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Color Grading


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Color Grading


GIA’s grading terminology uses a combination of fancy grades and color descriptions to identify a colored diamond’s characteristic color.
A fancy grade represents the combined effect of tone and saturation on the color of a diamond.

All L.J. West fancy color diamonds are accompanied by a GIA color diamond report.  All L.J. West fancy color diamonds are of natural color.  This means that their original nature, when mined from the earths depths, were of this color hue as seen in its final state.  There is no treatment to the diamond to obtain the color that is seen within the diamond.

GIA has established a color grade scale that encompasses the hue, tone and saturation of color as seen by experienced gemologist.  At GIA several gemologists must be in agreement for the unknown diamond to be assigned a final fancy color grade.  All color diamonds are tested for all known treatments that can enhance or impart color to a diamond.

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Hue


Hue


The color appearance of a gem is the result of a combination of these three attributes. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) system for color grading colored diamonds uses 27 hues, which are indicated on the hue circle chart. Some of these 27 hue names include modifiers, such as purplish pink.

A modifier in a hue name (such as yellowish green or orangy yellow) does not mean a lack of purity in the color.

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Tone


Tone


Lightness or Darkness. The Tone of color grading refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue, or primary color of the diamond.

For color grading, colored diamonds are placed face-up in a grooved, matte-white, non-fluorescent plastic tray within a controlled environment—a viewing box that eliminates visual distractions and shields external light. GIA also requires a standard geometry between the diamond, the light source, and the observer. The light source is positioned directly above the diamond, and the observer views it approximately perpendicular to the table facet.

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Saturation


Saturation


The GIA grading terminology uses a combination of fancy grades and color descriptions to identify a colored diamond’s characteristic color. A fancy grade represents the combined effect of tone and saturation on the color of a diamond. These grades correspond to regions of tone and saturation in color space and vary by hue, since different colors reach their highest saturation at different levels. The color descriptions accompanying a fancy grade are determined by the hue, and by the tone and saturation of the hue. In each instance, the fancy grades and color descriptions represent a range of color appearances.

Saturation refers to the dominance of hue in the color, and Intensity of it. Saturation is the measure of how strong and intense the primary color of the diamond actually is, such as light, deep, intense or vivid. A fully saturated color is the truest version of that color. Primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) are "true", so they are also fully saturated.

There are six categories in the GIA scale that equate to color saturation.

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Cutting


Cutting


Each individual diamond is exceptional; and personalized by size, shape, clarity and color.  

The planning of shape and cutting angles are a masterful art, to bring the diamond to life with maximum brilliance takes patience and exquisite skill.

After the diamond is cut, the stone is than polished using mechanisms permeated with diamond dust – the only known material efficient of polishing a diamond to its full brilliance.

At L.J. West, each diamond is studied, cut and polished to maximize the diamonds fullest color potential.  

 

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Study


Study


Cutting a natural color diamond commands expertise, exactness and masterful skill.

When analyzing a diamond, our expert team carefully examines each individual stone, determining the diamonds fullest color potential. Determination of the diamonds final stage can take months or up to a year to decide, as the gemologists must examine each cutting possibility.