How Well Do You See And Diamond Color Differences?

Let’s do something fun in today’s blog post.

I often get asked questions like “Do you think a H color in a diamond is good enough?” , “What is the general consensus on buying diamonds in the colorless range?”, “Does the general public perceive color or hues in diamonds easily”?

internal reflections and dispersion of light

Multi-Colored Flashes of Light Within Diamond

It all boils down to one thing: How well do you see colors? In diamond grading, the differences between 1 grade is usually minute and it takes a trained eye to immediately discern between 2 diamonds. For example, if we compare 2 well cut diamonds of G and H side by side with similar carat sizes, I can tell you that 90% of the people can’t tell a difference in the face up view. 

Ultimately, the choice of color should be up to your individual tastes as you will be the one wearing the piece of jewelry. And can you really perceive the nuances of color changes?

Here’s a fun and simple 5 minutes test that you can do.

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=77&lang=en

I Did The Test Too And Here’s a Screenshot of My Score

online color vision test

Here’s my first attempt and I scored a perfect score of 0.

Yep, I personally have a color sensitive eye and this is one of the tests that I can do with ease. If you had done the tests too, feel free to leave a comment below with your score. I would really love to see how our readers fare.

Let’s Get Back to the Topic on Diamonds…

The truth is, even with a trained eye, I can’t tell the differences between a mounted D colored and a F colored diamond immediately. Until I can scrutinize a little closer and inspect the stones under the correct lighting conditions, these minute differences won’t be obvious.

You see, this is what really happens in the practical world. Most people on the streets probably glance at your jewelry and most can’t tell the differences between 1 or 2 color grades. You don’t have fret too much or get too obsessed in buying diamonds with the best specifications. Sometimes, the premium paid might not necessary translate into something that people can appreciate.

Here’s more food for thought… Would you get a bigger carat diamond at the expense of lower color? Or, would you rather get a diamond with higher clarity and sacrifice color?

I would love to hear your opinions and how you would place your priorities on these factors. Do drop a comment and let me know!

JamesAllen.com has an enormous inventory of GIA graded diamonds with interactive videos to help shoppers pick the perfect diamond. Highly recommended!

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26 Comments

  1. Liz-
    January 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I scored 48 in the test. A little disappointing but I guess I can’t differentiate color that easily.

  2. Paul-
    January 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This test isn’t 100% accurate but rather, serves as a useful gauge. If you look at it from the positive side of things, you have higher tolerances to color and can probably go down to lower grades without noticing much differences in a diamond’s outlook.

  3. toni-
    July 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I would prefer the color than the size

  4. toni-
    July 29, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    and I would rather have the best clarity than the color.

  5. Paul Gian-
    July 30, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. The 4Cs are really subjective to individuals and even the experts have place different priorities to their needs too! You might find this an interesting read: http://beyond4cs.com/2014/07/expert-roundup/

  6. elizabeth dawn-
    February 21, 2015 at 2:05 am

    thanks Paul. for the most useful information. This is helping me gain more insight to diamonds and how to choose a special diamond . I scored 35 , not giving much attention to the colour grading .

  7. Paul Gian-
    February 22, 2015 at 4:26 am

    In a way that’s good since you can buy near colorless diamonds and not see a tinge of color in them. Too many consumers get worried about seeing color when it really isn’t that straightforward to do so in reality and this is a test that helps you gauge your eye sensitivity.

  8. TB-
    September 4, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I scored an 11. I think that means that color is important. Jewelers have pulled out diamonds for me and I always say it look too yellow. This is helping me to choose a diamond

  9. Regina-
    September 11, 2015 at 6:45 am

    I scored a 4! I think that is pretty good for an old lady! LOL. :O)

  10. Geoffrey-
    September 14, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Got a score of 4. Not bad!

  11. Paul Gian-
    September 15, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Well done! That’s probably means you have to pay more for higher colored diamonds if you are color adverse.

  12. Martha-
    October 2, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Hi Paul: I would prefer a lower colored diamond with an excellent cut and VS1 or better clarity.

  13. Richard-
    October 21, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Hi Paul – an enjoyable test. I’ve always thought I have quite good colour sensitivity (a critical eye some might say!) but only scored 7 in the test. However, at almost 65 years and with no prior experience in diamond grading as such, I guess that’s not so bad. Colour and clarity would be important to me, but also the cut, and not so much the carat. (Though my wife may have something to say about that!).

  14. JK-
    December 2, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Scored a 3 🙂 Would like to try again in better lighting without sunlight blinding me.

    Lowest colour I can settle for is E. The yellow in G onwards is glaringly obvious even when mounted. VS1 to be relatively eye clean. Carat is least important of the 3 mentioned. I really can’t understand ppl buying SI stones just to get more carats. Quality over quantity!

  15. Dominik-
    December 16, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Scored 0 after two previous attempts (18, 19). I find calm and relaxedness necessary.

  16. Jennifer-
    February 24, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I scored a 0 and I can definitely distinguish between colorless and near colorless diamonds. Will be opting for colorless when it comes time.

  17. Paul-
    April 9, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Male, scored 39 – undecided yet what is the most important of the 4 cs

  18. Danyal-
    May 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I scored 0 first time. Does this mean I will more easily distinguish colourless from near colourless?

  19. Paul Gian-
    May 5, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Likely.

  20. evelyn-
    July 20, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Paul… An enjoyable test especially since my fiance and I went ahead and purchased a 2.3 CT emerald cut. H Colour VVS1.. I scored 12 ! I learnt a lot from your 4Cs and what ultimately becomes a personal choice of either going for better colour or larger carat. I found that because I am enamored with the clean lines and simplicity of the emerald cut that I could not forsake clarity. Eye clean would be important. Being Tall I also wanted at least 2 carats and now that i have received the ring, the H colour does come off as White! I want to thank you for the online retail sites that you proposed as they made the buying process more scientific and I could view the stone up close. There was also an expert to help me identify where the inclusions were and whether it would be noticeable as it was VVS1, it was certainly eye-clean!! I decided against an IF H Colour which was several thousands more expensive as the VVS1 clarity was great!! My fiance is of course all the more happier!! Lol..
    I am learning more and more from you Paul so thanks again in giving me the needed assurance to dive into a large purchase.

  21. Bonnie Hardt-
    September 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    I got a perfect 0 on my first try, but I’ve been a professional photographer for a couple of decades. Thanks for all the great information! I am trying to replace a men”s vintage ring that was stolen from my husband. It was his late Daddy’s. Not having a whole lot of luck so far.
    Thanks again.
    Bonnie

  22. Karen-
    October 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I scored a 0! I would much prefer clarity, and excellent cut of the diamond than size. I have learned a great deal from your newsletters mainly about cut, girdle, etc… I would really like to find a perfect diamond. I know it will probably be small due to my budget and the increased price of a perfect diamond but it is a dream of mine to own a perfect diamond. Thank you for your newsletters and wonderful information.

    Karen

  23. Linda-
    January 25, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Thanks Paul, this was interesting, I scored a 0.
    I work in a jewellery store and always wondered if my customers were seeing as much color differentiation as I was. It gave me better perspective when dealing with color in our diamonds.

  24. Mags-
    April 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I scored a 2 , am very pleased , but will give it a second go , I’m a perfectionist

  25. Mags-
    April 26, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Woohoo, got a 0 , happy bunny

  26. Ted-
    May 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Male – 63 yrs old – Scored a 0 on first attempt, but there’s not much difference between side by side hues. Would be difficult to discern if only two blocks.

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