Side by side comparison of colorless vs near colorless diamond rings. Can you see differences?
When it comes to buying diamonds, color is one of the misunderstood attributes of the 4Cs.
In fact, I often get questions like, “Is a H color diamond too yellow?”, “Can I see differences between a D and F color diamond?”, “Is an I color good enough for an engagement ring?” and the list goes on.
So, if you are shopping for a diamond ring and you aren’t sure about the visual differences between different color grades, you’ve come to the right place.
In this write up, we will take an indepth look at 2 of the most popular categories of diamonds; the colorless and near colorless range.
We also performed a detailed video comparison between colorless vs near colorless diamond rings in common everyday environments. If you want to see exactly how the different diamond colors look like in real life, be sure to check it out.
The GIA grading scale showing the entire range of D-Z diamond colors.
On the GIA grading scale, the color grades of D, E and F are described as colorless and they exhibit an absence of color. Here, I want to emphasize that diamonds are graded face down and examined through their side profiles in a controlled lighting environment.
In real life conditions, it would be extremely difficult for the average lay person to see color differences between a D, E and F diamond once it is mounted on a setting. Once you watch the video comparison below, you will probably come to the same conclusion as well.
I also want to address a common misconception that a colorless diamond will appear more brilliant and sparkly. The truth is far from that. Color has nothing to do with a diamond’s performance and it is cut quality that actually matters the most.
Price comparison between 1 carat diamonds: D colorless ($8,930) vs I near-colorless ($6,610).
Speaking from experience, I and J colors are the most common thresholds before people notice a tint of warmth in the diamonds.
In my opinion, near colorless diamonds like the G or H colors offer the best value for money as they can face up white and do not have a price premium attached to them.
For the majority of consumers, the most important question when it comes to color is, how colorless should your diamond be? Do you really need a D color in order for your eyes to perceive the diamond as icy white?
Watch this full length video and you should be able to find answers on your personal threshold for color.
This is a difficult question because it comes down to a matter of preference.
If you are like most people, you probably can’t tell the differences between a colorless and near colorless diamond when looking at them in the face up view.
I know there are people who really love the idea of a transparent look that colorless diamonds offer. But they are pricey and that can turn some people off from buying them. There are others who simply don’t care one way or the other.
On the other hand, if you are someone who actually prefers having more of a yellow or tinged look for the stone, it makes sense for you to go lower in color ratings. Buying an I or J color diamond would save you quite a tidy sum of money.
So, in reality, neither is better than the other.
Colorless diamonds may look subjectively “whiter” to some people but they are definitely a lot more expensive. It really depends on the taste and the personality of the wearer. The takeaway here is; diamonds do not have to be a D in order for its color to be unnoticeable.
You can go way down the scale before any hue becomes obvious and this threshold can differ based on your own visual acuity.
There are plenty of “experts” and salespeople who proclaim color to be the key factor for a diamond’s brilliance and beauty. I can tell you from experience that marketing pitches like these are done for a self-serving purpose to make you spend more.
Now, don’t get me wrong here.
It is perfectly fine for you to pay a premium for a colorless diamond; as long as you are fully aware that near colorless diamonds are extremely hard to distinguish in the face up view.
Ultimately, it all boils down to personal preferences and what you really want. I hope this article has helped you narrow down on the right diamond color that fits your style and budget.
If you have any questions on choosing a diamond, feel free to ask them in the comment section below. I would also love to hear your personal thoughts on this topic: would you choose to buy a colorless (D,E,F) diamond or a near colorless (G, H, I, J) diamond?
Let me know!