A diamond can be a means to express your plans in the future with someone. It has been a favorite pick for engagement and wedding rings over the years, and its demand keeps the price at an all-time high. Thus, the term ‘expensive’ is commonly attached to this precious stone.
With a wide array of options, a first-time buyer may get confused about what to check first. The good thing is you can always start somewhere basic, and the most recommended by jewelers are those with color H grades. It is neither the most expensive nor the most translucent, but it offers an irresistible fire and brilliance.
If you are looking for diamonds with great value for money, those pieces falling on the color H category are your answers.
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The Basic Things You Must Know About H Color Diamonds
Most diamonds sold in brick-and-mortar stores and online shops have a GIA certification. It means that the stone has undergone the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to identify its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight qualities.
Diamonds can vary from having an extreme yellow tint to an absence of color. Some even naturally grow with colors due to other elements, such as boron and copper. Thus, the stone’s value increases depending on the yellow pigments’ faintness or the diamond’s natural hue’s lucidity.
The most common diamonds you can find in the market are the colorless ones because most people are too fond of their sparkle and price. It has a descending color range, and it begins with color D down to color Z.
Color D diamonds have the most expensive per carat price because they do not have any faint colors. Alongside this colorless category are E and F grades. However, the supply in the colorless range is quite limited, making them more valuable.
The good thing is your options do not end in color F because there is also the near-colorless group to which colors G, H, I, and J belong. These color grades have slight yellow pigments that are more visible than the higher color category. However, the right cut and setting will make them look as elegant as colorless diamonds.
Even an average person cannot identify their color difference face-up. You may only notice their distinction if you shift the angle to the diamond’s side or ask an expert to examine them.
If you hop from one diamond guide to another, most of them would suggest that you choose a color H diamond for any shape. Since it is difficult to spot the difference between near-colorless diamonds from colorless ones, settling for an item with a lesser price is a logical decision.
Color H diamond’s value is 40% lower than color D. Most popular shapes, like round and princess-cut, do not retain colors well. Thus, going for a colorless piece becomes unreasonable since color H diamonds can already satisfy the shimmer you are looking for in diamonds.
Color H vs. Color D and Color K
A visual representation will help you understand our point better. In this section, we shall compare the color H diamond to the other grades to identify their difference, if there are any.
The common misconception of people is that near-colorless diamond’s pigments are more detectable than colorless ones. While the fact remains that color H is only the second-highest in the near-colorless grade, it does not automatically mean that its tint is more visible than color D.
Can you spot which of the following is a colorless and a near-colorless diamond?
Above is an image of a color H diamond on the left and a color D diamond beside it. These are from Blue Nile’s best-selling princess-cut collection, and both have a clarity rating of VS2 and a Very Good cut.
Some of you may have been correct in identifying them because of the slight yellow pigments on the left photo. These have been magnified up to 20x and exposed to a special light by the shop so that you can closely scrutinize the items.
Once you place it under natural light and without magnification, their differences become unnoticeable. Some people who do not have any background in diamonds will find it hard to distinguish the two.
Here is another pair of Blue Nile princess-cut diamonds with the same clarity and cut grades. Only this time, the item on the left has a color K rating. As you can notice, color K has more visible yellow pigments than color H, making it less valuable than the latter. Moreover, its facets look less appealing and quite hazy.
Color H diamonds have the greatest number of selections in the market. Most ready-made engagement ring frames recommend G to H stones because they have the best value without compromising the ring’s elegant beauty.
Mounting a color H diamond on a white metal band will make it appear whiter than it looks like this cushion-cut engagement ring with a solitaire setting from Blue Nile.
The Best Cuts for H Color Diamonds
The 4Cs in a diamond are color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Each contributes to the stone’s valuation, but the cut has a major contribution in picking a diamond’s color. With a wide variety of diamonds, you may get overwhelmed with what shape to pick.
However, if you are eyeing a specifically compatible cut with a color H diamond, there are three that stand out from the rest. Apart from their popularity, they also influence a diamond’s per-carat price. Let us get to know them better.
#1. Round-Shaped Diamonds
If diamonds are celebrities, the round-cut diamonds are like Audrey Hepburn: beautiful, classic, legendary. You will never find a jewelry shop that does not offer this cut. It even has a 50% share of all the diamond varieties in the market. Why is it a crowd favorite?
Apart from being a symbol of eternal commitment, a round-cut diamond has 58 facets, which qualifies it as a brilliant-cut stone. Perfecting its symmetry is the least difficult for the gem cutters because it has been immemorial. One thing that makes this stone appealing to many is its ability to appear better, even if its clarity and color grades do not fall to the highest categories.
Its facets allow light to pass through each of its spots, producing a sparkling illumination. Thus, settling with a near-colorless diamond for this shape is the most rational thing to do to save you from spending more. You can pair it with white gold and platinum bands to ensure its icy-white look.
The good thing about round diamonds is that they are versatile. You can choose any frames to set with your diamond, such as halo, solitaire, bezel, and pave.
Here is an excellent example of a round diamond with a color H grade from James Allen.
#2. Princess-Cut Diamonds
Princess-cut has a fancier appearance than the previous item. It has a square-shaped table and a pyramid-looking body. This piece is another favorite item for engagement rings because it is known for having the most brilliance among all diamond varieties. 23% of the diamond customers search for this cut.
Diamond cutters also love it because structuring it is way easier than others, like emerald-cut and Asscher. It also has a reputation for having a less expensive price than the round ones because it is directly yielded from rough and raw stones.
Like round diamonds, princess-cut is also excellent in chopping the light and concealing its natural color. However, you must be extra careful with this piece because its light return is not as superior as round ones. Choosing a color H grade is the safest decision to ensure that you get the most brilliant item for a less expensive price.
Moreover, inclusions are quite visible in this cut, too. Thus, you must choose an item with a higher clarity rating like this piece from Blue Nile.
#3. Cushion-Cut Diamonds
If you want a more modern and unconventional engagement ring, you might get interested in this pillow-like diamond. It has the same quadrangular shape as princess-cut, but it has curved corners. Some of its stones look more rectangular than square.
Its popularity is increasing these days because it has a less expensive price than the first two pieces we mentioned. Besides, it has a modern flair that women would love, especially if they are fond of being unique. The round edges also add to its durability, making it less prone to damages.
Unlike the round and princess-cut diamonds, this piece retains color better. Thus, it is best to go for a higher color grade. You might want to pick a colorless stone but settling with color H is enough for its optimum brilliance. It also has a more open table that reveals imperfections, so you better have a VS1 or VS2 clarity rating for this cut.
James Allen is home to the best cushion-cut diamonds globally, and its best-selling item has a color H grade.
Overall, color H is compatible with the most popular diamond cuts. If you are looking for a loose diamond that appears white and colorless without spending too much, color H pieces are your best buddy. The three cuts highlighted in this article are considered as the most brilliant cuts. Thus, picking an item with a near-colorless grade is enough for the best value.
Pros and Cons of Color H Diamonds
By now, you already have an idea as to why color H diamonds are better than others. Since our goal is to help you weigh which diamond you should buy based on color quality, we shall lay the pros and cons of choosing a piece with a color H rating.
#1. Fair Price
What makes color H diamonds the fairest one is their value for money. In recent times, most customers are looking for diamonds that are not too expensive but still looks eye-clean. By choosing a stone falling to the color H category, you save at least 40% of what you can spend in colors D, E, and F.
While color H still has some pigments, they are less visible from an average person’s perspective. Besides, most diamonds in engagement rings only weigh around 1.00-carat, making tints less detectable. If you pair it with the right setting, you will have a ring that looks as stunning as colorless ones.
#2. Wide Collection
Whether you are looking for a traditional or an unconventional diamond, all varieties will always have a color H contender. Many prefer near-colorless diamonds because of the per-carat price tag attached to them. That is why most jewelry shops ensure a prolific catalog of colors G, H, I, and J.
They come in various shapes and clarity grades so that you will never run out of choices. Colorless diamonds have lower supplies due to the rarity of these pieces, making them more expensive.
#3. Compatible With Any Metal Bands
If your goal is to buy a diamond for an engagement ring, your journey does not stop once you have decided which stone would suit your partner best. The next stressful step is finding the right metal band and setting for the diamond.
The best thing about color H pieces is that it complements well with any band colors. You can pair it with yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum without any problem. However, you might notice that the diamond will look warmer when paired with yellow gold metal. Nevertheless, it still maintains its eye-clean polish and sparkling brilliance.
No one is born a diamond enthusiast. Most men and women feel anxious about picking the wrong item for their loved ones. If it is your first time looking for a diamond ring, you should begin your shopping experience with the safest items.
We highly suggest color H diamonds to beginners because you will never go wrong with them, no matter what shape and clarity rating you would get. They will still shine as much as other diamonds with better qualities. It is available in various forms, and it does not demand an unbelievable per carat price.
Color H variants are not picture-perfect items. They also have certain disadvantages that we will not miss to disclose. In the end, customers should know what they are getting into when buying a diamond.
#1. Existence of a Faint Yellow Color
Color H diamonds are called ‘near-colorless’ for a reason, and that is because they are not free from yellow pigments. Color J has a stronger tint than color H, while color G has a lighter shade.
Thus, you must not be surprised if you will see some yellowish features when checking on a diamond falling into this category.
If you want an item with premium quality and not too expensive, you can go for cuts that do not retain color well and have a color H grade. They look colorless from afar unless you use a special light from a diamond lab to check its pigments.
#2. Not Good for Investments
You might need to think twice when buying a color H piece for people if you see diamonds as good investments. The colorless group is the best addition to your properties because they are rare and have higher selling points.
Since a precious stone’s value increases over time, you will get more kickback from D, E, and F than color H.
The Verdict: Is It Worth Your Money?
Whether you need a diamond as an engagement ring, wedding ring, or fashion accessory, you will always want to have the best there is in the market. Since you have many choices, feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to pick is a normal scenario.
In this article, we made a comprehensive review of color H diamonds. Among all the letters in the color scale, H has the best value for money. It has a balance of white diamond quality and price affordability. Let us admit it, not all people can afford expensive and luxurious pieces, but it does not mean you can never find one that will suit your budget.
Color H diamonds are worthy of every penny you will spend because you can save more without compromising your expectations about diamonds. If you want to see how beautiful a color H diamond on a ring, here is a best-selling engagement ring from Blue Nile.