamond is more precious and rare.. There are stones of one primary color,but most of the fancy color diamonds have secondary or even tertiary colors. There are about 27 different colors.

Color Dispersion

Color dispersion is the uniform distribution of the color through the diamond. When it is uniform, it is classified on the certification by the “Even” grade, when it is irregular by “Uneven”. The value increases when the distribution is uniform.


Color saturation is equal to the strenght and the depth of the color inside the fancy color diamond.

The saturation is evaluated according to the level:”Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep, Fancy Dark“.


The tone of the color refers to the brightness inside the fancy color diamond. The tone is evaluated with the saturation from the level: “Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep, Fancy Dark”.

3 main factors

The three main factors to better understand the color of the fancy color diamonds and the value differences among the single stones: hue, saturation and tone.

  • HUE: (the main color of the diamond)
  • SATURATION: (how strong or weak the color is)
  • TONE: (how bright or dark the color is)

A 3D model can help to identify these three elements in fancy color diamonds. First of all, you have to think about the color spectrum as a “wheel” or a hue circle, that goes from red to orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and then goes back to red. There is no color in the middle of the circle. The intensity or the saturation of each color increases from the center of the circle until it reaches its best saturation on the border. Then, a column crosses vertically the circle and goes from white to black. This represents the interval of the tone and gives the 3d to the color wheel.

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