Side by side comparison of F vs H vs K diamond rings under a cloudy sky.
What is an F color diamond? Are F diamonds good enough for engagement rings? Do I need to worry about seeing color in an F colored diamond? Does a better color grade make a diamond sparkle more?’
In this write up, you will find answers to the questions above and see exactly what an F color diamond ring looks like in real life. You will also get to see side by side comparisons of F diamonds against other color grades on the GIA scale.
Let’s jump right in!
On the GIA color grading scale, the F color rating falls under the top category of “Colorless” diamonds. In terms of ranking, it is the 3rd best on the scale of D to Z.
During lab grading, diamonds are flipped around and assessed based on their absence of color. The lesser the color, the higher the grade. And as you can see, F diamonds contain very very minute traces of color which can only be accurately assessed under strict lighting conditions.
I’ve recently purchased a 0.55ct F color SI1 diamond from Brilliant Earth and if you are interested, you can find details about the vintage style engagement ring here. Check out the following video to see how it looks like…
Due to their rarity, colorless diamonds are priced at a premium. Obviously, a D color diamond is going to cost more than an F color diamond and a K diamond is going to be cheaper than an F diamond.
To illustrate the differences in costs and value, I’ve performed a price comparison of loose diamonds over a range of different specifications.
Compared to a D color diamond, an F diamond costs about 15%-20% less and that’s a substantial difference.
But, don’t get me wrong here, I would still consider F diamonds to be pricey. However, they do offer a middle-ground for consumers who want to own a colorless diamond without going all the way up to a D.
If you were to make comparisons to lower colored diamonds like an I or a K, an F diamond can still cost significantly more especially at higher carat ranges. And this can mean tens of thousands of dollars in terms of absolute value.
I know there are many people who get too hung up over color grades just because they have a misconception that a lower color grade makes the diamond “lower quality” and “less sparkly”.
This same group of people often assume that a D diamond is going to “magically” make the diamond more beautiful.
Well, I want to clear this up right now and say that color has nothing much to do with a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. Cut quality is what affects a diamond’s appearance the most and NOT color.
In terms of visual appearance, an F diamond faces up white just like a D once it is mounted in a ring setting. In fact, I can tell you that 99 out of 100 trained gemologists will NOT be able to tell them apart outside of grading environments.
Watch the following video to see a D vs an F diamond ring being compared side by side and you will realize how hard it is to differentiate color in real life.
Most people have a budget to work with when buying an engagement ring and sometimes, compromises may have to be made in order to stay within budget. If you are working with a tight budget, my advice is to consider lower color diamonds to maximize cut quality and carat size.
The following video compares F vs H vs K color diamond engagement rings to give you a real life perspective of how they look like. This will provide you with some reference on how color sensitive you are and help you come to a better purchasing decision.
I hope this article has shed light on what F color diamonds are and that you have a good idea of how they look like in reality. F color diamonds face up white and are good options for people with sensitive eyes.
Ultimately, the choice of color is really up to personal preferences and there’s nothing wrong with buying a higher color diamond as long as you are fully aware of what you are doing. Personally, I love F and G color diamonds as they provide good value for money.
Before we wrap things up, I want to remind you that the key to shopping for a brilliant and sparkly diamond ring is to place your priority in cut quality. Cut is the factor that has the biggest impact on the diamond’s appearance.
Now, I want to hear from you. Would you buy a F color diamond or would you be OK with a lower color diamond ring? Do leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts!
What is the best color letter for a diamond if I want a 3 carat oval shape diamond to look white?
It really depends on what you like and what you can afford. At such a big carat size, prices exponentially change with small differences in quality. For most people, I would say that you need to stay above a G for a fancy shape to look white.
Is color or clarity more important in a diamond?
If I must rank the 4Cs, this is the order I would follow but there’s a bit of personal preference and cultural reasons behind doing so. Being Asian, our society values a white looking diamond more because of social stigma.
This would be what I would prioritize as most important to least important: Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity.
What do you think about buying an GIA certified F color diamond for a yellow gold setting?
I think it is perfectly fine to do that. You just need to understand that the colorless F grade diamond will now pick up a yellow tint. This is due to it reflecting color from its surroundings and will give it a warm appearance.
Personally, for 15-20% cheaper an “F” color will be a better purchase than a “D” color.