Yes—in a perfect world, it would be so awesome to buy a diamond in the colorless range (D, E, F). It just doesn’t get any better than that, and I’m sure we can both agree that your significant other deserves only the absolute best. However, here’s the reality of it. A diamond in the colorless range, in comparison to a diamond in the near-colorless range (G, H, I, J), can cost significantly more! Let’s back up for a second. There are a bunch of factors to consider when purchasing a diamond, and it really helps to prioritize your needs (and wants). Color is definitely an important factor; however, it isn’t absolutely necessary to be at the top of the scale, especially from a visual point of view.
When comparing the color grades of several diamonds side by side, the diamonds usually have to differ by two color grades or more in order to actually see a visual difference. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to tell them apart. On another note, color differences are quite subtle when compared to side by side from a top point of view. Generally, gemologists grade for color by turning the diamonds on their back and comparing them against a white piece of paper—that portrays the color (if any) way more obviously.
If color is truly a priority of yours, that’s great, but if there’s a budget, that might mean giving in somewhere else, such as the carat weight of the diamond. Definitely be open to exploring different color grade options, and then determine what color range works best for you. In my personal experience, the most popular diamond color grades are F, G, H, & I.
When is it ok to give in on color? If you (or your significant other) have a strong preference for yellow gold, that actually gives you the flexibility to compromise on color. If you think about it, a yellow gold ring already has a yellow foundation to it. A diamond with a slight yellow tinge would perfectly blend against the yellow gold, portraying no obvious difference at all. On the other hand, if you go with platinum or white gold, the difference of the white metal against the slightly yellow diamond would definitely be more obvious.
Fun fact: Color can actually vary depending on the diamond shape you’re going with. For example, if you compare a ‘J’ color round diamond versus a ‘J’ color oval diamond, the oval shaped diamond will actually portray a bit more visible yellow than the round. The reason for that is because the oval is a more elongated shape. Rule of thumb—elongated shapes (oval, pear, marquise) portray a bit more visible color than non-elongated shapes (round, cushion). With that being said, definitely be cautious of color in regard to what diamond shape you’re going for.