If you have started your shopping experience in a local jewelry store, I’m sure you think you need an F-G color diamond or maybe an H, depending on what their inventory looked like. Not to knock the jewelry store model but, it’s not quite up to scale with the true, ideal cuts that are produced with some of the online diamond vendors.
Most jewelry stores will stock higher colored diamonds as the cut isn’t ideal. Therefore, the higher colors will always give the diamond more of a fighting chance. With the online vendors (Desired Dealers) I work with, they offer the most ideal cuts possible. With an ideal cut, comes more light return and higher optical symmetry, for a brighter, whiter diamond. When a diamonds angles are working together and returning the most light, color is not as important of a factor as it will be on a poorly cut diamond.
I personally wear a J colored diamond and I’m super sensitive to the aspect of diamond color. My eye picks up color over clarity. The cut of my diamond is an AGS 000 ideal cut, with amazing symmetry and fluorescence (article coming soon on fluorescence).
Color grade is important and honestly, it’s really about your personal preference. Some people really like the ideal of clean and white. Therefore, they purchase the higher color/clarity combinations. Some people prefer a little more size and a slightly lower color grade. I would safely recommend ideal cut (true ideal cuts), round diamonds in the range of G-J, even some K colored diamonds. Depending on the metal you will be placing the diamond in. With a white metal, I would say no lower than a J. The K and even L colored ideal cuts are stunning in the yellow or rose colored metals.
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Resource and Photo Credits: https://www.americangemsociety.org/page/4cs