Jewelry Settings That Can Visually Enhance a Diamond’s Color

how a setting affects diamond color

Did you know that choosing the right setting for your diamond can help the color of your diamond look better or worse? In fact, even the choice of metal can define the ring’s style and appearance.

In this write up, you will find out how to select a suitable setting based on the diamond’s color and discover useful tips to help you achieve the type of look you want. Let’s jump straight into it…

Diamond Color And How They Interact With Light

When shopping for an engagement ring, most people think of gem-quality diamonds in the market as being colorless. However, truly colorless diamonds are very rare (D-F) and most diamonds that are mined naturally typically display a hint of yellow or brown.

When selecting the ideal metal for your engagement ring setting, you want to pay attention to where your diamond is on the D-Z color scale.

Next, you need to understand that a polished diamond is highly reflective.

The facets of a diamond behave like many tiny mirrors and they reflect details from their surroundings. This means that the color of your band or prongs that come into contact with the diamond will be reflected within it.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage when selecting a setting to create the look you want or to create a more homogenous appearance.

How to Make a Diamond Look Less Yellow And Stand Out?

When it comes to diamond rings, most consumers prefer an icy white looking diamond rather than one with a yellowish looking tint. Being Asian, I’m also someone who belongs to this camp of people.

As you already learned earlier, diamonds are highly reflective. If you want your diamond to look white and less yellow, you should select a white metal like platinum or white gold for your setting. Feel free to click on the images to view the rings in 360° videos.

g color diamond in white platinum setting
18k yellow gold setting with 1 ct near colorless diamond

Both diamond rings are made using the same design and have G color center stones.

If you are someone who prefers a colored metal setting like yellow or rose gold and you want to create a striking contrast between the band and center stone, you may want to choose a setting that has white colored prongs.

By using a white metal like platinum or white gold for your prongs, it helps make the center stone “whiter” against a colored backdrop. Check out these 2 engagement rings with G color diamonds below and tell me which one looks more “yellowish”.

2 tone ring with yellow gold shank and white gold prongs
how to make a diamond more yellow

The ring on the left has white gold prongs while the one on the right is uniformly yellow.

If you are shopping for a diamond ring, I highly recommend vendors like Blue Nile, White Flash and James Allen. You can find all types of beautifully designed rings to suit your budget.You can find all types of beautifully designed rings to suit different budget ranges.

Metals That Can Create a Warm Look With Lower Color Grade Diamonds

Even though the general market has a preference for white looking diamond rings, there are also people who love having a warm look in their jewelry.

From experience, I find that lower color grade diamonds in the I, J and K range will go well with colored metal settings like yellow gold and rose gold. And if you are someone who loves vintage styles and appearances, enhancing the warmth in the diamond color would help you achieve that look.

3 stone ring warm color yellowish diamond in 18k yellow gold metal
halo yellow gold setting make diamond color homogenous

Both diamonds blend well with the yellow gold settings to create a homogenous appearance.

Ring Settings That Can Enhance And Saturate a Diamond’s Color

With fancy color diamonds, you generally want the setting to saturate or enhance the diamond’s appearance. This can be achieved via some very smart and creative designs.

For yellowish or brownish colored diamonds, they can be combined with white metals to emphasize their color. One of the best ways to do this is via a halo setting where the melees and white color metal surround a colored diamond to make it stand out.

fancy intense yellow with halo ring to create contrast
argyle purplish pink diamond highlight with halo accents

Notice how the fancy colored diamonds “pop” out of their setting?

The other way to complement and saturate a diamond’s color is to make use of colored prongs. For example, pink diamonds can be mounted using rose gold prongs so that the rose gold imparts color into the diamond. Likewise for yellow diamonds, they can be mounted on yellow gold prongs to intensify the hue.

pink diamond in rose gold mixed with white gold metal
white gold solitaire radiant cut yellow diamond saturation with yellow gold prongs

Can you see the similarity in the diamond’s color and the setting’s prongs?

Summary – Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

The choice of metal for your setting can change the visual color perception of the diamond. Remember, a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance is achieved by reflecting light back to the viewer’s eye. While doing so, they also reflect their surrounding details from the environment and setting.

While color may be an intrinsic property of the diamond’s chemical composition, you should also keep in mind that the visibility of its body tint is also dependent on its cut quality.

In well cut diamonds, the sparkle and brilliance can hide a color tint and make it practically invisible. On the other hand, a poorly cut diamond will result in a diamond showing more color.

At the end of the day, color is a really subjective aspect when buying a diamond and your personal tastes should take precedence. I hope this article has provided useful insights to help you make better decisions when shopping for an engagement ring.

Good luck with your search!

Blue Nile, White Flash and James Allen have a great selection of GIA/AGS graded diamonds at competitive prices. If you want to buy a great looking engagement ring, make sure you check them out!

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  1. Jeffrey M.-
    May 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    What is the best diamond color for platinum? I don’t want my diamond to look too yellow in the setting. Also would the sidestones color and quality affect the sparkle of the diamond I chose?

  2. Paul Gian-
    May 5, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I generally recommend a G for color sensitive people. But from experience, most people cannot see any color tints with a well cut H or I diamond. If you are worried, get a G diamond color for your platinum setting. By the way, the side stone diamonds don’t affect the sparkle of the diamond. It’s the cut quality that will affect sparkle; not color.

  3. Lucy Harriott-
    August 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve heard from my friend that white gold makes yellowish tints in diamonds because of a ring she owned. I’m puzzled by why something that’s supposedly white in color can cause such a problem. Is it because she had a J color diamond in white gold metal?

  4. Paul Gian-
    August 11, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Without seeing her ring in person, I’m not sure why she would say that. My suspicion is that the white rhodium plating might have worn off overtime and the underlying color of the white gold alloy has shown up.

    Depending on the size of the J diamond, you could see a tint of color contrast against a white gold setting. If that is what she is seeing, that’s a problem caused by the J diamond and not by the white gold setting.

  5. jane-
    February 21, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for the helpful information. I have tried on a couple of rings at my family jeweler and I think the best diamond color for yellow gold settings are G and H. They still look white to my eyes compared to a K which looks really yellow in the metal setting.

  6. Paul Gian-
    February 22, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    In my opinion, the best diamond color for yellow gold settings are the I, J and K. These are the grades that give the best value for money and enable you to buy a bigger carat size without the expensive prices.

    I know there are people who want an icy white color diamond on a yellow gold or rose gold setting. They want this because of the contrast it creates but at the end of the day, even a D diamond will look yellowish or reddish brown. Being practical, I would go all the way down the GIA color scale if I am buying a colored metal setting.

  7. Rich S-
    April 20, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Paul – How about the best band – and prong – color or colors to minimize a diamond’s color? My scenario is a 3 carat round diamond with excellent clarity but more towards a hint of brown that I want to help “disappear” or at least not stand out. I have heard that prong colors may differ from the band to help this, but none of my local jewelers want to sell me anything except stock settings for my loose stone. THANKS FOR ANY HELP – Rich in the USA

  8. Paul Gian-
    April 22, 2020 at 3:06 am

    Well, you’ve got to be realistic about making color “disappear” magically. The inherent problem lies in the color of the diamond at such a large carat size. If you are concerned with color, then you should have bought a diamond with better color. Setting it in white gold or trying to use any other methods can other improve the color appearance marginally. Stick with white gold settings and white gold prongs. Buying a setting isn’t hard and even customizing a setting shouldn’t be hard. If you have the money and are willing to pay, I don’t see why anybody would reject a routine setting job. So, I’m not sure why the local jewelers are making life so difficult for you. Go here:

  9. Jen G-
    April 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Paul , I have a question about my yellow diamond ring. It’s a fancy yellow center stone is a 6cts oval. And I wanting to change a setting to enhance the center diamond more yellowish. But my jeweler is suggesting me to make something like a bowl underneath the center diamond, but that really turns me off when I see it from the side view to see a bowl. Do you have any other suggestions for me on how to make the center diamond yellower and not see so big of a bowl on the side view? Please


  10. Paul Gian-
    April 30, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    If you are buying a setting in white gold, consider combining the setting with yellow gold prongs. When the colored prongs hold the diamond at such close proximity, they can pass their colors on and help make it appear more yellowish.

  11. Gisele-
    August 23, 2020 at 5:13 am

    Hi Paul,
    You give great advice!
    I have a question for you.
    I have a 2.10ct oval diamond I inherited, and when looking at the certificate it says it is an I color. I want to reset it in a rose gold setting but I am afraid it will make it look bad. What do you recommend? Making all the ring in rose gold or just the shank rose gold and the prongs in platinum? My goal is that the diamond looks whiter.

  12. Paul Gian-
    August 24, 2020 at 7:32 am

    If you want to make the diamond look whiter, you should be putting it in a white colored metal setting like white gold or platinum instead of putting it in rose gold. Putting it in rose gold will cause the copper color to be transmitted to the diamond because it picks up surrounding colors.

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