How Important Is Diamond Color?

Diamond color is one of the 4Cs that should be considered when shopping for the right stone to meet your needs. Along with cut, clarity and carat weight, color is a main factor in a diamond’s overall quality – and thus its value.

When it comes to the idea of ‘trade-offs’ between the 4Cs, however, it can start to get subjective. You want to find the best diamond to suit your budget, and it can be hard to know which elements are the most important. Is it best to find a diamond that’s as large as possible? What if it has a noticeable crack? What about any yellow tones in an otherwise white diamond? Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding how important a high-quality color grade is to you.

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Try to consider each of the 4Cs independently, and decide a minimum grading for each that will fit your budget. Even if you have the most colorless diamond possible, it won’t mask a poor cut grade or visibly flawed diamond. Rather than allocating the majority of your budget towards one of the 4Cs, look for a diamond that is well rounded in its quality.

Larger diamonds are likely to display color more visibly than smaller diamonds. If you are browsing 1.00ct diamonds or smaller, the difference between two adjacent color grades will be extremely subtle.

Diamond color is graded by comparing the stone’s hue with others. If you are concerned about any yellow tones, opting for a solitaire setting will minimize their impact. If there are not noticeably whiter diamonds to compare with the center stone, these secondary colors are less likely to be visible.

Color grading is also done with the diamond facing downwards, with the gemologist looking through the diamond’s pavilion. When a diamond is set in a ring, the top surface is its table – facing the opposite way up. When viewed through the table, diamonds of different color grades may not be so easy to discern.


Investing in a more expensive color grade is not as important if you are considering yellow and rose gold settings. The warm color of these precious metals can help to neutralize the secondary yellow tones in diamonds with lower color grades. That said, Near Colorless diamonds (between grades G and J) can still look white and stunning in platinum or white gold rings.

Previewing your engagement ring at a local jeweler before you buy, can assuage any concerns you may have about visible color in the stone. Ritani works with hundreds of jewelers across the US so that you can design the perfect custom ring online, then see it in person at no cost. You only buy the ring or loose diamond if you love it.