Oct 1, 2016

Selecting Fancy Color Diamonds From GIA Grading Reports

By   guildhalladmin   |   Tags: , , , ,   |   Category: Diamond, News / Articles

guildhall blog - natural colored diamonds

Selecting fancy color diamonds by using GIA Grading Reports alone:  What you need to know.

 We often have clients searching out their own diamonds where they will bring us a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Grading Report and ask us what we think.

yellow diamonds guildhall wealth - guildhall diamonds

If the diamond has good proportions on the plot of the GIA Grading Report, our Experts will let you know.  We may say that “it looks like a well cut diamond.”  However, this is where details and knowledge tell the true story.  The real beauty and value of a natural fancy color diamond will be found in the following criteria:


  • COLOR:


Color is the single most important value factor when considering natural fancy color diamonds.  In fact strong color in every color grade is the essential ingredient to a good investment diamond!

There are 9 color grades to consider: These are:

• Faint

• Very Light

• Light

• Fancy Light

• Fancy

• Fancy Dark

• Fancy Intense

• Fancy Deep

• Fancy Vivid

The grade levels play a substantial role in establishing the value of a color diamond because if all other factors are equal, the stronger the hue, the more value the diamond will possess.  

In considering the color grade one must also consider the strength of color within each color grade category.

The appearance of color comes from a combination of the hue, the tone and the saturation.

Hue:  Basic impression of a color (yellow, red, blue etc.)

Tone: Relative amount of lightness of darkness in a color

Saturation: How much color is present in a diamond.

GIA uses six different categories for grade saturation in a color diamond.

  1. Fancy Light
  2. Fancy
  3. Fancy Intense
  4. Fancy Dark
  5. Fancy Deep
  6. Fancy Vivid

For instance, you may have 2 Fancy yellow diamonds with similar cut, proportions and carat weight but if the tone and saturation is stronger in 1 diamond it will have more value.  

Looking solely at the GIA report can become a challenge!

The diamond on the left has a stronger saturation of color and almost looks like a vivid diamond.  The diamond on the right is lighter in tone.  If both diamonds are of similar carat weight and cut, the diamond on the left will have more value.

At Guildhall Wealth Management, we work effortlessly to bring the strongest color in each color grade to ensure the highest value for each and every diamond we procure and sell to our clients.  Always make sure that you have strong color which can only be viewed in person, preferably with a jewelers loupe.




At present the round brilliant cut is the only cut or shape that has an industry standard in terms of proportions or what we call in the industry “ideal cut”.  Fancy cuts (anything other than a round brilliant) do not have such strict measures.  Industry professionals can judge general measurements however with a variety of diamond cuts.  We will instinctively know whether a radiant cut for instance will be too shallow or deep based on the proportions of the diamond (which is visible on a GIA Grading report.)  However, because color diamonds are cut to bring out as much color as possible while retaining as much of the rough stone, sacrificing a few facets or millimeters can result in lesser symmetry which will have an impact on the fire, brilliance and scintillation of a diamond.  Again, these elements cannot be viewed on a report and require the naked eye to judge.

Sometimes a cutter will leave an extra facet on a diamond on purpose because it will affect the way in which a light hits the diamond and returns light back to the viewer.  Sometimes a master planner polished a facet to see into the diamond when he was deciding what to do with the diamond and the cutter forgot about it.  Either way an extra facet will not affect the value of the diamond but it can affect the way light interplays with a diamond.

A GIA Grading report will not tell you anything about the skill of the cutter who worked on a diamond.  Comparing 2 Internally Flawless Yellow Intense diamonds on paper will never show you that 1 diamond may look clunky and flat while another will sparkle and shine looking elegant and sophisticated.

A Guildhall Color Diamond must sparkle and shine with confidence and beauty.  There must be tremendous fire and scintillation so that every time you look into that diamond you relive the magic of the diamond.  We only work with the most skilled cutters and polishers to ensure that our standard of excellence is retained through each and every diamond acquisition.

guildhall diamonds




Again, information on a Grading Report will not show you how the diamond has been cut to reflect light or the value of a diamond.  How is the polish?  The report may say “good”, but it will not show some polishing lines which may affect the brilliance of a diamond.  For instance sometimes a cutter will come across an inclusion in a diamond that challenges his normal speed and style of polishing.  As a result a polisher may struggle with the scaife or polishing wheel and visible polish lines are the result.  Or what if the scaife a polisher used was not in optimum condition to begin with, leaving noticeable polish lines.  




Only you will know if a diamond speaks to you or not.  A GIA Grading report will tell you all of the technical information vital to a diamond but it cannot tell you about the beauty, the fire, the brilliance or the emotional connection that you may have to it.    Sure this is an investment and you may think that there is no emotional aspect to this, but to own a color diamond is like owning art.  It is one of a kind and if it is cut right and has beautiful color the pride of ownership (in addition to strong returns) will be very rewarding in and of itself.

Remember, even if a diamond is graded well on a report, if it isn’t cut with great care and artistry it can result in a less desirable diamond.  


Image Courtesy: of GIA

If you are purchasing a diamond based on GIA Grading Reports alone via correspondence at the very least ask to see a picture of the diamond.  Lastly, it is essential that you trust the firm you are working with and trust your instincts about the diamond.  If you are geographically available to view the diamond, it is always best to book a viewing appointment to look at diamonds up close and personal.   

*Full GIA Grading Reports are essential to the selection process, but in the end a diamond will always pick its owner!

We hope that this information is helpful to you.  

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us:

1-866-274-9570 /

100 Allstate Parkway, Suite 301, Markham ON L3R 6H3

*Always make sure you receive a full GIA Grading Report. Diamond Dossier’s do not provide diamond plots and diagrams.

Copyright © 2016 Guildhall Diamonds Inc.  All rights reserved.

To use this editorial without express permission will constitute an infringement of copyright and is prohibited.

Disclaimer: This editorial is provided solely for personal information. All opinions and estimates contained in this report constitute Guildhall Diamonds Inc.’s considered judgment as of the date of this editorial, and are provided in good faith but without legal responsibility. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property rights.