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What You Should Look For In Diamond Color

Wednesday, June 29th

What You Should Look for in Diamond Color

Purchasing a diamond is a big commitment. While you don't have to be an expert on the stones themselves, it's important to have a solid understanding of what qualities to look for. Clarity and cut are important, yes, but you also need to know about the different colors diamonds come in and how they fall on the diamond color grading scale.

Unless you want a diamond with a hint of yellow or some other color, you're going to want one that is as clear or white as possible. A diamond's color is determined while examined face-down under controlled lighting conditions. The color that's revealed during this examination is compared to a "master stone" to give the examiner a basis for the color grade.

Color Grading

The color grading system was developed by the Gemological Institute of America or GIA and ranges from D to Z. a "D" rating is the whitest while Z is for the brownest of stones.

Let's take a look at the grading scale a bit more closely so you'll know what your jeweler is talking about when you go to a store to make a purchase:

  • D is a completely white or colorless diamond. This is the highest grade available.
  • E-F is colorless as well. There is some color present but it's difficult to see with the naked eye. They are still very valuable.
  • G-H diamonds are almost colorless but not quite. You wouldn't be able to tell they have any color if you were to look at them on their own, but held up next to a master stone, a faint hint of color is discernible.
  • I-J diamonds are nearly colorless. You can see some coloring when the diamond is unmounted but once it's in a setting, it'd be very hard to see. Most diamonds used in jewelry have this grade.
  • K-M diamonds have a faint yellow tinge. You can see this color with the naked eye, but that doesn't affect the clarity. These diamonds are less expensive but they can still be lovely.
  • N-Z diamonds are on a sliding scale of very light to light yellow. These are inexpensive and not a good value. As I stated earlier, unless you want a diamond with a hint of color, you should avoid these altogether.

Now that you know the color grading scale, you can start asking yourself what you should look for in diamond color. That is, you can start browsing for a diamond to see what meets your preferences and budget. Ask to see several diamonds all lined up together of the different color grades so you can actually see the difference for yourself. The difference between an I-J and an E-F may not be noticeable in a mounted diamond, but you'll definitely notice a difference in the price tag.

Ultimately, you want a diamond that looks as colorless as possible with a high level of clarity. Remember: an informed buyer is a smart buyer. Good luck!

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Jewelry Store FAQ

You can get any jewelry you'd normally buy at a brick-and-mortar store. From watches and bracelets to custom-designed engagement rings, there's no limit to the selection you'll find when shopping online for your next piece of jewelry.
Why not? You've got the convenience of shopping anytime and from anywhere, the world's best inventory, and prices that rival what you'd get locally. Because many online jewelry stores don't have a retail presence, they save money on overhead and pass those savings along to the customer.
Some stores include free shipping - either on all orders or when you spend a minimum amount of money. Your package will likely be insured by the jeweler, so it should arrive just as safely as your other deliveries. (Just watch out for porch pirates!)
You'll usually be covered by a return policy ranging from 30-60 days. Many jewelers include a prepaid return label with your jewelry. Or, if you're buying online from a jeweler that has a location near you, you may be able to return it in-person for added peace of mind.
The sky is the limit. Whether you want an inexpensive pendant or a $20,000 diamond, you'll find it online.
Sometimes. Only a few specifically state that they'll cover lost gemstones within the first year, for example. You might want to consider a separate insurance policy if you're buying a more expensive piece of jewelry.
Yes, depending on the store you select. You'll usually see those options in a link at the bottom of the site, or on the individual product pages for each piece of jewelry you're considering (often near the price details).
Unfortunately, not all online jewelers are created equal. Some do a flawless job of delivering everything they promise and more - but others have left hundreds (if not thousands) of unhappy customers in their wake. But, it's easy to spot the jewelry stores that deserve your business: just look for an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and plenty of positive reviews from shoppers, and you'll know it's a trustworthy option for your jewelry purchase.

Compare Jewelry Stores

Select any 2 Jewelry Stores to compare them head to head

best-jewelry-stores
  • Blue Nile
  • James Allen
  • Reeds Jewelers
  • Zales
  • JTV
  • Ross-Simons
  • Silpada
  • Helzberg Diamonds
  • Super Jeweler
  • Welry
  • Kay
  • Jared
  • Diamonds USA
  • Szul
  • Jeulia
Blue Nile vs James Allen Blue Nile vs Reeds Jewelers Blue Nile vs Zales Blue Nile vs JTV Blue Nile vs Ross-Simons Blue Nile vs Silpada Blue Nile vs Helzberg Diamonds Blue Nile vs Super Jeweler Blue Nile vs Welry Blue Nile vs Kay Blue Nile vs Jared Blue Nile vs Diamonds USA Blue Nile vs Szul Blue Nile vs Jeulia James Allen vs Reeds Jewelers James Allen vs Zales James Allen vs JTV James Allen vs Ross-Simons James Allen vs Silpada James Allen vs Helzberg Diamonds James Allen vs Super Jeweler James Allen vs Welry James Allen vs Kay James Allen vs Jared James Allen vs Diamonds USA James Allen vs Szul James Allen vs Jeulia Reeds Jewelers vs Zales Reeds Jewelers vs JTV Reeds Jewelers vs Ross-Simons Reeds Jewelers vs Silpada Reeds Jewelers vs Helzberg Diamonds Reeds Jewelers vs Super Jeweler Reeds Jewelers vs Welry Reeds Jewelers vs Kay Reeds Jewelers vs Jared Reeds Jewelers vs Diamonds USA Reeds Jewelers vs Szul Reeds Jewelers vs Jeulia Zales vs JTV Zales vs Ross-Simons Zales vs Silpada Zales vs Helzberg Diamonds Zales vs Super Jeweler Zales vs Welry Zales vs Kay Zales vs Jared Zales vs Diamonds USA Zales vs Szul Zales vs Jeulia JTV vs Ross-Simons JTV vs Silpada JTV vs Helzberg Diamonds JTV vs Super Jeweler JTV vs Welry JTV vs Kay JTV vs Jared JTV vs Diamonds USA JTV vs Szul JTV vs Jeulia Ross-Simons vs Silpada Ross-Simons vs Helzberg Diamonds Ross-Simons vs Super Jeweler Ross-Simons vs Welry Ross-Simons vs Kay Ross-Simons vs Jared Ross-Simons vs Diamonds USA Ross-Simons vs Szul Ross-Simons vs Jeulia Silpada vs Helzberg Diamonds Silpada vs Super Jeweler Silpada vs Welry Silpada vs Kay Silpada vs Jared Silpada vs Diamonds USA Silpada vs Szul Silpada vs Jeulia Helzberg Diamonds vs Super Jeweler Helzberg Diamonds vs Welry Helzberg Diamonds vs Kay Helzberg Diamonds vs Jared Helzberg Diamonds vs Diamonds USA Helzberg Diamonds vs Szul Helzberg Diamonds vs Jeulia Super Jeweler vs Welry Super Jeweler vs Kay Super Jeweler vs Jared Super Jeweler vs Diamonds USA Super Jeweler vs Szul Super Jeweler vs Jeulia Welry vs Kay Welry vs Jared Welry vs Diamonds USA Welry vs Szul Welry vs Jeulia Kay vs Jared Kay vs Diamonds USA Kay vs Szul Kay vs Jeulia Jared vs Diamonds USA Jared vs Szul Jared vs Jeulia Diamonds USA vs Szul Diamonds USA vs Jeulia Szul vs Jeulia
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