Ever wondered why diamonds are coloured from D to Z and not from A? We decided to do a little digging...
Traditionally, the alphabet starts with A. From the moment we start to learn the English language, we are aware that A comes first. It’s as easy as ABC. Why is it that the diamond colour grading system goes against tradition and starts with a D?
Before the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) started to grade diamonds with the now unanimous D-Z colour grading, the London Diamond Syndicate were the first group to decipher diamonds via their colour. They used various complicated indicators including the alphabet, numbers, roman numerals and various descriptive labels including ‘river’, ‘gem blue’, ‘brown’, ‘blue white’ and others.
As the first system became rather complicated and often inaccurate, the GIA decided to rewrite the rules and created a whole new colour grading system and worked on this during the 1940s and 50s. As previous grading used the alphabet, numbers and roman numerals, the GIA wanted a fresh start to avoid people using both and confusing the new and old labels.
This is why the diamond colour grades start with D. Previously unused to determine colour, starting from D allowed the GIA to create a simple, uncomplicated grading system. The D-Z colour system is still universally used - and now you know why. Simple!