So, how do you go about determining what is the best diamond color grade for your purchase? Well, it really depends on your own preferences, how color sensitive you are and the style of jewelry you are buying.
Diamonds in the colorless range (D,E,F) appear cool, icy white. Due to their relative rarity in nature, these diamonds are priced at a higher premium. If money were no object, these are the diamonds I would personally love to get my hands on.
For diamonds in the near colorless range (G,H,I,J), their color tints are very hard to differentiate in the face up view. To most untrained eyes, the G and H colors would face up white if the diamonds are well cut.
For consumers who want to get the most bang for their buck, these are the best color grades to get a good balance between icy white appearances and affordable costs.
For faint colors like K,L,M onwards, most people would be able to pick up a tinge of color in these diamonds. If you are someone who is color adverse, you should avoid diamonds beyond the K color grade.
Did you know that the presence of nitrogen in a diamond’s chemical composition is responsible for its yellowish color? Just one part in a million would cause the stone to appear as a K color!
If you are someone who is buying a piece of diamond jewelry for the first time, color can be one of the most confusing attributes of the 4Cs. You probably have questions like these on your mind: “What color grade diamond should I get?” or “What is the best color diamond to buy?”.
From first-hand experience, I know many people get too hung up about seeing yellow tints in their diamonds. As a result of their paranoia, some people choose to pay the premiums for colorless diamonds even though they might not be able to see color tints in lower graded diamonds.
Now, color sensitivity would vary from one individual to another and the best way to find out your own acuity is to look at diamonds across the various grades for yourself. To help you do this, I’ve created some videos to show you how the different colored diamonds look like in real life.
The first video you should watch in full is a comparison of colorless diamonds vs near-colorless diamonds.
The second video shows a side by side comparison of diamonds that are found on the different ends of the spectrum. This will give you an idea of how they look like in real life.
As you can see in the videos above, when a diamond is viewed from a top down manner, the body color would not be that obvious to your eye. In the case of ideally cut diamonds, the extra brilliance and scintillation will help mask body color significantly.
It’s no secret that the majority of consumers in the market loves “white-looking” diamonds. Personally, I do as well. However, there are times when the best color grade to buy is actually one with a yellowish tint.
I’ve listed 2 such examples below of a filigree vintage ring and a halo setting in 14k yellow gold.
Bear in mind that the demand for color is largely market driven. Most consumers in US and Europe generally purchase diamonds in the near colorless range (G-J). On the other hand, the Asian market (e.g. Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore) is fueling demand for the colorless spectrum of stones (D-F).
If you are unsure of what your recipient likes, a safe choice of color would be G or H.
In reality, unless your girlfriend/wife is always walking around with a set of masterstones and knows how to compare her diamond against the masterset, she probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a D or G colored stone.
The truth is, the majority of people will not be able to tell color differences apart easily. Here’s a comprehensive article that reveals how diamonds with different colors will compare against each other.
Now, I know most consumers will strive to purchase a diamond with the best grades they can afford. However, one of the mistakes that beginners make is the assumption that a higher color rating will make a diamond more beautiful.
That’s not true. Cut is what really makes or breaks a diamond’s appearance.
0.5 carat vs 5 carat diamond ring with I colored center stones.
The last point I want to highlight is that bigger sized diamonds trap more color in their bodies compared to smaller sized diamonds.
For example, let’s say you have two I colored diamonds, a 5 carat and a 0.5 carat, and you place them in a side by side comparison. It would be easier for you to notice a nuance of yellow in the larger diamond even though both may have the same GIA color grade.
So, if you are buying a large size diamond and you don’t expect to see any color hues at all, you’ve got to pony up the extra cash for a higher color diamond.
On the next page, I am going to talk about other factors that can affect a diamond’s visual appearance. Continue reading to find out more…