Diamond Color: 10 Essential Tips BEFORE Buying

Sun, Jun 09, 2024

While diamond color is straightforward to understand, gauging the subtle differences between the color grades, strictness of the grading and what's right for you and the piece of jewelry the diamond is to be set in, can be tricky. These 10 essential tips will help you make choose quality you can see in real life, not just on paper.


  1. Understand the Color Scale

    Familiarize yourself with the GIA diamond color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow/brown). View the differences in real life, as the difference between a G and a D color can be minimal outside store or lab lighting. Decide if the extra budget for a D color is worth it or if you should invest in higher carat, clarity, or cut.

  2. Prioritize Higher Grades for White Metals

    For white gold or platinum, choose diamonds no lower than H-I grade for optimal appearance.

  3. Maximize Value with G-H Grades

    Near-colorless diamonds (G-H) offer excellent value and appear colorless in most settings, making them a smart investment.

  4. Metal Matters

    In yellow or rose gold settings, J-K grade diamonds can appear just as white, providing a cost-effective option.

  5. Consider Diamond Shape

    Shapes like oval or marquise can show more color, so select higher grades for these cuts to ensure a white appearance.

  6. Check Carat Size 

    Larger diamonds reveal color more easily. For bigger stones, opt for higher color grades to maintain a colorless look.

  7. Certification Counts

    If your diamond is GIA-certified, bear in mind that the grading will be as strict as it comes. Smaller labs may grade color 1-2 grades lower, so make sure you're comparing 'apples with apples'.

  8. Match Accent Diamonds

    Ensure smaller diamonds match the center stone’s color grade to avoid any noticeable contrast.

  9. Fluorescence Can Be Your Friend

    Blue fluorescence can make a diamond appear whiter, but be cautious of fluorescence that affects brilliance negatively; avoid those diamonds.

  10. Consult an Expert

    Seek advice to balance color with clarity and cut, ensuring the most brilliant and beautiful diamond within your chosen carat and price range. The experience of viewing thousands of diamonds in real is invaluable and will help you make an educated decision.

June 09, 2024 — Daniel Setton



Daniel is a co-founder of Shiree Odiz, where he focuses on e-commerce, marketing, and diamond selection. With over 17 years of experience, Daniel approaches diamond buying holistically, balancing the technical specs, overall jewelry aesthetic and practical needs of the customer, a perspective that sets him apart from traditional gemologists.