What Is The Best Color For a Diamond?

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When shopping for a diamond, you might see or hear your jeweler talk about color. You might at first think they’re referring to colored diamonds, such as pink, yellow, or blue diamonds. These are known as “fancy” diamonds and are very rare and as such, very expensive.

The most common diamond, of course, for engagement rings and other jewelry, is the white diamond. What you might not realize is that even white diamonds have a bit of color. This is one of the key four C’s that determine a diamond’s quality and price.

Fancy Color Diamonds


Color is graded on a scale of D to Z, with D being as close to colorless as possible, and Z having a noticeable yellow tint and considered poor quality—unless that color is so vivid as to make it a “fancy” diamond.

Within that D to Z range, however, are many options for diamond color. So how do you know what is the best color for your new diamond?


The Diamond Color Scale

To determine which color is right for you, it’s important to learn about the diamond color scale so you know how diamonds are graded.


Grades D, E, and F are considered colorless, which means there is no color visible to the naked eye or when the stone is under magnification. The D grade is the highest that a diamond can receive on the color scale, but only a trained professional would be able to spot the difference between a D, E, and F diamond.


D color 1.38 carat Loose Emerald Diamond

Nearly Colorless

Grades G, H, I, and J are considered nearly colorless, which means they barely have any color at all. Any color that is found in these stones is not very noticeable to the naked eye. Diamonds that fall under this category are much more common than colorless diamonds, so they aren’t nearly as expensive.


H color 2.20 carat Loose Emerald Diamond


J color 1.50 carat Loose Emerald Diamond

Faint Tint

Grades K, L, and M are given to diamonds with a faint tint of color. The warm, slightly yellow tint is noticeable to the naked eye. Some people prefer this due to the price advantage.


M color 0.96 ct Loose Emerald Diamond

Very Light Tint/Light Tint

Diamonds that have been given a grade of N-Z have very noticeable yellow or brown coloring.

Other Diamond Color Considerations

Color is more noticeable in some diamonds than others. If you were to put two diamonds with the same color grade side by side, one may look more yellow or brown than the other. Why? There are a number of factors that can affect how much color is visible in your diamond, including the diamond’s:

  • Size
  • Cut
  • Setting

Color becomes more noticeable in larger diamonds, so it’s recommended that you choose a G-H color grade if the diamond is over one carat. If it’s under one carat, you can drop down to an I-J color grade.

Certain diamond cuts can also affect how much color is visible in your diamond. Diamonds with more facets reflect more light and are therefore able to hide color. If you choose a round or princess cut, you don’t have to go as high on the color scale as you would with an emerald or Asscher cut.

Finally, the setting that you choose can also impact how much color is visible. A yellow or rose gold setting will hide a faint yellow tint in a diamond. In fact, G-J diamonds will appear mostly colorless against a gold setting. However, if you choose a white gold or platinum setting, it’s best to stay in the colorless or near colorless range.



Remember, the best color for a diamond is the one that appeals to you. Keep these tips in mind when you shop and you will be sure to find the diamond of your dreams!

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