K - M Colored Diamonds: Faint Yellow Quality

The trace elements and chemical impurities that occur naturally during the diamond's growth process can give it a very light tint of yellow or brown color. Most of the time, you may not even see or recognize that tint when looking at engagement rings or other jewelry, however, the value of the diamond is significantly impacted. Additionally, the color is much less visible as the size of the diamond decreases. In most instances, color will have a small impact on the diamond's desirability.

The Gemological Institute of America or GIA established a grading scale to differentiate between the color spectrum in diamonds and scaled it from D (highest) to Z (lowest). D is colorless and Z is light yellow. In that range, right in the middle, you’ll find K, L and M colored diamonds. K and L diamonds are considered faint yellow (or brown), depending on the visual hue. That means the diamond has a tinting of yellow that can be examined in the body, but not very visual face up, particular when set in jewelry. K and L diamonds have become quite popular lately because they're extremely budget friendly and provide good value for money. They allow customers to maximize on the other more visual characteristics such as carat or clarity.

Learn all about natural diamond and lab diamond color. What is a faint yellow diamond as it relates to other diamonds on the diamond scale?

Does slightly yellow mean that these diamonds will look yellow to the ring wearer and the onlooker?

Watch all about the essentials as they relate to these diamonds, and how to ensure you're picking the best among the diamonds you are considering.

K and L Color Price Difference

The price difference is quite large because K and L colors are essentially a “breakpoint” between near colorless (J color) and faint yellow. Additionally, in diamonds less than 0.50ct - 0.70ct, the colors are difficult to discern or differentiate. This provides an incentive for purchasers to scale up size in a lower range. On the colorimeter, the score for K and L colored diamonds falls between 3.50 – 4.49. We generally recommend K and L colored diamond when you’re looking for value. We do believe the faint yellow shade can distract light performance and visual sparkle, particular in 1.00ct sizes and larger. However, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Final Tips about (white) Diamond Colors

It is important to remember that when buying a diamond, you're setting it in jewelry or engagement rings, not comparing it to other diamonds side by side. This works in the favor of a customer. Your 0.50ct L colored diamond ring may look as beautiful at someone else's J colored diamond ring; the main difference is that it may have cost you significantly less, which can be a great thing!


Are diamonds with L color grade worth buying?

The value of a diamond is determined by a combination of its "4 Cs": carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. L-color diamonds fall on the lower end of the color scale, with "L" being the twelfth letter and indicating a diamond that is light in color. As such, L-color diamonds tend to be less expensive than diamonds with higher color grades, such as D, E, or F. However, whether an L-color diamond is worth buying depends on individual preferences and the specific characteristics of the diamond in question.

Which is the best color diamond for an engagement ring?

The best color grade for a diamond engagement ring is a matter of personal preference. Typically, the most desirable color grades for diamonds are those that are considered to be "colorless" or "near colorless," such as D, E, and F. These diamonds have the least amount of color and are considered to be the most valuable. However, some people may prefer diamonds with a slight hint of color, such as G or H, as they can appear warmer and more vibrant. Ultimately, the best color grade for an engagement ring is the one that the individual finds most aesthetically pleasing and fits their budget.

Is K a good color grade for diamonds?

K-color diamonds are considered to be near colorless, but they do have a slight yellow or brown tint that is visible to the naked eye. They are one of the lower color grades in the range of near-colorless diamonds. They are less expensive than higher color grades such as D, E, and F, but they may still have a good value depending on the other characteristics of the diamond and the personal preferences of the buyer.

Does an L color diamond look yellow when set in an engagement ring?

An L-color diamond may have a slight yellow or brown tint that is visible to the naked eye. However, the color of the diamond may appear different when it is set in an engagement ring, depending on the metal of the ring and the lighting conditions. A yellow gold setting may enhance the yellow color of the diamond, making it appear more yellow than it would in a white gold or platinum setting. Additionally, some lighting conditions, such as incandescent lighting, may make the yellow tint in an L-color diamond more visible, while other lighting conditions, such as natural daylight may make it less visible. It's also important to note that the yellow color of an L-color diamond may not be as visible when viewed from the top but will be more visible when viewed from the side. A well-cut diamond will hide the color and make it look more white. Finally, it is worth considering that the majority of people might not be able to tell the difference between a L color diamond and a higher color grade diamond.
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