Several different color scales exist for natural color diamonds – just like for white diamonds. For example, for pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia, a specific color scale exists, that is used alongside the more widespread color scale that is used by laboratories. At Langerman Diamonds, we have developed our own color scale. Using 50 years of experience of natural color diamonds and taking inspiration from nature, we have created color denominations that are more expressive and easier to relate to than laboratory colors, such as chocolate,raspberry and indigo.
Naming the Colors
For natural color diamonds the major laboratories that we work with, the GIA and the IGI, use the same color scale.
These are the different components of a diamond’s laboratory color:
Hue referes to the dominant color of a stone, such as pink, yellow, blue, green or brown, for example. There can also be modifiers, or tints, which lend more than one hue to a stone, placing it in yet another color category. For instance, a purplish-pink diamond indicates a pink diamond with purplish tints. If no such tints are present, the hue of the stone is said to be a pure primary color. It is important to note that white and black have no modifiers.
Tone represents how light or dark a stone appears, depending on how much brown, black, gray or white is present.
Saturation describes the strength or intensity of the hue or the main color. The saturation of lightly toned diamonds varies from light to fancy, intense and vivid. Darker diamonds will range from deep to dark in description.
Distribution refers to how evenly the color is spread throughout the diamond.
The Langerman Selection
While some laboratory colors are fairly easy to imagine without having seen the diamond, such as for example greenish-blue, others can become extremely complex and difficultly accessible. Fancy dark greenish gray, or fancy intense orangy brown, are examples of these complicated denominations.
In order to simplify the usage and the communication of color denominations, Natacha and Arthur Langerman has developed the Langerman Selection, a color scale inspired by the rich palette of colours than can be found in nature. Instead of naming a diamond yellowish green, it will be called Lime, or Mint. Instead of purplish pink, it will be called Lavender or Lilac, and orangy yellow will become Pumpkin or Saffron. The idea is to make the denomination more accurate, and easier to relate to.
More and more customers as well as professionals in the trade have adopted this user-friendly color scale, and refer to the colors from the Langerman Selection. Throughout our web shop, you will see the Langerman Selection colors noted alongside the laboratory colors, and in our Book Store a poster with the entire seletion is available for purchase, in two sizes.