Buying a diamond is a serious financial decision. Regardless of the circumstances motivating you to buy a diamond, be it an engagement, a wedding, or just to make a piece of jewelry for another occasion or to show someone you love them, you need to be careful in your diamond selection process. Even though you are buying a diamond, you don’t actually have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good stone for your needs.
Some factors that go into the choice include what color stone you want and how you are specifically going to use it. Diamonds are typically thought of as white diamonds, but you can find pinks, yellows, and even blues. However, most diamond purchasers are looking for white diamonds, and so this article discusses some of the diamond color guide considerations that go specifically into that decision. For most people involved in the diamond business, cut of the diamond is the most important characteristic, but the color of the diamond follows closely after as the second-most important consideration in terms of stone selection and price.
In terms of white diamonds, after cut, the price consideration comes down to how much (if any) yellow color is within the diamond. A totally white diamond reflects all colors and appears pure. As such, these diamonds are highest in price, but not necessarily the best stones to buy, as a diamond color guide has some sweet spots for efficiently price-pointed stones.
The Official Color Scale
Most of the diamond industry uses a scale called the GIA scale, which has its origins in a nonprofit organization. Not all diamonds are certified by the GIA organization, but most diamonds are measured on the GIA scale. If you visit or consult more than one diamond dealer, you’ll likely notice the same scale in use, which simplifies things for you as a buyer.
This diamond color guide basically assigns all ‘white’ diamonds a letter grade ranging from D to Z. Stones labeled D, E, as well as F all are “colorless,” while G and H, as well as I and J are all “near colorless.” K-, L-, and M-grade diamonds feature faint color.
N through Z stones have very detectable color, and so many dealers do not even deal with them due to lack of demand. If you find these stones in a retailer, only consider them if they are extremely cheap, as they should be!
Your intended setting of the stone matters greatly in deciding between colorless or near colorless diamonds. Since D through F stones are purely colorless, mounting them in or on yellow gold would actually betray their clarity and waste the diamond. Such stones should only go in platinum or white gold settings.
On the other hand, K through M stones are fine in a gold setting because they are already slightly yellow. A select few individuals find the yellow to be too much, but most people think they are still beautiful, so it’s a judgement call. However, a K diamond with a slightly noticeable tint can be had for around half the price you’d pay for a G stone!
Remember the mention of a sweet spot in pricing? It’s usually in the G, H, I, and J range. These stones technically have a little color, but usually only gemologists can tell for sure. Expect prices to drop from 10 to 20 percent every letter grade you go down, and with the abundance of I and J stones in the marketplace, these are often the best overall value. A diamond in this range, properly set, might look like a D-grade stone but only be half the price!
If you want to make the most out of your purchase, prioritize the cut over the color and keep the mounting always in mind. A great rule of thumb is that G or H stones are good choices for anything 1 carat or greater, and I or J diamonds are awesome selections for anything smaller.
Buying with James Allen
Also keep in mind that the cut of the diamond impacts how much color it actually reflects. Lower color grade diamonds, like the K range, can still reflect a lot of sparkle and shine if they have a round cut instead of a step cut. This can be a way to get a larger carat stone at a discount.
We actually found that James Allen might currently be considered one of the best diamond sellers because you can actually really see all diamonds in full HD videos in 360°. It basically looks like this:
Just be sure to read about other peoples’ experiences with James Allen. This way you can avoid the most common mistakes! My Diamond Ring Journey is a diamond blog that is dedicated to dealing with all kinds of questions related to diamond buying. Diamonds are a minefield especially for newbies so that it is always good to have someone around who has gone the path before you! When reading James Allen reviews you will quickly see whether diamond shopping online is something for you or not!
Choosing the right color of diamond is essential because stones are usually used for pieces of jewelry designed to last a lifetime. In cases like wedding rings, this is a truly momentous decision to get right. Also, color is increasingly important as you look for larger carat stones, as more light is passed or reflected. Now that you have read this article, you should be able to use a store’s diamond color guide to guide you through their selections and make the choice that is right for your situation, intentions, and budget.