K Color Diamond: Complete Guide and Grade

Published by Virtu on

Diamonds can sometimes be way too expensive to fit into your budget. Diamonds are glamorized for all the right reasons; however, not all diamonds are too expensive to fit into your tight budget. Diamonds fall within a color range scale, starting from grade D, the colorless category, and ending at grade Z, the faint yellow category. There are a total of 5 color categories, each indicating the level of yellow or brown hue in the diamonds. The yellow or brown hue increases as we go down the color grade scale. K color diamonds fall within the third color category, known as faint yellow. This category comes immediately after the near-colorless range, which looks almost identical to the colorless range to the naked eye.

Diamonds are priced and valued according to their color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These four properties make up the 4 Cs of diamonds, and it is a standard for every diamond to be graded on each of them. The higher the color grade of a diamond, the more expensive it is. D color diamonds are the most expensive diamonds from the color grade scale, whereas K color diamonds are not as heavy on the pockets and are much more affordable. You might be thinking about how you can make a K color diamond look more appealing, so we wrote this article to guide you through buying the right K color diamond for your taste!

What are K color diamonds?

K color diamonds have a hint of yellow or brown color, usually quite visible to the naked human eye. The tint is not too dark to be noticed from far away because there are other diamonds with a lower color grade than K that appear darker. Paired with the right metal and cut in the ideal shape, you can mask the internal color of a K color diamond, making them look as colorless as an F or I color diamond. The best part about buying a K color diamond is that you save a lot more money than you do when purchasing a D color or F color diamond.

However, buying a K color diamond is not recommended in certain situations. You should be aware of such situations to avoid owning a diamond that looks too yellow to the naked eye. We have compiled a comprehensive buying guide for K color diamonds below so you can make the right choice for your loved one!

Comparing K color diamonds with other color grades

The truth is, if you view a K color diamond on its own, it might be difficult to even notice there are a lot of yellow colors unless you are a diamond expert. However, when placed next to colorless diamonds, such as the D color diamond, K color diamonds tend to display their yellow hue more obviously. Although the difference between both the colors of a D color diamond and a K color diamond is subtle, the difference in their prices is drastic!

A 1 carat D color diamond will cost you around $8000 to $9000, whereas a 1 carat K color diamond in the same cut will cost you around $3,500, allowing you to save around $5000! The key to hiding a diamond’s color is investing in a cut that conceals any internal color. One such cut, called the brilliant round cut, will be discussed more in-depth below.

As mentioned earlier, a diamond’s color grade hugely impacts its value. Diamonds in the D to F color grade range are the most expensive because of their rarity. A K color diamond’s immediate neighbor, the J color diamond, lies within the near-colorless range and is way pricier than the K color diamond. A J color diamond in the same carat weight, clarity, and cut as a K color diamond will cost about 42% more.

The ideal shape for a K color diamond

Diamonds can be cut in different shapes, where some shapes are better at masking any internal color than others. A K color diamond can offer great value if cut in a brilliant round shape. Brilliant round diamonds hide color extremely well because they are great at reflecting light. So, if you view a brilliant-cut diamond from the top, it would be difficult to tell if it has any internal color or not. However, the color becomes more obvious if you view it from the side. The slight yellow tinge in the K color diamond becomes more obvious in other diamond shapes. For example, the cushion, Asscher, and emerald-cut diamonds show quite a lot of the yellow tinge compared to the brilliant round cut diamonds. This does not mean you should never purchase a K color diamond in an emerald or an Asscher cut. You can make the color look less obvious by choosing a metal for the jewelry in whose relation the diamond would look less yellow.

Metal color for jewelry setting

The metal you choose for your jewelry setting to place your diamond significantly impacts its overall look. It is also a major deciding factor about how much color your diamond is going to display. For instance, if you choose a yellow or rose gold-colored metal for your jewelry setting, your K color diamond will appear less yellow in relation to it. Thus, it is recommended that people who opt for a K color diamond in any shape should opt for a yellow or rose gold jewelry setting. However, if you opt for white gold or silver jewelry metal, the yellow tinge of your K color diamond would be more noticeable to the naked eye. So, we recommend avoiding silver and white gold for your jewelry setting for any shape of K-color diamonds.

A K color diamond will most likely always have a yellow tint regardless of the color of your metal. In some metal colors, like rose gold and yellow, K color diamond will look less obviously yellow; however, in white gold or silver, a K color diamond’s yellow tinge is clearly noticeable. If you want to opt for an emerald or cushion cut, the K color diamond will display its yellow tinge in both yellow and silver-colored metals. For this reason, we recommend buying an I or J color diamond for certain cuts since they appear almost colorless in relation to the yellow or rose gold metal colors.

Setting style and side stones

The setting in which you place your K color diamond greatly impacts how it appears to the naked eye. In some setting styles, the diamond is the only stone as the jewelry’s centerpiece. In other styles, the main diamond is surrounded by other small gemstones that play a huge role in impacting its appearance and color payoff.

If you are going for a ring with small gemstones surrounding the center diamond, ensure that you check the color grade of the side stones. If your side stones have a higher color grade, such as D, E, F, G, or I, your K color diamond will appear more yellow or darker when placed in the ring side by side.

Hence, it is important to make sure that the side stones you pick for your ring have a similar color grade as the main diamond that will go in the center. These side stones can also have a slightly darker color grade to make your center diamond look less yellow in relation to themselves. Although it can be tricky to find a perfect setting for K color diamonds to minimize their yellow tinge, options like the cathedral and tension settings exist that do not have any side stones. Most side stones in jewelry settings have higher color grades than K, making it difficult for K color diamonds to stand out as the centerpiece.

Choosing the perfect K color diamond

Choosing the perfect K color diamond for your loved one can be nerve-wracking, so we have summarized all the steps you need to take care of below.

  • The first thing you need to do is find a shape that attracts you the most. Brilliant round, the Asscher, emerald, and princess cuts are all amazing choices for a K color diamond if you are going to opt for rose gold or yellow-colored metal.
  • Next, choose a jewelry setting that brings out your K color diamond as the centerpiece. If you can find side stones with the same or darker color grade as your K color diamond, you can opt for a setting with side stones.
  • Ensure that your K color diamond looks clean to your naked eye. The general rule is to find a diamond that looks appealing to you and clean to the naked eye, rather than worrying too much about its actual color and clarity grade.
  • You will most probably end up saving quite a lot of money after buying a K color diamond. If you wish to invest that money in your new jewelry, you can buy a larger diamond instead of a small one.

We hope you come home with a stunning K color diamond that your beloved absolutely adores!

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is the yellow or brown color more visible in larger diamonds?

Yes! Larger diamonds have more carat weight and capture more body than smaller diamonds with less carat weight. If you compare a 3 carat K color diamond with a 0.7 carat K color diamond, you will notice that the larger diamond appears more yellow.

  • Does the yellow tinge in diamonds appear naturally?

Most diamonds have a yellow or brown tinge due to the presence of nitrogen atoms that bond with the diamond’s carbon atoms. It is rare to find a diamond without any tinge of color. The nitrogen atoms in the diamond absorb blue light and thus, reflect different shades of yellow. For this reason, colorless diamonds are rare to find and extremely expensive!

  • How are diamonds priced?

Diamonds are priced according to their value measured by the 4 Cs. The 4 Cs of a diamond include its cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. The color and clarity of a diamond are graded on a grade scale approved by the Gemological Institute of America. The color grade scale begins from D and ends at Z. The clarity grade scale starts from internally flawless and ends at included.

  • Why do some diamonds glow in the dark?

Some diamonds emit a soft blue glow when exposed to ultraviolet light due to their fluorescence property. The fluorescence property occurs due to the presence of chemical impurities within a diamond’s all carbon composition and is usually considered a defect.


K color diamonds are extremely affordable compared to some higher graded color diamonds, such as D, E, F, G, H, and I. They fall in the category of faint yellow on the color grade scale and have a slight yellow tinge to them. The yellow or brown tinge in K color diamonds is slightly more noticeable than a J color diamond. However, you can easily play around with the shape of the diamond, the metal’s color, and the jewelry setting to make your K color diamond appear less yellow. The recommended shapes for a K color diamond are the round brilliant, Asscher, emerald, and cushion cuts because they best conceal the diamond’s internal color. However, it is important that the metal color you choose for a K color diamond should be yellow or rose gold regardless of its shape. Any K color diamond in white gold or silver displays its yellow color more obviously.

You could also experiment with the jewelry setting by choosing to place side stones around your K color diamond. If you opt for side stones, ensure they have a similar or higher color grade as your diamond, so it appears less yellow in relation to them. After finalizing the cut, shape, metal color, and jewelry setting, you could use the saved-up money to invest in a larger diamond for your loved one. We hope this article has led you in the right direction and you return home with a beautiful K color diamond that you love. Happy shopping!

Categories: Jewelry


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