4Cs - Color

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Everything You Need to Know About Diamond Color

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Diamonds are graded on a scale that goes from “colorless” to “light yellow or brown.” But colorless diamonds aren’t necessarily the best - even if “colorless” is the best grade available. Why? Many colored diamonds appear colorless, especially when set in rose or yellow gold. Choosing them can mean saving lots of money. The trick is knowing when to go for tinted diamonds - and when to avoid them.

What does color mean in a diamond?

Diamond colors range from “strongly tinted” to “100% transparent” or colorless.

  • Colorless diamonds are considered best.
  • Nearly colorless diamonds follow close behind and are also considered high quality.
  • Colored diamonds have a strong tint, usually yellow, and are less popular for this reason.

    Color is graded on a scale from D, which is colorless, all the way down to Z, which is yellow -brown. The closer to colorless a diamond is, the more valuable it is The scale covers a wide range of hues from colorless to yellowish. The closer a diamond's grade is to D (colorless), the more valuable it is.

    It’s clear to see; D to I is for me

    D color grade stones are considered the most perfect - they're the “best” diamond color for because they have no color. But you don't necessarily need a D grade diamond for a beautiful ring.

    E and F grade diamonds are also colorless - and a lot more affordable than their D counterparts. Even diamond experts have a hard time making the distinction between D, E and F. If you choose an E- or F-grade diamond, you'll still get a super clear, bright diamond at a more affordable price.

    Moving on to the first 2 “near colorless” grades (G and H), which look colorless most of the time: The average person can't tell a colorless D diamond apart from an H diamond. Even professionals might need magnification to distinguish between a 'G' or an 'H' from a 'D.

    I and J diamonds have a little more tint to them. This tint is visible with step-cut shapes, like the Asscher and emerald. It’s also visible with elongated shapes like the oval or elongated cushion.

    G diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings. They look colorless, even in white gold, and are a perfect substitute for pricey D diamonds.

    H and I diamonds are mostly on par with G-grade stones. We recommend setting such diamonds on yellow or rose gold, because setting them on white gold may result in the diamond hue being more apparent. Yellow or rose gold can hide the coloration of an H or I diamond, making it appear colorless.

    J diamonds vary. Some will look colorless set against yellow or rose gold. Others will have a visible tint at all times. It is entirely subjective whether you like the slight tint of a J diamond or not. The best way to figure out your impression of J-grade diamonds is to use our 3D preview tool to see how such a diamond appears in real life.

    Setting yourself up for success

    Shopping for diamonds? Here’s how you can save money on color:

    • Go for a color in the F-H range, setting it in rose or yellow gold to mask its warm tones.
    • Get a brilliant cut, like the round brilliant; the oval; the marquise. The sparkle these stones produce hides slight coloration.
    • Invest heavily in cut. A well-cut diamond will have more sparkle than a poorly cut one, hiding some coloration.

      Here’s when you should not save money on color:

    • You’re buying a low-sparkle, step-cut shape like the Asscher, the emerald, etc.
    • You’re using a white gold or platinum setting.
    • You’re going for a diamond bigger than 2 carats.
      • You’re using a white gold or platinum setting.

        If these apply, “G” and above-grade diamonds will look best.

        What Diamond color should I choose?

        2.66 carat H-VS2 Radiant cut Diamond

        For low-sparkle stones like the Asscher and Emerald, G and above will look colorless. H and I will look good but have some tint. For high-sparkle stones-which most stones are-H and above look to be about colorless, and I looks good in rose and yellow gold

        We suggest AGAINST going with high-color grade diamonds (in the D-E range) as it’s better to invest in cut and size. Buying quality G or H diamonds helps you maximize your budget and have a beautiful, shiny diamond on your finger.


        Diamonds exist in a range of color hues, from completely colorless to yellow- or brown-tinted. Color grades in the 'G', 'H', and 'I' range look great in the right diamond shape and setting material. Keyzar offers natural and lab grown diamonds in both colorless and nearly colorless grades. You can preview all our stones in 3D, which makes it easy to pick the degree of tint that you prefer.

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