J Color Diamond: Complete Guide and Grade

Published by Virtu on

J color diamonds fall within the near-colorless category of the GIA-approved color grade scale. GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America, a governing body dedicated to research and education about gemstones. The color grade scale begins with the letter D and ends at the letter Z. The letter D is where the colorless range begins.

The near-colorless range begins from G and ends at J. J color diamonds are a go-to choice for people who want to buy a beautiful diamond without too much yellow color. They are also a great affordable option for people who can not afford to fit a colorless diamond within their tight budget. J color diamonds have a very subtle yellowish hue, but you would not be able to notice it in certain settings. You should be aware of many factors before buying a J color diamond. These factors include the diamond’s cut, clarity, carat weight, and the color of the jewelry’s metal.

We have compiled a comprehensive guide to buying the right J color diamond for your loved one, considering all important factors, including the diamond’s clarity, cut, carat weight, and the right metal color.

What are J color diamonds?

All diamonds receive a color grade from the Gemological Institute of America. The color grade should be between D and Z inclusive. The further you go down the color grade scale, a diamond will have a more obvious yellow hue. Almost all diamonds have a yellow or brown tint, making colorless diamonds one of the rarest diamonds to find. For this reason, colorless diamonds are also the most expensive diamonds on the color grade scale.

J color diamonds are the lowest color grade on the GIA-approved color grade scale. People often get worried about considering a J color diamond because they believe it will show a strong hint of yellow color. However, that is most certainly not true. Although J color diamonds have a faint yellow tint, they can be made to look almost colorless by picking a suitable cut and metal color for their placement.

J color diamonds also cost significantly less than diamonds in the colorless range. You can save up to $1000 to $1500 by picking a J color diamond over a D color diamond. However, buying a J color diamond might not be a good idea in certain situations. We will shed some light on such situations to have a better idea about when you should invest in a J color diamond and when you should avoid it.

I vs. J color diamond

I and J color diamonds are next to each other on the color grade scale. Since I color diamonds have a higher color grade than J, people think there must be a drastic difference in their colors. However, since they are so close on the color scale, the color difference is quite subtle. With that being said, I color diamonds could be the better option in many cases.

As we will discuss below, the color of the diamond is greatly impacted by the color of the metal you choose for your ring. If you place a diamond in a white gold or platinum metal, the color of the diamond would appear more enhanced than it is normally. If you are interested in a rose gold or yellow colored metal for your ring, choosing a high color grade would not be wise since every diamond looks slightly yellow when placed in a gold or yellow ring setting.

For the reasons above, experts recommend not investing in a high color graded diamond for a rose gold or yellow colored metal. So, if you are going to place your I color diamond in a yellow or rose gold colored metal, it would be wiser to replace it with a J color diamond instead. You will end up saving money buying a J color diamond in such situations. However, if you are sure about choosing white gold or platinum metals for your ring, it would be best to avoid a J color diamond since it would show its color more obviously.

Comparing J color diamond with other color grades

As mentioned earlier, J color diamonds have the lowest color grade in the near-colorless category of the color grade scale. People’s most common confusion regarding J color diamonds is whether they will have a very yellow appearance once placed in the ring.

If you compare a J color diamond with a D color diamond, you will notice that the difference in their colors is quite subtle; however, it is quite easy to notice too. The difference becomes more obvious when you view both diamonds from their sides. Although the color difference is insignificant between both color grades, the price difference is quite drastic. A 1 carat D color diamond with VS2 clarity will cost around $6000, whereas a J color diamond of the same cut, shape, clarity, and carat weight will cost around $4000, saving up to $2000!

It is noteworthy that a diamond is more than just its color grade. Different factors greatly impact a diamond’s appearance. Some of these factors are the diamond’s clarity, cut, carat weight, and the color of the metal in which you will place your diamond. By saving up so much money by purchasing a J color diamond, you can invest in some of these factors to enhance the overall appearance of your diamond.

Below we have discussed how you can prioritize some of these factors to bring out the best in your J color diamond.

Different shapes and cuts for J color diamonds

As you might already know, different shapes of diamonds depict their internal color differently. The different facet patterns allow the diamonds to reflect light in unique ways. For example, if you compare a J color emerald cut diamond with a D color emerald cut diamond, the difference in their colors would be quite obvious. Other cuts and shapes similar to the emerald color portray the same behavior in displaying the diamond’s internal color. These cuts include the Asscher, princess, cushion, and radiant cut.

The ideal cut for J color diamonds is a brilliant round cut. J color round cut diamonds look almost colorless when viewed from the top. This happens because round cuts diamonds are great at reflecting light, masking most of the diamond’s internal color.

J color diamond pricing

We highlighted the price difference between a J and D color diamond earlier. It is obvious that a D color diamond, being top color graded, is the most expensive diamond on the color grade scale. Taking the example we considered earlier; you would save about $2000 if you buy a J color diamond instead of a D color diamond.

Not only are J color diamonds more affordable than D color diamonds, but they are also the most affordable diamond in the near-colorless range. For instance, a J color diamond with VS1 clarity will cost around $1600 less than a G color diamond of the same carat weight and clarity.

When should one choose a J color diamond?

A J color diamond can be ideal for customers with budget constraints. To make your J color diamond look its best, one must consider its shape, clarity, and the metal’s color. For example, if a customer wants his diamond set in a rose gold or yellow colored metal, it will appear slightly more yellow than usual regardless of its color grade. For this reason, experts recommend avoiding higher color graded diamonds for rose gold or yellow metal jewelry setting. Due to the impact a yellow or rose gold colored metal has on a diamond, investing in a J color diamond would be a smart move instead of paying extra for a high color grade diamond, only for it to appear yellow.

However, if a customer is sure about placing his diamond in a white gold or platinum metal ring setting, the yellow color of the diamond would appear to be more enhanced. Thus, experts recommend avoiding low color graded diamonds for white gold or platinum metal jewelry setting. In such a case, investing in a J color diamond would not be the wisest idea since its yellow color will obviously show through. Sticking to diamonds in the F to H color categories is a great idea for white gold and platinum metals.

Side stone settings for J color diamonds

Diamonds can be placed in a ring with two different kinds of settings. The first kind of setting has the diamond as your ring’s centerpiece. Your diamond’s true color shines through in this setting, and people mostly opt for it with diamonds in the colorless range.

Pave and halo ring settings use side stones or smaller gemstones placed in the ring’s band or around your center diamond. The color of the side stones can greatly impact the overall appearance of your diamond. If your ring’s side stones are a color grade higher than your diamond, your diamond’s yellow color might become more obvious. Thus, it is important to ensure that ring setting styles with side stones have the main diamond in the same or higher color grade than the gemstones.

If you opt for a pave or halo ring setting style with your J color diamond, it can be difficult to find darker side stones because most of them come in color grades of G, H, or I.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can my diamond turn yellow with age?

The color of the diamond is dependent upon its chemical composition. The chemical composition of the diamond is made deep under the surface of the earth; thus, it is impossible to change it after it has been mined. The color of the diamond at the time of mining is its real color. So, a diamond’s internal color cannot turn yellow with age.

  • Why does my diamond appear more yellow from the time I bought it?

As mentioned above, a diamond’s internal color cannot change over time. However, if you feel your diamond appears more yellow than usual, it could be because of dirt and dust built over it with time. Substances can build over the surface of your diamond and make it appear dull and stained. For this reason, it is recommended that you get your diamond professionally cleaned by a jeweler from time to time to maintain a clean and clear appearance.


To sum it up, J color diamonds are a great choice for customers on a tight budget. Some customers might worry about the diamond looking too yellow; however, you can easily mask a J color diamond’s internal yellow color by choosing a yellow or rose gold color metal for the ring, so it doesn’t appear yellower than usual. You can also opt for a brilliant round cut for your J color diamond because this cut is great at masking any internal color. Lastly, you can save up quite a lot of money by buying a J color diamond, which you can invest in other factors of the ring or for your honeymoon trip!

Categories: Jewelry


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