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H color diamonds provide an appetizing appearance and come with a lower price tag than diamonds in the “colorless” range. Not just a pretty face, they are definitely worthy of consideration for an engagement ring or other exquisite jewelry.
Diamonds in the upper half of the near-colorless range (GHIJ) offer undeniable value; they have that desirable icy excellence, all without the price tag that accompanies colorless diamonds (DEF). That’s not to say that a well cut H color diamond can’t hold its own.
For ease, I’ve detailed everything you need to know about H color diamonds, from exactly how they compare to other diamond colors on the scale to how to unlock its ultimate potential.
What Is an H Color Diamond and How Does It Compare?
First it should be noted that whenever I delve into the relative benefits of different diamond colors, I assume we are talking about laboratory graded diamonds. This means they are accompanied by a report that details cut quality, clarity, carat weight and color - from a respected laboratory such as the GIA and AGS laboratories, no doubt.
Reputable labs grade diamonds for color using a scale from D to Z. Since diamond colors are very small ranges in the spectrum of light to dark, it is essential for diamond color grading to be done by ethical experts under controlled and repeatable conditions, with a full set of carefully selected and verified master stones.
The highest grade on the scale is a D, which indicates that a diamond is as colorless as naturally possible, making D color stones both exceptionally beautiful and remarkably rare. However, this enchantress does come with a premium - and rightly so.
Majority of diamonds have a faint yellow tint, it is just nature’s way. The top three colors D, E, and F are considered colorless, however. H, on the other hand, sits squarely in the near-colorless range, which also includes their siblings G, I and J. Admittedly, most people are not sensitive to color at this level and it would even give the most experienced experts a challenge.
Fancy yourself a diamond connoisseur? Take a look at this H color diamond from Whiteflash;
Take this E color from James Allen:
Or this D color from Blue Nile:
I’ll let you decide for yourself if you are able to spot the variation between that and a higher grade. I’ll be honest here, it is extremely difficult for an untrained eye to pick up subtle differences between adjacent color grades and above. Especially when the cut is immaculate.
Diamonds with higher levels of yellow and brown, as well as colors other than yellow or brown are categorized as fancy colored diamonds and graded using a different scale.
Are H Color Diamonds Good Value?
The excellent color of an G color diamond is kinder to the bank account than most. Although H color diamonds are usually less expensive than their colorless cousins, they are more than I and J color diamonds.
For those buying, seemingly immaterial disparities in color and clarity grades result in huge differences in price. It’s often the case that these differences have little or no effect on the diamond’s overall visual appearance. I would note that a small amount of body color becomes a little more perceptible (to people with excellent color acuity) the larger they are.
Diamond cut quality plays a more important role in determining diamond brilliance, fire and scintillation. These are what you need to focus on if you are seeking that sparkle and shine.
Will your beloved, or anybody else for that matter, be able to tell that your diamond is a H color when set in an engagement ring? Honestly, probably not. If you want to achieve as close to colorless as possible, I’d recommend that you set your diamonds in a white metal, like platinum.
A color H diamond will be near colorless, regardless of its shape, and you can thank its atomic makeup for that. Nevertheless, any diamond can be enhanced by a carefully chosen cut. We’d recommend round or princess.
This not only results in more diamond sparkle but it also makes the diamond look larger and icier as well. So an ideal cut H color diamond can essentially look like a G color in face up view, while achieving intense fire and brilliance.
If you have it all figured out that your budget permits you to go no higher than the near colorless range, a diamond graded H is close enough to colorless, but certainly kinder on the bank account.
When saving on the diamond color, I will implore you to make sure all other aspects of your diamond’s quality are investment grade. If you desire an almost colorless diamond, a H color diamond might just be a match made in heaven.
What Amplifies H Color Diamonds?
As mentioned above, color is truly a huge misconception when buying a diamond. Cut quality undeniably has the most weight on the overall beauty, that is where we see how a diamond looks when placed upon the daintiest of fingers.
If you have already set your budget for an engagement ring and find that a dreamy H color fits the bill, without having to also sacrifice a diamond’s cut quality or carat weight - then that is your prerogative.
Although when moving further down the diamond scale, the band and setting becomes all the more important too. Any yellow or rose gold setting will make your stone look slightly yellow, so when investing in an H color grade, complement its near-colorless hue with white metal.
For sensible shoppers, H color diamonds are almost indistinguishable to higher color diamonds. This means you can save money by making savvier buying decisions and continue to extend your diamond collection sooner.
Stepping down to the H color grade could save you a modest amount of money, and there is no shame in that - we all want the best diamond for our buck. As expressed, you need to ensure your diamonds are not just colorless but also expertly cut by a talented jeweler. Whether it is worth it or not is something only you can decide.
So, if a near colorless diamond is what you desire, I implore you to take a look at my reviews to make that decision for yourself.