Understanding Diamond Color

When deciding to purchase a diamond, one of the first facts people learn about is the importance of diamond color. They read that white diamonds range on a color scale D-Z, D being colorless. Scaling down from D color, I feel is an upward battle as customers get very fixated on color at the cost of cut, clarity, and size. I receive orders every week from customers attempting to purchase a D color, SI2 clarity diamond.  In my experience, customers worry that with every drop in color grade, they are compromising the beauty of the diamond. What people don’t know is that the majority of diamonds we see in the market today are actually in the near colorless range (G-I) and those diamonds for the most part look colorless, sparkly, and beautiful. Diamonds are judged upside down where the majority of color concentrates so when mounted in a ring, most diamonds all look the same in color.

Since color is judged to the naked eye and clarity is evaluated under magnification, many people believe that they don’t need to worry about clarity since they will not be looking at their diamond magnified. The problem is that the potential for eye visible inclusions increases dramatically as the clarity drops.  Below are all 2ct cushion diamond images with VS clarity range. The color ranges for the diamonds range from colorless to near colorless but visually they do not look that different! Take a look for yourself!

F color cushion cut diamond

Above is an example of a 2.01ct F color, VS2 clarity. Current sale price would be $20,000

H color cushion diamond

Above is an example of a 2.06ct H color, VS2 clarity. Current sale price would be $14,810.92

J color cushion diamond

Above is an example of a 2.21ct J color, VS2 clarity. Current sale price would be $12,844.56

To me, depending on how a diamond is intended to be set in a ring, is very important in deciding which diamond color to select. Diamonds in the near colorless range (G-J) will look white when in a solitaire setting. This is because diamond color is relatively subtle and difficult to distinguish unless next to another diamond. If a solitaire is not an option, an alternative recommendation for a mounting would be two accenting tapered baguettes. Baguette diamonds are cut in all diamond color ranges so it is easy to match the color so that no diamond stands out.

If you need assistance with a diamond search, we have three GIA gemologists on staff ready to help.  Many factors are evaluated when selecting the perfect diamond and a GIA gemologist is trained to know what color is ok for different diamond cuts and mountings (there is variation in how color effects diamond cuts.) If you would like our gemologists to perform a diamond search for you, please fill out a request on our Personal Diamond Shopper Page. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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