Very Light Diamond Color Grades: A Guide to Subtle Beauty

Last Updated on August 13, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

As a seasoned diamontologist, I've heard countless questions about Very Light Diamond Color Grades: What makes a Very Light Color diamond unique? Is it less valuable? 

These questions are worth probing, for they lead us into an intricate world filled with nuances, contrasts, and timeless beauty.

very light color diamond grades

What is the true allure of a diamond? Is it the sparkle, the clarity, or perhaps the color? When you glance at a gleaming diamond, your eyes may be drawn to its vibrant hues, or lack thereof.

In the world of diamonds, color has its distinct language, its own grading system, and, of course, mysteries that fascinate even the most discerning eye.

Understanding Diamond Color Grading

Explanation of the GIA's D-Z Color Grading Scale

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) devised the D-Z color grading scale as a definitive method to classify diamonds' hues. Starting from "D," which represents absolute colorlessness, the scale progresses to "Z," symbolizing a noticeable color, typically yellow or brown. Each letter along the way marks a subtle shift in color. As a seasoned diamontologist, I find the GIA's scale an indispensable tool. It's an art, really, discerning those faint nuances; it's what separates a master from a novice.

Diamond Color Scale

Significance of Color in the Value and Beauty of a Diamond

Diamond color plays a crucial role in determining the gem's beauty and value. While some individuals prefer the ethereal look of a colorless diamond, others are drawn to the warmth of fainter hues. This preference can also impact the cost, with colorless grades generally commanding higher prices. People come to me with misconceptions about color all the time. They think a perfect diamond is without color, but sometimes, a hint of hue brings a diamond to life.

The Difference Between Colorless, Near Colorless, Faint Color, and Very Light Color Diamonds

The GIA's grading scale can be divided into specific categories: colorless (D-F), near colorless (G-J), faint color (K-M), and very light color (N-R). Each category brings a unique appeal, attracting different tastes and preferences. For me, the joy lies in exploring these shades. It's like painting with nature's palette, and especially the Very Light Color diamonds, they have a character all their own.

A Captivating Example to Illustrate the Impact of Color on a Diamond's Appearance

Imagine two diamonds side by side, one with a Very Light Color grade of "N" and the other a colorless "D." While the "D" grade sparkles with icy brilliance, the "N" exudes a warm glow. This contrast in hue can evoke entirely different emotions and aesthetics. I've guided many through this comparison in my studio, and it's a moment of realization. Suddenly, they see how color breathes life into a diamond, adding depth, personality, and an indescribable charm.

D vs N vs O Color Grade Diamonds

The Very Light Color Grade Explained

What is a Very Light Color Grade?

The Very Light Color Grade, falling within the N-R range of the GIA's D-Z scale, consists of diamonds possessing a noticeable but still faint tint. Often, the hues lean toward yellow or brown. These diamonds are unique because their color is perceptible, yet they maintain an undeniable allure and softness. When I work with Very Light Color diamonds, I appreciate the subtlety of their character, the way they capture light and glow with a soft warmth.

Comparison with Other Grades

To truly understand the Very Light Color Grade, it's essential to contrast it with other grades. While colorless diamonds (D-F) are devoid of any color, and near colorless diamonds (G-J) have minimal traces, Very Light Color diamonds present a distinct, albeit faint, tint. Each shade within the N-R range can express slight variations, creating a fascinating spectrum of visual effects. Comparing a "P" to an "R," for instance, can reveal how minute differences can transform a diamond's personality.

How Professionals Grade Very Light Color Diamonds

Professionals, including myself, grade Very Light Color diamonds through meticulous examination. We compare them against master stones, utilize proper lighting, and deploy expert training to distinguish the subtle variations within this category. The complexity of grading Very Light Color diamonds lies in their fine gradations; they require a keen eye and nuanced understanding to classify accurately.

The Unique Beauty of Very Light Color Diamonds

The beauty of Very Light Color diamonds is found in their delicate coloration. They offer an alternative for those who seek something different from the typical colorless sparkle. The warmth and uniqueness of the Very Light shades can be mesmerizing, bringing a novel dimension to jewelry pieces. I often find clients who are captivated by their soft glow, recognizing in them a beauty that's unconventional yet profoundly appealing.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Very Light Color Diamonds


  • Unique Appearance: Very Light Color diamonds, falling within the N-R range, offer a distinct appearance with a faint but noticeable tint. Their subtle warmth provides an appealing alternative for those looking for something different from the traditional icy brilliance of colorless diamonds. As an experienced diamontologist, I've seen these diamonds charm many with their one-of-a-kind allure.
  • Often More Affordable: Generally, as you move down the GIA's color grading scale, the price decreases. Very Light Color diamonds provide an opportunity to obtain a beautiful stone at a more accessible price point. Clients who appreciate their unique color can find excellent value in these diamonds.
  • A Trendy Choice for Certain Jewelry Styles: The soft glow of Very Light Color diamonds makes them an attractive option for specific jewelry styles, particularly vintage or antique pieces. Their gentle coloration can complement various metals and designs, making them a versatile and stylish choice.


  • May Not Suit All Tastes: The faint coloration of Very Light Color diamonds may not appeal to everyone, especially those who desire a completely colorless appearance. I've encountered clients who prefer the traditional brilliance of higher-grade diamonds, seeing the Very Light Color as less desirable.
  • Perceived as Less Valuable by Some: While the price accessibility of Very Light Color diamonds is an advantage for some, others might perceive them as less valuable or prestigious compared to colorless or near colorless grades. It's essential to understand that value in diamonds is multifaceted, and color is just one aspect. For those who appreciate the unique beauty of Very Light Color diamonds, they hold undeniable value.

How to Choose a Very Light Color Diamond

What to Look for When Selecting a Very Light Color Diamond

Choosing a Very Light Color diamond isn't merely about selecting a shade within the N-R range. It's about understanding the stone's overall characteristics, considering the setting, and aligning it with personal preferences. As a diamontologist, I guide clients through this nuanced process daily. The right Very Light Color diamond can exude a personality that's both soft and enchanting, a real testament to Mother Nature's artistry.

The Significance of the Diamond's Cut, Clarity, and Carat Weight

When focusing on Very Light Color diamonds, it's vital not to overlook other essential factors like cut, clarity, and carat weight. In my years of experience, I've seen how a well-cut Very Light Color diamond can truly come to life, its subtle hue enhanced by precise facets and angles.

Clarity and carat weight also play crucial roles, and the interplay of these factors creates a diamond's unique appeal. It's not just about color; it's about the harmony of elements that make a diamond sing.

Pairing Very Light Color Diamonds with Different Metals and Settings

Pairing Very Light Color diamonds with the right metals and settings is an art that brings joy to my work. The faint tint of these diamonds can harmonize beautifully with certain metals like rose or yellow gold. I've created pieces where the Very Light Color diamonds seamlessly blend with vintage settings, adding a touch of historical charm. The trick lies in understanding the diamond's character and designing a setting that amplifies its natural beauty.

1.50 Ct O-P Color VS1 diamond in yellow gold 6 claw prong style

1.50 Ct O-P Color VS1 diamond in yellow gold 6-claw prong style (Via Eragem)

1.09 Ct N Color VS1 Diamond in Platinum

1.09 Ct N Color VS1 Diamond in Platinum (Via Eragem)

I recall assisting a young couple looking for an engagement ring that would stand out from the crowd. They were drawn to the Very Light Color grade but were uncertain how to proceed. Together, we explored various shades, cuts, and settings, eventually settling on a stunning "O" grade diamond set in yellow gold.

The result was a ring that reflected their unique love story, and the diamond's soft glow resonated with their personalities. To me, that's the real magic of Very Light Color diamonds — their ability to connect with people on a profound level, capturing emotions and memories within their delicate hues.

FAQs About Very Light Color Diamonds

Are Very Light color diamonds considered fancy color diamonds?

No, Very Light Color diamonds are not considered fancy color diamonds. The term "fancy color diamonds" refers to diamonds that display a strong, vivid coloration, such as blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, or other intense hues. These diamonds are graded based on the intensity of their color rather than the lack of color, as with the traditional D-Z scale.

How are very light color diamonds graded?

Professionals grade very light color diamonds based on their color intensity, taking into consideration other factors such as cut, clarity, and carat weight. Specialized equipment and expert knowledge are often employed to accurately determine the color grade.

Are very light color diamonds less valuable than other diamonds?

While color does impact a Diamond’s value, very light color diamonds can be appealing for their unique appearance and often more affordable price point. Their value also depends on other factors such as cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Can very light color diamonds be used in all types of jewelry? 

Yes, very light color diamonds can be set in various jewelry pieces, including rings, earrings, and necklaces. The choice of metal and setting can influence how the Diamond’s color is showcased.

Very Light Color Can Still Be Very, Very Special

The allure of Very Light Color diamonds lies in their unique ability to merge subtlety with beauty, offering a delicate hue that distinguishes them from more traditional diamond grades. Their faint coloration represents a trend that moves beyond conventional brilliance, appealing to those who seek elegance with a touch of individuality.

As a diamontologist, I've had the pleasure of guiding many clients towards discovering the charm of Very Light Color diamonds. Whether set in a vintage ring or used to craft a bespoke jewelry piece, these diamonds have a soft glow that speaks to the heart, reflecting emotions and memories within their gentle hues.

Yet, the world of Very Light Color diamonds is one that invites exploration and curiosity. It's a journey filled with nuances and possibilities, where personal tastes and creativity can flourish. I invite you, the reader, to explore Very Light Color diamonds yourself or to seek professional guidance. Embrace their unique beauty, and you may find a gem that resonates with your soul, a diamond that tells your story.

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