What Is A White Diamond?

What Is A White Diamond?

A white diamond is a diamond that is “hazy”, “milky”, or “pearly”, to list some of the words used to describe these stones. White diamonds have been found in mines around the world; no particular area or mine produces them in abundance over another.

White diamonds are popular choices for engagement rings, as they symbolize eternal love and marriage. These diamonds are also popular for antique jewelry.

What exactly is a white diamond? Let’s find out more.

What Makes a White Diamond

Why are white diamonds white?

White diamonds have sub-microscopic blemishes, or inclusions, that give the diamond a translucent white appearance when light passes through it. These blemishes scatter the light, resulting in that milky white appearance.

Sometimes, the word “opalescent” is used to describe white diamonds, because some flashes of color can be seen when the diamond is viewed face-up. Although these flashes are clearly visible in some instances, this does not mean that the diamond holds any particular color and so is still considered white.

Is a White Diamond Colorless?

Sometimes the word “colorless” is used in reference to a white diamond, but this is not totally accurate. A colorless diamond is one that is transparent and does not display the milky white hue that a white diamond is known for.

Some would say that the white diamond is NOT colorless; that white is a color so therefore the term is not accurate when used to describe white diamonds.

However, others say that since white does not appear on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) D-to-Z color scale, the industry-standard, universally accepted diamond color grading system, the white diamond is indeed colorless.

The Grading of White Diamonds

On the GIA D-to-Z scale, D represents colorlessness, while Z is a yellow or brown tinge.

Most diamonds are rated by their color saturation, or intensity, as follows:

  • Faint
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Dark
  • Fancy Deep
  • Fancy Vivid

White diamonds have a low color grading on the D-to-Z scale, if they are graded at all. Many gemologists refer to the D-rating as pure white. However, according to the GIA, fewer than 2,000 white diamonds have been submitted for grading since 2008.

How the Value of White Diamonds is Determined

Determining the value of a diamond consists of more than color grading. Other factors that impact the value of a diamond include:

  • Clarity: the visibility of any flaws in the diamond
  • Cut: the symmetry and shape of the stone
  • Carat weight: the size of the diamond

So, a low color grade for a diamond with excellent cut and clarity would be valued more than a highly color-graded diamond with less weight and clarity, for example.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a true white diamond, it’s best to visit a reputable jeweler such as Lesley Ann Jewels who can help you find what you’re looking for and ensure that you’re getting the diamond you desire. They are experts in diamonds as well as gemstones and jewelry, and carry a wide range of handmade, antique, and vintage pieces.