Engagement rings and other diamond jewelry are some of the most gorgeous and special accessories people wear but they are also quite tricky to choose and purchase. That’s partly because of their often steep prices and also because of the countless different options, styles, qualities, settings, and other factors to choose from.
Diamond color, for example, is something that often confuses buyers, which is why we’ve written quite a few articles on the topic. Here, we’ll discuss the popular H color diamond, what makes it special, and whether you should buy or avoid it when looking for your next jewelry piece.
Diamond Color – A Quick Overview
To better understand H color diamonds, let’s first take a broader look at the diamond color options out there. As per the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the color of diamonds is graded on an alphabetical scale ranging from D to Z.
According to the widely accepted GIA color grading scale, the D to Z color grades can be divided into 4 main groups:
- D, E, F grades for the truly Colorless diamonds
- G, H, I, J grades for Near Colorless diamonds
- K, L, M grades for Faint Yellow diamonds (some jewelers and experts count the J grade in this category too)
- N to Z grades for Very Light Yellow and the Light Yellow categories
The fourth category is not to be confused with the highly-valued colored diamonds. Instead, the N to Z grades are colored “colorless” diamonds – not colorful enough to be called colored but not entirely colorless either.
In essence, H colored diamonds belong in the second category of colorless diamonds. So, while they are not quite as colorless and valuable as the truly colorless D, E, and F diamonds, H and G diamonds alike are still seen as almost as beautiful and valuable.
Characteristics Of H Color
Another way to refer to “Near Colorless” diamonds such as those of the H grade is to call them “Essentially Colorless to the Naked Eye”. And that’s accurate as unless you’re an expert and you’re using specialized equipment, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between H, G, and F-colored diamonds.
I and especially J color diamonds can have some noticeable color tinges when seen with the naked eye. This is why J color diamonds are often placed in the third colorless diamond category. H color diamonds, however, are very difficult to tell apart from higher grades, especially once they are set in jewelry.
For example, here is a 1.5 carat G color ideal round cut VVS2 diamond from Blue Nile, and here is an H color diamond of the same carat size, clarity, and cut to compare to it. As you can see, even with the HD 360-degree 3D imagery, telling the color difference between these two stones is quite a challenge. Yet, there is a price difference of over $4,000 between them at the time of writing.
Pros And Cons of H Color
Now that we know what H color diamonds are and what they look like, let’s quickly summarize the main pros and cons of these stones:
- As one of the two best colors in the category of “Near Colorless” diamonds, H color diamonds are one of the best options for a nearly perfect-looking diamond.
- While not as “prestigious” in the eyes of collectors and experts as D, E, and F color diamonds, H color stones are still universally recognized as valuable and high-quality diamonds with a great appearance.
- By being nearly colorless, H color diamonds can work beautifully with metals and settings of almost any kind.
- Even though they look so good, H color diamonds are also more affordable than D, E, F, and G color stones which makes them a great middle-ground option for many people’s budgets.
- As a more affordable option compared to the four higher grades, H color diamonds can help you not only save some money but subsequently to also spend some more on a better diamond clarity grade, a more valuable cut, a higher carat size, or a more luxurious setting and metal.
- Despite being better priced than the four other color grades above them, H color diamonds are still significantly more expensive than all other color grades. This makes I and J, and even K, L, and M diamonds a preferable choice for people who are on a tight budget and don’t mind a slight color tinge in their diamonds.
How To Make an H Color Diamond Work with Your Jewelry
Fortunately, unlike lower color grades such as J, K, L, and M diamonds, H color diamonds don’t look effortlessly good.
Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that the more color tinges a “colorless” diamond has, the more you’ll need to work with your jeweler to hide those tinges (unless you’re going for a warm-tinged look, in which case you can flaunt the color). This normally means:
- Picking large ring settings, such as halos, to hide the sides of the diamond
- Going with yellow or rose gold as well as a yellow and rose gold claw to hold the diamond and minimize its color (as opposed to white gold or other white metals or colored metals that still have white metal diamond claws which emphasize diamond color because of the contrast).
- Prioritizing diamond cuts that minimize color, such as brilliant cuts like cushion, round, or princess. Cuts such as emerald or radiant tend to retain color.
Fortunately, such measures aren’t as necessary with H color diamonds as they are with lower color grades. Nevertheless, if you are conscious about even the smallest color tinges in your H color diamond, utilizing the three tips above will make your stone look even more colorless.
Is H Color Right for Me?
H color diamonds, just like G, I, and even J color diamonds, are seen as the perfect middle ground for people who are not on all that tight of a budget but are still not that excited about overspending on diamonds.
So, if you want a diamond that’s a fairly good compromise between price and looks, the H color grade is one to consider. On the other hand, if you prioritize quality and value above all else, the D, E, and F grades are the ones to go for.
Likewise, if you do have some budget concerns, you can go a few color grades lower than H and still end up with a great-looking ring or jewelry piece, especially with the right setting and metal color.
Where to Buy H Color Diamonds
When purchasing diamonds, always choose a retailer that you can trust, with a solid track record behind them. Look for good after-sales policies as well as reasonable customer service. We have listed our favorite retailers below, but note that each has its pros and cons and offers something different for everyone.
We recommend the following retailers:
1. James Allen
Why: Superior diamond imaging, competitive prices, high quality, wide range
An online giant in the diamond space, James Allen has a stunning collection of high-quality diamonds. The images and videos are unparalleled in quality and make shopping online similar, if not better, to shopping in-store.
2. Blue Nile
Why: Competitive prices, wide range, great quality
Known for dominating the online diamond industry since the late 1990s, Blue Nile offers one of the largest online diamond inventories. Search H color diamonds here at competitive prices, solid after-sales policies, and good customer service.
3. White Flash
Why: Superior cut quality, exclusive range, stunning designs
Whiteflash has earned an international reputation for the elite quality of their precision cut diamonds, and for their impeccable collection of designer engagement rings. Check out their stunning range of diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
4. Brian Gavin
Why: Impeccable quality, superior cut, small but exclusive inventory
Brian Gavin is a renowned expert in diamond cut – and it shows in their superior diamond quality. For the very best in diamonds, search their inventory of designer diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
H color diamonds are special stones that are placed right in between the most prestigious and expensive diamond colors and the more budget-friendly options. In that sense, H color diamonds can be seen as the best of both worlds which is why they are often preferred by many people.