H Color Diamonds: What Do They Look Like, And Are They Worth Buying?

woman's hand wearing halo engagement ring

If you're like most of us, you probably think that loose diamonds don't have a color. You can kind of see through them, so they're clear. Only fancy colored diamonds have a real hue to them, like red. Right?

Well, not exactly.

All diamonds have a color, ranging from white — what we typically think of as clear - to yellow or brown. (And, no, not chocolate diamonds brown.) White diamonds tend to be the most coveted color, but there's a catch: They're rare and can be really, really expensive.

But here's the good news: Choosing a diamond lower on the color spectrum can be one way to save money on an engagement ring and trick people into thinking you have a completely white diamond. However, some of these diamonds — like H color diamonds — are controversial in the jewelry world. Are these slightly colored stones a good choice for a diamond engagement ring? Let's break it down.

What are H Color Diamonds?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates diamonds D to Z based on their color, with clear — or colorless — diamonds hitting the top of the range (D) to yellow color diamonds at the bottom (Z). With Clarity only carries diamonds from color grade D to L, which is considered faint yellow. We like being clear with our customers: we just don't feel that diamond color grades lower than that make for the best engagement rings possible. And that's what we want to help you create.

G-J colored diamonds

H color diamonds fall somewhere in the middle of that range, but that's definitely a good thing. The reason? It offers you the best of both worlds: A value-priced stone that looks almost colorless. In fact, diamonds G and H color diamonds are among the most popular picks because they look almost identical to D, E and F color diamonds (but they're a lot less expensive).

Do H Color Diamonds Look Yellow?

Most H color diamonds appear white when you look at the face (a.k.a. the table or top of the diamond). That said, H color diamonds do have a tinge of yellow, but it's typically hard to see unless it's in specific lighting (or you're comparing them to D or E color diamonds side by side).

How to Make H Color Diamonds Look Whiter

While it's almost impossible to see the bits of yellow in an H color diamond, they are still there - and certain diamond cuts or metals can accentuate (or diminish) the extra color.

Yellow gold, for example, can make diamonds with a slight yellow tinge appear more white because there's less contrast. When it comes to shape, a round cut diamond masks color the best, with a princess cut coming in a close second. The worst diamond cut for H color diamonds? The cushion cut. Although this gorgeous diamond shape is fantastic at hiding inclusions, the faceting only amplifies the color.

Are H Color Diamonds Worth Buying?

Do you want a jaw-dropping diamond that she'll love, but don't have the cash to drop on a D or E color diamond? Then an H color diamond is a great bet. An H color diamond gives you a stone that's nearly identical to a D, E or F color diamond in every way, but for a price that's upwards of 20 percent less. That said, you can save even more — up to 40 percent — if you sacrifice just a bit more and go for an I color diamond instead of an H.

Not sure which color diamond is right for your bride to be? Let us help. Simply fill in what you're looking for here and our expert gemologists will hand-pick three diamonds that fit your wishes — and your price range.

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