I Color Diamonds – Are They Good Enough or Too Yellow?

d vs i color diamond ring 6 prong solitaire

D vs I color diamond engagement ring comparison. Can you tell which is which?

What is an I color diamond? Is it too yellow for an engagement ring? Is a near colorless diamond good enough? Will an I color diamond in white gold setting make its tint stand out?

These are common questions that consumers ask when they are shopping for a diamond ring on a budget. In this article, we will reveal answers to these questions and everything that you need to know when buying an I colored diamond.

If you want to see exactly what an I color diamond ring looks like in real life, you are in for a treat. I’ve performed a series of videos that includes an indepth review of an I color diamond engagement ring as well as side by side comparisons against other color grades.

So without further ado, let’s get started…

First of All, What is an I Color Diamond?

The GIA color grading scale is widely accepted as the industry standard when it comes to buying diamonds.

In the laboratory, diamonds are graded based on their absence of color in the face down position. They are then assigned a rating between D-Z; with D being colorless and Z being lightly colored.

diamond color scale

The I color rating falls under the category of “Near Colorless” and as you can see in the chart above, the color differences are very subtle from one grade to another.

In typical day-to-day wear and environments, it isn’t easy to spot color tints in an I color grade diamond once it is mounted on a ring.

Are I Color Diamonds Good Enough For Engagement Rings?

Well, it really depends on your personal preferences.

Here, I want to address one of the biggest misconception people have about I color diamonds.

You see, when people find out that I color diamonds are labelled as “near-colorless“, most people automatically assume they will be yellow in appearance even before they look at facts with their own eyes (literally).

In my opinion, the best way to determine whether a particular color grade is good enough would be to base your decisions on facts and tangible data.

Watch the following video for a review of an I color diamond engagement ring under various lighting conditions.



The engagement ring above was built at James Allen in a few simple steps. All I did was to cherry pick this diamond and match it with this 6-prong solitaire setting. At JamesAllen.com, you can design your dream ring easily too!

D vs I vs K Color Diamond Engagement Rings Comparison

Even though I’m a trained gemologist who had been in the industry for years, I’m also a consumer just like you. Speaking from first-hand experience, I know it would be very helpful if you could see and visualize different color diamond rings at the same time.

The following video compares an I diamond against a D color grade and a K color grade which represent the opposite ends of the color spectrum sold by most jewelers.



Feel free to rewind or rewatch the video until you get a better feel of the various color grades in real life.

Can you see differences in the color hues easily or do they all appear white to you?

Do leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answers here as color acuity varies from one individual to another.

Should You Buy a H or I Color Diamond?

This is one of my pet peeves because many people get very hung up over one color grade as if it makes the world of a difference. So, here’s a video comparison for people who are sitting on the fence over choosing a H or an I.



In my opinion, it’s really very hard even for an expert to correctly identify a H from an I color diamond from a top-down perspective.

How Much Does an I Color Diamond Cost?

One of the primary factors that affect the price of a diamond is rarity. Colorless diamonds (i.e. D, E, F) are rarer in nature and they obviously come at a higher premium over other colors.

For value orientated shoppers, near colorless diamonds (G, H, I, J) can offer significantly lower prices.

Check out the price comparison table below to get a better idea of how color ratings can affect the value of a diamond.

i color diamond price chart expensive or cheap

As you can see, an I color diamond generally costs about 50% less than a D color diamond (keeping everything else like carat, clarity ratings equal). And when you look at the higher carat sizes, a 50% price difference can equate to tens of thousands of dollars!

James Allen offers a fantastic inventory of high quality diamonds at competitive prices. Their revolutionary 360° videos provide complete transparency and offer you details that you could never see in a traditional store. Check them out today!

I Color Diamond in White Gold Setting On a Finger – Does It Look Yellow?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

Personally, I have a very sensitive eye for color and I can discern a very slight yellow tint if I examine the ring from a side-profile. For most consumers (e.g. my wife), they would have a hard time seeing color when the ring is seen from a top-bottom perspective.

i color diamond ring soliatire 6 prong design on hands

This 0.65ct I SI1 round diamond in a 6 prong solitaire setting cost a total of $3,270 ($2,230 + $1,040)

near colorless i color engagement ring size 7 on finger

Side profile view of the engagement ring on my wife’s finger.

When an I color diamond is mounted in a white metal setting like 18k white gold or platinum, the diamond actually absorbs and reflects the colors of its immediate surroundings. This makes the center stone look “whiter” due to the metal colors of the 18k white gold/platinum setting.

Summary – Should You Buy an I Color Diamond Engagement Ring?

It’s only human nature to want the best of the best when shopping for an important purchase like an engagement ring. While D colorless diamonds are the “highest” color quality you can get, they also come at an expensive price.

As you had seen in video comparisons, the perceived differences in body color are not obvious to an untrained eye. The underlying reason behind this is due to cut quality and light performance.

So, here’s my advice. If you are not color sensitive and want to get better value for money, going for a well cut I color diamond will enable you to get a bright, sparkly engagement ring without breaking the bank.

With that, we’ve come to the end of this article. I hope you had gained useful insights about diamond color and if you have any questions, feel free to drop a note in the comment box below!

If you aren’t color sensitive, I color diamonds represent the best value you can get for money while getting a diamond that appears white. Browse through James Allen for a great selection of high quality GIA/AGS diamonds today!

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One Comment

  1. Andy J-
    December 3, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Wow! I just realized the price differences are staggering. I can hardly detect any color in the videos and I think I know which color is the more budget friendly option now.

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