What Color Diamond is The Best?
There are a lot of factors to consider when you are shopping for a diamond. If you go into the shopping process without any research or prior knowledge, there is a high chance that sellers will try to scam you. Everyone who wants to buy a diamond for themselves or their loved ones should research all the factors that impact a diamond’s appearance. If you are new to this and have no understanding of these factors, you are at the right place!
The four main factors of diamonds everyone should know about are comprised in the 4 Cs. The 4 Cs include the cut of the diamond, its clarity, color, and carat weight. We will be discussing the color of the diamond in detail so that you can tick one of the Cs off your list.
What is the diamond color grade?
You might be wondering, ‘do diamonds have any color?’ In all honesty, it is a valid question because we often see pictures of brilliant glossy colorless diamonds, and we think all diamonds look the same. However, as colorless as diamonds look, they all have a hint of color. In fact, diamonds come in various colors, including yellow, brown, pink, green, and black. The color of a diamond is a huge factor contributing to how expensive it is, and thus, it is important to have a sound understanding of it.
The measure of a diamond’s color
The color of a diamond is measured through a color grade scale that starts from the letter D and ends on the letter Z. Each letter depicts a certain level of color present in the diamond, with D being the most colorless and Z having the most yellow tint. The Gemological Institute of America originally developed this color grading system, and many reputable gemological laboratories use this system to analyze the presence or the lack of color in diamonds.
The color grading system is broken down into five major categories or ranges. Let us dive deeper into these five categories to understand better the type of diamonds you will come across while shopping.
D to F – Colorless
People often think that diamonds in the D to F (colorless) range are the most appealing diamonds, but that is not true. Although the diamonds in this range are the most expensive and have the best appearance, the colorless factor can only be determined and detected through the diamond facing down under a gemological microscope in laboratories. The naked human eye cannot detect the visual difference between diamonds in this range and those in the next range. Thus, experts recommend customers always choose the diamond that visually looks colorless to them instead of worrying too much about the actual color grade detected under the gemological microscope. The reason diamonds in the D to F color range are so expensive is because they are rare and make up a very small percentage of gem-quality diamonds.
G to J – Nearly Colorless
As mentioned earlier, the difference between the color ranges D to F and G to I is barely noticeable by the naked human eye. Diamonds within this range offer the best value for your budget because you will not have to overpay for a difference your eyes cannot notice. You will only be able to tell the difference between the two ranges under a gemological microscope, but no one will be putting your diamond under it to check whether it’s a D grade color. If you want something close to a D color grade diamond, diamonds in the G to J range should be your top choice! Buying a diamond within this range will save you a lot of money which you can invest in the carat weight of the diamond and buy yourself a bigger, more beautiful diamond.
Diamonds with color grade I show a slight yellow or brown tint. However, you can easily mask this color by buying a diamond cut that hides internal color well. Diamonds with J color show a more yellow or brown tinge than I, but they can also be masked. Another method of masking the slight color tinge in your diamond is to choose a jewelry setting that will take away the attention from the diamond’s color, making it look more colorless. You can discuss a suitable jewelry setting with your jeweler and decide accordingly!
K to M – Faintly Colored
Diamonds within this range display a yellow or brown tinge clearly visible to the naked eye. However, these diamonds offer a great value for people on a tight budget compared to colorless diamonds. If you are buying a diamond with a color grade of K, you will be able to save a lot of money and buy a bigger diamond. You can also minimize the tinge of yellow or brown in your diamond by placing it in a yellow or rose jewelry setting. You should also remember that larger diamonds show more color than smaller diamonds. If you invest in a bigger diamond, decide on a jewelry setting accordingly to minimize its color.
The color range N to R is considered very lightly colored, while the range S to Z is considered lightly colored. Both these ranges display a stronger yellow or brown tinge compared to the range K to M. Many people on a very tight budget opt for diamonds within these ranges and focus more on the diamond’s placement and its cut to minimize as much color as possible.
Guide to choosing your diamond’s color
Truth be told, there is a lot of information about choosing the right type of diamond and achieving the right balance while focusing on the 4 Cs, but it can get quite overwhelming. Hence, we have prepared a comprehensive guide that should equip you with enough knowledge and make you shopping ready for your diamond!
The first thing you need to consider is the color of the ring band, earrings, or the necklace you want your diamond to be placed in. Your jeweler will give you a couple of options, including white, rose gold, or yellow colors. If you choose a yellow or rose gold metal for your jewelry setting, the color grade of your diamond will be less significant because these colors help mask the internal color of the diamond. So, you can easily get away with buying a diamond with a yellow tinge in a rose gold or yellow jewelry setting.
However, if you choose platinum or white gold, the color of your diamond will be much more noticeable, and it will get difficult to mask it if it has a yellow or brown tinge. It is recommended that in white gold or platinum jewelry settings, you opt for a diamond that is closer to the colorless spectrum of the color grade scale.
Accent stones are small gems or stones placed to the side or around your main diamond. They help mask the color of the diamond if chosen carefully. The color of the accent stones should be the same or lower than the color of your main diamond so that the yellow tinge in your diamond is masked well. If you choose accent stones with a significantly higher color, your main diamond in the center would appear more yellow. For example, if your diamond has a color grade of J, the accent stones should have the color grade of J, I, H, or G.
You should also keep in mind the kind of ring setting you want to get. If you choose a halo ring setting, it will show the color of your diamond more because there will be more metal and diamonds around it. However, if you want to mask the color of your diamond, you should go for a solitaire diamond ring setting because it will show the diamond’s clarity more than its color.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Are you wondering why we have not yet talked about diamonds that are not just yellow or brown but also pink? We were just coming to that! Pink, yellow, or brown diamonds are very beautiful if placed in the right kind of jewelry setting. People often opt for these diamonds because of how intricate they look. Diamonds that are perfectly brown or yellow are called fancy-colored diamonds and are far more expensive than the diamonds in the N to Z color grade range. If you want a diamond that looks similar to a fancy-colored diamond, but you are on a tight budget, buy one from the N to Z color grade range and place it in a white jewelry setting. Since platinum or white gold jewelry setting enhances the color of your diamond, you will be able to achieve a similar look as fancy-colored diamonds.
Have you ever seen a diamond glow blue in the dark and wondered what was happening? Do not worry because one-third of gem-quality diamonds have a property known as fluorescence that makes them glow when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Typically, the fluorescence property was treated as an unwanted and undesired trait that made diamonds less valuable. These diamonds appear cloudier and whiter, making them less desirable since they lack the sparkle and shine diamonds normally have. Diamonds with the fluorescence property are normally sold with up to a 15 percent discount than diamonds without the fluorescence property. Diamonds in the color range of J to M with a yellow or brown tinge can appear quite higher in color if they have a strong fluorescence property. This happens because the fluorescence property is stimulated by ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. Since yellow and blue are complementary colors, they cancel out each other, making the diamond appear whiter.
Frequently asked questions
What are the most affordable diamond color grades?
The diamond color grades that are most appealing to people on a tight budget lie within the G to I color range. Diamonds within this range offer a great value to customers since it is visually impossible to tell them apart from diamonds in the D to F range. They look almost identical to diamonds in the D to F range but cost significantly less.
Should I invest in a colorless diamond?
Investing in a colorless is, in fact, a personal choice. However, experts recommend people buy a diamond based on the color they can visually detect. No one can visually tell apart a diamond from the D to F (colorless) color grade range from a diamond in the G to I color grade range. Hence, a colorless diamond is not worth spending the extra money on because it will look almost identical to a nearly colorless diamond. You can use the extra money to invest in a larger diamond.
Can I color grade a diamond myself?
As mentioned earlier, telling apart a diamond from the colorless range from a diamond in the nearly colorless range is almost impossible with the naked eye. For this reason, it is not recommended to color grade the diamonds yourself because you will most likely get their colors wrong. Color grading can be viewed from the diamond’s side in comparison to other diamonds. If you are not comparing it with other diamonds, it won’t be easy to catch the difference. Hence, the most authentic color grading is done through the help of gemological microscopes by experts in laboratories.
What is diamond clarity grade?
Diamonds are graded from their clarity, just how they are graded for their color. A diamond clarity grade scale starts from IF (Internally Flawless) to I (Included). The clarity grade determines how many blemishes, black inclusions, or air bubbles a diamond has. The further you go on the clarity grade scale, the worse the clarity of the diamond gets. However, as long as you can not visually see any inclusions on the diamond, it is not worth paying for flawless clarity that can only be detected under a gemological microscope.
Choosing the right color will greatly impact the overall appearance of your diamond. However, is it not worth paying extra for a perfectly colorless diamond when you can buy a diamond at a more affordable price that is almost identical to being colorless. We hope this article gave you a good idea about the factors you need to keep in mind before you go diamond shopping. Happy shopping!