Does color matter when buying a diamond?

You don’t need to be an expert in diamond color to choose a good diamond. In this guide we’ve covered the basics of diamond color , and also provided our own recommendations, which you can use to limit your search to diamonds of an acceptable color for your preferred shape and setting type.

Diamond color matters, but only to a certain point. The way to measure diamond quality (the 4Cs), to view Cut and Carat weight separately from Color and Clarity. Cut and Carat Weight are positives that you want to maximize as much as possible. Whereas Color and Clarity flaws are negative traits that you want as less as possible when looking at a diamond.

Particularly, when it comes to color, you just need to notice whether the diamond is clear or whether it has a yellowish tint. Your goal should be to make sure you don’t buy a diamond with a yellowish tint so much that you notice it.

What is Diamond Color?

Diamond color is the hue of a diamond based on the official GIA diamond color scale, which grades the diamond’s color on a spectrum of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow hue).

Diamond Grading Scale

The absence of color is what determines both its grade and value, as well as has a significant impact on its appearance. Diamond color grade is typically determined with the diamond face down and the culet facing up set against a pure white surface.

Determining Diamond Color

Understanding the Diamond Color Chart

diamond color
Diamond Colors
Diamond Color Grades Color Visibility
DColorless
EColorless
FColorless
GNear Colorless
HNear Colorless
INear Colorless
JNear Colorless
KFaint Yellow
LFaint Yellow
Diamond Color Chart

The absence of color in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E color grade, many go with a beautiful near colorless grade to make the most of their budget and allocate more on the best cut that they can afford (which gives them more sparkle).

Deciding whether or not you want to spend more on diamond color grade is partly related to the size and shape of the diamond that you are considering, and your setting preference. You can save by knowing how color affects these attributes.

Diamond Size Matters

If you’re buying a diamond under 1 carat, you might consider choosing an I, J, or K color diamond. Going over 1 carat? We recommend H color-grade diamonds or higher.

Diamond Color Based On Shape And Setting

Certain fancy-shaped diamonds hide color better than others—and can cost up to 25% less than a round-cut diamond.

It’s also smart to consider the color of precious metal for your setting that best compliments the color grade of your diamond. For example, yellow gold casts a warm glow and looks best with diamonds with faint color. Platinum or white gold will make a near-colorless diamond look icier.

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Diamonds occur in the natural rainbow spectrum of colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and more. These are known as colored diamonds. Only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural color, and the more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable the diamond.

Fancy-colored diamonds are graded on a separate color scale and can be even more valuable than white diamonds.

Once the diamond looks clear to you, there isn’t much to gain by spending more on a higher color grade. Keep in mind that buying a diamond is a zero-sum game. If you spend more money by going with a higher color grade than necessary, you will have to sacrifice on size, brilliance or clarity. Is it really worth doing that?

Tips on Diamond Color

  • The absence of color is generally one of several indicators of good value.
  • The color grade of a diamond should always be determined by a grading professional.
  • The grade and value of diamonds differs between colored and colorless diamonds.
  • Diamond colors are graded from D to Z, with most diamonds used in jewelry falling somewhere into the D to M range.
  • The setting of the ring can play a role in the perception and view of the color.

The difference between one color grade and other grades (for example, a G color diamond and an H color diamond) are very small, so much so that they’re largely impossible to perceive with the naked eye.

However, the difference between one color grade and another that’s three or four above or below it (for example, a G color diamond and a K color diamond) are often easy to see when the diamonds are side by side, especially under bright light and with magnification.

Like with everything else related to buying a diamond, there’s no need to choose the best color grade. Unless you have a massive budget, buying a D color diamond is unnecessary when a well cut G, H or even I color diamond will look just as good once it’s set in a ring.

Still not sure which color to choose? Feel free to contact us for personal help. Our experts are here to help you with the very best diamonds to choose from.

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