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Engagement Ring
Diamond Color Guide

Diamonds come in nearly all colors of the rainbow, with certain "fancy colored" stones commanding very high prices. Our discussion will focus on white diamonds, as such stones are the most popular choice for engagement rings.

The color grade of a diamond is a measure of the absence (or presence) of color in it. The diamond color scale begins at the letter "D," with stones that are absolutely colorless (and very rare). As the scale moves down the alphabet, the "whiteness" (or "colorlessness") of the diamond decreases. E and F are colorless; only the most minute traces of color can be detected by a gemologist, when examined loose and face down, under magnification. Expect to pay a steep premium for D, E and F stones.

G, H and I are near-colorless stones that still look colorless both to the naked eye, and face up under magnification. These are the whitest stones readily available in the engagement ring market; G and H in particular are considered excellent values, as they look white and colorless without the D-E-F price.

A J-colored diamond shows a faint yellow tint, which becomes more noticeable as you continue through K, L and the rest of the alphabet. This is the range where an untrained eye can detect the presence of color in a diamond.

The issue of color takes on a different hue when speaking of antique diamonds. Jewelry wearers of yesteryear did not necessarily share the modern preference for white diamonds; in fact, many favored diamonds that reflected a multitude of colors (yellow, pink, etc.). You'll find many white antique diamonds; however, don't be surprised to see some Old Mine and Old European Cuts with a champagne tint. Keep in mind that these were considered every bit as beautiful in their day. Many vintage jewelry afficianados seek out these stones for their warmer, romantic, antique look!

Our top pick: G-H color

Our next article is about Cut >>


Other Articles:
Diamond Carat
Diamond Clarity
Diamond Cut
Antique Diamonds
Asscher Cut Diamonds
Jewelry Metals
Engagement Ring Styles
Celebrity Engagement Rings
History of Engagement Rings
Antique Engagement Rings Gallery
Proposal Guide
Proposing on a Grand Scale
Buying an Engagement Ring on a Budget
How to Clean and Care for Your Engagement Ring