I very often get asked which diamond color gets you the best value. It is no secret that the diamond color is one of the 4Cs where it can really pay off to go for a lower grade. The diamond might still look icy white but you are paying way less than you would for a completely colorless diamond.
(Pictures are courtesy of James Allen)
But how low can you go in diamond color with the diamond still looking great? The answer is: It depends! It depends on the diamond shape and which ring metal you want to use for the ring setting.
So let us have a closer look at the issue to determine which diamond color offers the best value. I will also show you actual diamond pictures so that you can be sure that I am not telling you any BS
The Best Value Color Grade for Round Cut Diamonds
The most popular color grade for round cut diamonds is the G color which is very closely followed by the H color. Above you could see a D colored diamond on the left and a G colored diamond on the right. Could you see the difference?
Right, the difference is hardly noticeable!
To be fair though the diamond color is always evaluated in the face down position by diamond graders because a diamond in this position is most prone to showing its body color. So let’s have another look at the two diamonds from above in the face down position:
Now a difference between these two diamonds becomes noticeable!
What you have to bear in mind though is the following: Both diamonds are not set onto a ring setting. A diamond that is set onto a ring setting usually sponges up some of the color of the ring metal. This means that the difference between both diamonds would become much less noticeable.
And I am going to prove that to you. Below you can see a D colored diamond on a white gold ring (left side) and a G colored diamond (right side). They both are 0.5ct in weight:
A difference in diamond color in both rings is visible. That is only the case though because you are looking at two highly magnified images and comparing them directly to each other.
If you click at the ring setting with the G colored diamond you will be able to view it from all angles. This will make you see that the G colored diamond looks perfectly fine on its own. A G colored diamond will give you tremendous value for your money and it will look icy white in every case. Only if you hold a D colored diamond ring directly next to the G colored ring will you realize that the G colored diamond is not as white as humanly possible. This won’t happen in every day life though so save your dollars!
But does the G Color really provide the Most Value?
It seems obvious that the colorless group (D to F color) will not provide the most value for your diamond. It also seems obvious that the faint color group (beginning from K onwards) is not a good choice either. We are thus left with the near colorless group that ranges from G to J.
The G color grade provides very good value but let us have a look and see whether we can get even more value. Let us therefore compare a G color to an H color and an I color. Below we have a G-, an H- and an I-Color diamond from left to right:
If you take a moment to click on each ring to view it from all sides you will see that the H- or I-color provide the best value. I think that a round H colored diamond will always look great and just as icy white as you want a diamond to look like. An I-color will virtually always be just as fine. If you want to be more careful though an H colored diamond will be your ideal choice.
As far as J colored diamonds are concerned I think that this is where the “slightly risky” area begins and this is why I do not want to recommend it as a best value diamond color anymore in such a case.
Of course, the final decision will be up to you. Just remember that it is not necessary to go for a G color and that an H- or I-color might give you more value for your money.
How to make sure you are getting maximum value for your diamond?
If you know what you know now you are in a great position to make a terrific deal!
At the same time though you should make sure to never buy a diamond blindly. There is tremendous power in being able to view a diamond in 20x magnification in 360° videos. This will give you the absolute edge in picking a diamond color and clarity grade that will give you the humanly best cost/performance ratio!
This is exactly what James Allen has to offer. In my opinion it is currently one of the best choices to shop for a diamond ring. Go and browse through more than 30.000 diamonds and see for yourself what I mean:
The bottomline is: Always make sure to look very closely at the diamond you want to buy!
What’s the Best Value Diamond Color for all other situations?
Now, that we have come to the conclusion that H-colored or I-colored diamonds will provide the most value we have to bear one thing in mind: It only applies to round cut diamonds on white gold or platinum rings!
The situation may be quite different however if you go for another diamond shape or another ring metal. This is why I have written separate posts on the best diamond colors for white gold rings, platinum rings, rose gold rings and yellow gold rings. Check out the post that you are interested in to see which diamond color I recommend in any of these situations to get the biggest bang for your buck:
As a final word I would just like to mention that the diamond color along with the diamond clarity is one of the best places to save money on your diamond purchase. I would like you to take advantage of this knowledge and go for the color grade that will give you the best bang for your buck!