What Is a White Diamond (Popularity, Brilliance & Value)

Colored and colorless diamonds are all the rave. Everyone wants to have one; I mean, diamonds are beautiful.

But there is one type of diamond that you haven’t given much attention to: white diamond. No, not colorless. White, like the neutral color white.

So what is a white diamond? An interesting question that I aim to answer in this article. Maybe, just maybe, you will pay more attention and appreciate this beauty after this.

White Diamond: What It Is and What It Is Not

diamond color chart 1
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It is easy to classify colorless diamonds under the white category. And that is understandable. Perhaps, you didn’t know there are diamonds that truly fall under this category.

A white diamond is exactly white. It is opalescent and not transparent. It is not the color of water but the color of white milk, so to speak.

That means it does not fall under the color scale D to Z used for diamonds, D being completely colorless.

This is because white does not come into the spectrum of colors. Rather, it is the sum of every color. So it cannot be graded.

What Gives the Diamond Its Color?

What Gives the Diamond Its Color
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There are inclusions that are sub-microscopic in nature in a white diamond. These inclusions cause the light that goes through the diamond to scatter. As a result, the color changes, becoming closer to milky than any other shade.

The nature of the inclusions is not known but many believe it is as a result if nitrogen in the pure structure of carbon that a diamond is.

In other words, there are no compound elements giving the diamond its color, unlike other colored diamonds.

A white diamond is beautiful, oh so beautiful. If you ever see one, you would totally understand how unique it is. You may even mistake it for another gemstone.

Where Is White Diamond Mined?

It is mostly mined from the diamond mine in Panna, India. However, there is no way to truly determine where all the rest come from because they are so few and hardly get submitted for examination and certification.

This is what a rough, uncut white diamond looks like…

Differences between a White Diamond and a Colorless Diamond

Differences between a White Diamond and a Colorless Diamond
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The misconception that a colorless diamond is a white diamond abounds. Therefore, it is important for me to point out the differences between the two types.

There are few differences that make each diamond color unique, one from the other. Keep this in mind to avoid confusion. As you will notice, many people tend to call colorless diamonds white.


The very first obvious difference is the color. A white diamond is nothing but white. It looks cloudy, sometimes even milky, and opalescent.

If you have an untrained eye or nobody says anything to you, you would have a hard time believing it is a diamond. This is more true if you have never heard of a white diamond.

A colorless diamond, on the other hand, is just that – colorless. It has absolutely no drop of color, looking more like a drop of water.

This is the most recognizable color in diamonds. Even cubic zirconia and moissanite, which look like a colorless diamond but are not, are easily mistaken for a diamond.


Many people don’t know that white diamonds exist. This is because there aren’t many of them and people don’t take to them because of the way they look. While you may want to have one, someone else might not find it beautiful enough.

But a colorless diamond is everywhere. In fact, that is the color that a majority of people associate with diamonds.

Even colors that are quite common in diamonds don’t enjoy the popularity of the colorless one, though they look more eye-appealing.


A white diamond does not have much brilliance. In fact, it does not show any brilliance most times. But sometimes, it can show some flashes of color when you look at it face-up. This makes it somewhat opalescent and adds to its beauty.

In other words, it is opaque. The natural inclusions in it, billions of them, give it the cloudy color and make light reflection near impossible, no matter the cut.

On the contrary, a colorless diamond is truly brilliant, especially when it is cut perfectly. The lack of inclusions makes it easy to reflect light.

If a truly colorless diamond, a D color, has a round or radiant cut, it would sparkle and spit fire. Additionally, it would easily pick up hues around it, unlike a white diamond.

This is what I mean: if you set a colorless diamond in rose gold or yellow gold ring setting, the diamond would become tinted with the color. In the end, it looks really alluring.


A white diamond does not come close in value to a truly colorless diamond. If there is little or demand for something, its value drops.

The demand for white diamonds is low because it is not so eye-catching and sparkly. Only a few collectors fancy it. Besides, there aren’t many of them available.

A colorless diamond’s value is usually through the roof. Two things truly affect its value, among other things: cut and carat.

The better the cut, the more it is worth. And the heavier it is, the more money it goes for.

A 2-carat D-color diamond, round brilliant cut, with VS2 clarity can go for as high as $40,000. The same cannot be said about a white diamond.

How Valuable Is a White Diamond?

How Valuable Is a White Diamond
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The value of a white diamond depends on the 4 Cs, much like other diamonds. Even though it is out of the normal D to Z diamond color range, buyers still consider them colored diamonds.


A white diamond is valuable but not as much as a truly colorless diamond. It is also not as valuable as other colored diamonds. This is despite the fact that it is rare.

For example, diamonds that are reddish are very rare and valuable. Blue ones are even more valuable because most times, they appear with a slightly bluish hue.

However, when they are deeply colored, much like sapphire, the diamonds are grabbed pretty quickly.


How the diamond is cut also affects how much it is worth. I want to remind you that the cut of a diamond is the most important factor in determining its value.

This is especially true for a white diamond because of how it is cut to reflect light and sparkle.

So, the shape and size of the white diamond have an impact on it. It also affects how well it reflects light. A white diamond that is beautifully cut is opalescent. And one with a very deep pavilion makes light travel farther.

The radiant cut is a hybrid – blending the good traits of different types of other cuts. When a diamond of color has a radiant cut, its brilliance is unparalleled.

What’s more, you get more yield with a radiant cut, losing little during the cutting and shaping process.


Inclusions in a diamond can make or mar the durability of the stone. And when any jeweler or buyer notices this, the value of the diamond reduces.

Nevertheless, a white diamond with low clarity can get good value if it has a face-up color that is attractive. How it reflects, despite being opalescent, matters.


The larger the size of the diamond, the more value it has. Of course, this goes without saying, even for white diamonds.

The truth is that you may not want to use a white diamond because of its lack of resemblance to a true diamond. In fact, a white diamond, as beautiful as it is, leans more towards the opal gemstone family than the diamond family.

I have heard people ask if a white diamond is a real diamond or something else. This factor, alone, affects how much worth you place on it.

Interesting Facts

Several years ago, a 232-carat white diamond was found in a mine owned by a diamond-mining company, Petra Diamonds, in Pretoria, South Africa. The stone was speculated to be worth up to $15million.

In January 2021, another white diamond, 341 carats this time, was found in Botswana. Lucara Diamond, based in Canada, unearthed this diamond intact.

However, both diamonds are colorless, judging from the pictures of the stones. They are nothing close to white but look like water. However, they explain what I mean when I say colorless diamonds confused with white diamonds a lot of times.


To wrap things up, a white diamond is a unique type of diamond and not to be confused with any other. It is not a colorless diamond but is milky white when it is face-up

It is very popular so you will not find many of it available. The only known ones come from a mine in Panna, India. There may be other mines where you can get a white diamond but for now, they are not known.

To know the value of a white diamond, the 4 Cs apply:

  • Cut
  • Carat
  • Clarity
  • Color

Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments section.

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