What is a good diamond color?

Sun, Nov 19, 2023

If you wish to have some basic understanding of the color of a diamond, this guide is going to be of great help. Focussing exclusively on the color of the diamond, this guide will provide you with information right from how color grading happens to choosing the right diamond color.


What color are diamonds?

Though diamonds are usually thought of as sparkly white gemstones, you might be surprised to know that, they come in a variety of colors. We'll discuss fancy colored diamonds below, but for now, let's look at the white diamond scale.


White Diamond Color

From crystal clear, almost colorless to yellow and brown hues, diamonds are found in various colors, and based on these tints’ diamonds are categorized on a grading scale. The Gemological Institute of America or GIA has provided a color scale according to which the color of a diamond is measured. This color scale has specified five categories under which the diamonds are put. These five categories are:

  • Colorless — D, E, F.
  • Near Colorless — G, H, I, J.
  • Faint — K, L, M.
  • Very Light — N, O, P, Q, R.
  • Light — S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.


Diamond color grading chart - white diamond scale


As you can see, diamonds are graded on a scale of D (colorless) through Z (light color). All these diamonds in the diamond color chart from D-Z are considered white, though from K-Z we'll see increasing yellow intensity in the diamond.


How important is color in a diamond?

When buying diamond jewelry, it is good for you to know that ‘color’ is one of the most important aspects of a diamond. Besides the cut, clarity, and carat of a diamond, it is the color that determines its quality and also its price. No matter if you’re buying a diamond ring for your engagement, wedding, or any other special occasion, the color of the diamond is one aspect that you should not ignore.

That said, there's definitely room for cutting some corners and going for the rarest, most expensive and highest grade available.


What color diamond is the best?

Among all the diamonds that are found, the best ones are the colorless diamonds. This is because colorless diamonds reflect maximum natural color light back to the eye and so they are best to look at. The more colorless a diamond is, the more radiant, more valuable it is. Thus, a D color diamond is of the highest quality. It is the best grade that a diamond can get.

Colorless diamonds are rare and so, they are considered to be the most precious ones. Accordingly, they are priced the most.


Which diamond color should I choose?

This is something that depends on your personal preference. It also depends upon what type of jewelry you are planning to buy. If budget is not a constrain for you and you want to have the best of colorless diamonds, we suggest you to look for something in grade D and E. Though most expensive, diamonds belonging to this range are icy white and stunning. But in case, you want to have a colorless diamond and also save some money, you can go for an F grade diamond. This is our standard color quality range.

However, if you want to balance between look and budget, you can go for diamonds in the near colorless range, which is G, H, I, and J. When diamonds are well-cut, then both G and H colors appear colorless. Also, if you are buying a diamond that is less than 1 carat, you will not be able to find it much different from a technically colorless one. Further, if you wish to save even more money, you can check the lower grades.


What diamond color is good for yellow gold?

With white gold and platinum, you really want to stay in the H+ range, although in some cases and I or J grade can work, but you should consult an expert before going this route. However, when it comes to yellow gold or rose gold jewelry, you can comfortably go lower on the scale to I-J-K with very slight yellow or brown tints, and still have the appearance of a completely white diamond once it's set in the jewelry. The exception here is when there are side diamond accents - you'll need to ensure that all diamonds are matching color.


Can I grade a diamond just by looking?

No, unless you are an expert, you cannot grade a diamond’s color accurately just by looking at it face up. This is one reason why many people choose a lower color grade diamond when buying jewelry pieces. The best way to have an idea of the color of any diamond is to look through the side of the diamond. Usually, it is very difficult for our eyes to determine the color of the diamond without making a side by side comparison to another diamond.

Diamonds offer a wide variety to choose from. The color of the diamond is a major factor that kicks the value of the diamond. In this guide, we have tried to share all that you should know about the color of diamonds. We are sure that now you can make a much more intelligent decision when buying any diamond piece.


Fancy Colored Diamonds

What are colored diamonds?

Besides the white diamond pieces, there are some diamonds that have a distinct color such as blue, pink, red, or green. They are called fancy colored diamonds. Though colorless diamonds are believed to be the best, these true fancy colored diamonds are also valuable, sometimes even more than white diamonds. This is because these colored diamonds are rare. It is believed that only one in every 10,000 diamonds holds natural color. The more intense the diamond color is, the rarer it is and accordingly more valuable it is. These colored diamonds belong to a whole different spectrum and so they are graded on a separate color scale.


Which fancy color diamond is the most expensive?

All colored diamonds are valued, however, red diamonds are the rarest. Most of the red diamonds found all over the world are less than 1 carat in weight. The cost of a red diamond depends upon the strength of its color. The stronger is the reddish color, the higher is the cost of the diamond.

November 19, 2023 — 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.