White diamonds occur in a variety of shades, from truly colourless, which is very rare, to warm whites with hints of yellow. After which they become Fancy Colours. The difference between one shade and the next is very subtle, so grading in the laboratory is performed under controlled lighting, placing the polished diamond upside down and using master samples for comparison and accuracy.
The face up colour of the diamond, after grading in the laboratory, can, however, be quite different, possibly much brighter if the sparkle of the diamond is very high, which explains why beauty can be found in every shade of colour.
Diamonds are graded on a scale of 23 shades, from ice white D (colourless) to warmer Z (light colour). At De Beers, we look at the colour grade of a white diamond as an indication of its rarity rather than a statement of its quality or suitability. We carry the full range in order to give clients more choice. A warm white colour might suit you better than one that is icy white, and because its price is lower, you then have the exciting option of buying a diamond that is much larger than you ever thought possible. And of course, any De Beers diamond you choose will be magnificently cut.