When we talk about diamonds, we think it is essential to mention that many factors affect their value, appearance, and of course, the price. The main question that often comes up when diamonds are mentioned is: What Diamond Color is The Best Value?
This question is so frequent because people often do not know the characteristics of diamonds and why diamonds have different shapes, colors, and prices.
The most straightforward answer would be: The highest and most expensive color grade of diamonds is D, which is also highly uncommon. A D color diamond is chosen by 8% of buyers.
But we don’t plan to stop at that answer. Let’s look at what we have prepared for you on the topic of diamond values and colors!
What Does Color Mean When Speaking About Diamonds?
The hue of a diamond describes how clear or golden it is. Most diamonds of the best grade are entirely colorless, whereas those of inferior quality sometimes have a little yellow hue.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) color scale, which ranges from D (colorless) to Z, is used to determine the color of diamonds (light yellow or brown).
There are several diamond color grades, ranging from almost colorless to slightly yellow, between D and Z (the typical color range). The diamond hue is one part of the purchasing process that you shouldn’t ignore when searching to buy diamonds.
The price of a diamond may vary greatly depending on its hue, so choosing the best color for your needs could help you save a lot of money without compromising the design of your fiancé’s ring or any other jewelry you are buying.
Uniquely colored diamonds, which come in hues like blue, pink, and yellow, are sought commodities. However, a yellow tinge is typically not attractive in white diamonds.
And you may wonder why. Here is a quick explanation!
This is since less of the light’s original hue is reflected in the eye when slight tinting is present. As a result, a diamond is often more brilliant, expensive, and uncommon the more colorless it is.
The rarity of colorless diamonds is undeniable, and they score significantly higher on the color grading scale than stones with even the slightest hint of yellow.
So, now that we know more about colors, let’s see what color makes a diamond look the best!
What Color Makes a Diamond Look the Best?
Let’s start from the very beginning and grade diamonds by their colors!
D color is the top diamond color grade. This indicates that the diamond is entirely pure and devoid of any hue of yellow (or other substance).
Also, D is not the ideal color for a diamond to be set in an engagement ring. Why is that? Simple – because a ring with a G, H, or I color diamond will still look the same and cost much less.
Clearly, your diamond won’t be worth the most if it belongs to the colorless group (D to F color). The faint color group (K and later) is a poor option. Thus, the group from G to J, which is nearly colorless, is all that is left.
The G color grade offers high value, but let’s see if we can obtain even more.
Experts that provide diamond certificates for each stone measure the hue of the diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the most used diamond color grading method in the 1950s.
The presence (or absence) of color in a diamond is described using the same technique and terminology by several well-known and highly regarded gemological laboratories worldwide.
The majority of diamonds are colorless or almost colorless, or they are pale yellow or brown.
With D being colorless and Z being pale yellow or brown, the traditional diamond color grading scale separates them using a letter grade.
Colorless (D-F), near-colorless (G-J), faint yellow (K-M), very light yellow (N-R), and light yellow are the standard classifications for diamond hues (S-Z).
Don’t worry, there will be more about the diamond’s scale later in this article!
Choose side stones that are the same color as the central diamond or have a lower tint to ensure that your diamond appears as white or colorless as feasible.
For instance, the side diamonds should be H, I, or J in hue if the center diamond is H. Making the side diamonds more colorful might give the central diamond a golden appearance.
A distinction in hue between F and H can be seen when diamonds are loose but is less noticeable when they are placed in jewelry. The color grades of G to H seem almost colorless to the unaided eye and are less expensive than colorless graded diamonds.
For this reason, we often suggest a G or an H-colored diamond, and greater clarity obtains the most value for your money.
You shouldn’t stress too much about the diamond color grading if you don’t want to sell your diamond jewelry in the future in the hopes of making money.
Related Read: Diamond Color Vs. Clarity: What’s More Important?
GIA Assigns Color Grades Using A Sliding Scale Divided Into Five Categories
- D-F (Colorless): Ds is the highest grade and is completely colorless. Because only a highly skilled gemologist can see the tiniest traces of color, E and F are considered colorless (and relatively uncommon). Therefore, these gems are identical to one another.
- G-J (Near Colorless): A skilled gemologist can identify a faint yellow undertone. GIA classifies this as “near colorless,” however, we are hesitant to place J in this category because the color becomes more evident at this grade.
- K-M (Faint): At this phase, a yellow hue is more discernible, K-M (i.e., it can be seen without comparing it to a higher color grade diamond). Online shops typically don’t provide diamonds for engagement rings priced below K. We believe K Diamonds look fantastic on yellow gold rings.
- N-R (Very Light): Even to the untrained eye, this diamond has an apparent yellow hue and seems to be of inferior quality.
- S-Z (Light): Colors in this spectrum may begin to take on a rusty hue. There is hardly any demand for these.
Along with this scale, we need to say more about the position of diamonds.
The loose diamond is turned upside down and compared to a set of master stones by the GIA to ascertain its hue. The diamonds are turned upside down so that color may be seen more clearly.
When looking at the diamonds face-up, it is pretty difficult to distinguish between different colors.
Do you notice, for instance, how this diamond’s yellow hue is more noticeable from the side than when seen face-up? But don’t worry, as it will only be seen from the front when placed on a ring.
Do Colorless Diamonds Justify the Extra Cost?
What about colorless diamonds, are they really worth it? Let’s find out now!
Due to their rarity, colorless diamonds (D, E, and F) carry a premium price. While F diamonds have minute traces of color that can only be seen by a skilled gemologist when viewed face-down, D diamonds are colorless.
However, a regular eye can’t discern the difference at all. For example, the average person can’t distinguish between colorless and H diamonds. Moreover, people occasionally can’t even differentiate between colorless and J!
Particularly considering that diamonds on rings can only be seen face-up and return light to the viewer’s eyes. So, is it worth spending more money to have “colorless” printed on a piece of paper? This is a highly individual decision.
Some people (particularly in the Asian market) strive for perfection and enjoy the rarity of their possessions. A D-colored diamond’s very icy-white appearance appeals to specific individuals as well.
However, an H diamond will seem flawlessly white to the typical individual. In our opinion, the extra money spent on that “colorless” stamp is simply money spent on something you can’t fully appreciate.
Comparing diamonds side by side requires at least 3 to 4-grade deviations for color to become noticeable. It is thus a reasonably safe bet that your fiancée won’t be aware that her diamond is “near-colorless” unless she compares it side by side with her best friend’s perfectly colorless one.
We can say at the end that it’s up to you to decide if it is really worth it!
Related Read: I Color Diamonds: Should You Buy an I Color Diamond?
What is Diamond Fluorescence?
We know you heard about fluorescence, but do you know what is it? Let’s clarify that now.
Fluorescence has always been seen as a bad quality. Compared to non-fluorescent diamonds, diamonds with fluorescence can sell up to 15% less. Fluorescence, which allows diamonds to shine when exposed to UV light, occurs in around one-third of all gem-quality diamonds.
Suppose diamonds (J–M) exhibit medium–solid blue fluorescence; they might look significantly higher in color. Also, they have traces of a yellow hue.
This is because UV light may promote fluorescence if diamonds (J–M) exhibit medium–blue solid fluorescence. As a result, they might look significantly higher in color and have traces of a yellow hue.
Given that most diamonds glow blue, the complementary hues of blue and yellow effectively cancel each other out. The diamond seems noticeably whiter as a result.
Fluorescent diamonds often have a whiter and cloudier appearance. The presence of very modest fluorescence in a diamond can be advantageous.
More than that, though, it would give off a “cloudy” appearance and lack the shine and brightness you would expect in a diamond.
The Diamond Color Scale’s Importance
Now that we know everything about GIA’s scale, the question is, why is this important anyway?
First, we need to clarify this: Only up to a certain extent does diamond color matter.
We separate cut and carat weight from color and clarity when we apply the 4Cs. Cut and carat are excellent qualities (you want to maximize as much as possible).
When gazing at a diamond, you want to ensure that you don’t notice undesirable characteristics like color or clarity. On the diamond color scale, there is a line where you can tell if a diamond is clear or has a yellowish tinge in terms of color.
Your aim should be to avoid purchasing a diamond with a noticeable yellowish tinge. Depending on the diamond’s shape and the type of setting, the boundary between yellowish and precise changes.
There isn’t much to gain from spending more money on a higher hue once the diamond seems to be clear in your eyes. Remember that purchasing a diamond is a zero-sum endeavor.
Size, brightness, or clarity will suffer if you choose a higher color grade than is necessary to save money. Is it worthwhile to take such action? We suggest you examine this problem and make your own judgment.
The Basic Rules for Shopping Diamonds
To sum up, the following fundamental rules should be followed while evaluating the diamond’s color:
The setting makes the most significant impact on how color is perceived. For example, you would choose platinum or white gold setting if you still wanted to go with a D-F (colorless) diamond.
On a yellow ring, this would be useless since the diamond will reflect the hue. We don’t advise going below I for settings made of white gold or platinum.
A diamond with a slight yellow tint may look stunning in a yellow or rose gold setting if you already know you want one.
Concerning the color specifications, you can safely drop to a K. As always, the diamond’s cut makes it sparkle, making it the most significant factor.
So never cut corners! An excellently cut, colorless diamond will look more dazzling than a poorly cut diamond with no color.
The diamond’s form is essential. Round diamonds that have been expertly cut are fiery, dazzling, and good at concealing color nuances.
The sharp ends of fancy-cut diamonds (such as marquise and pear) can trap color. Moving up a color grade is preferable if you want one of these cuts (to H at the lowest).
Color is more easily visible in step cuts since these (like emerald and Asscher) are renowned for their depth and shine than their brilliance. For the stone to appear its best, we suggest a color grade that’s at least a G.
Size is also important. You should choose a darker shade of diamond if you’re buying a larger stone (2 carats or larger) since the color in larger diamonds will be more obvious.
Related Read: Diamond’s Measurements: Complete Diamond Size Charts Guide
Although we had a question at the beginning of this article that says: What Diamond Color is The Best Value?
We have tried to answer it in as much detail as possible so that you can understand the answer we gave you at the beginning of this article. Don’t forget, the value of a diamond is determined based on several factors, which are indeed cut, clarity, carat, and not just color.
Also, we recommend you study the 4C’s rule in more detail, which you can find in one of our earlier articles. Hope you have a great time learning more about diamonds’ color and value!
Related Read: What Are The Most Popular Diamond Colors And Clarities?