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May 31st 2023

D Color Diamonds Guide: The Best, Or Nothing

By Devin Jones

D color diamonds are the very rarest and whitest of the diamond color grades. But that icy white aesthetic comes at a high price, which is why D color diamonds are less popular than E color and F color diamonds for the average engagement ring shopper.

But given that there are cheaper options in the colorless range like E and F color diamonds, are D color stones worthy of their expensive price tags?

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What is a D Color Diamond?

D color diamond color grade comparison chart

If you're looking for an absolutely colorless, icy white diamond that will hold it value for generations to come then look no further. D color diamonds are the whitest color grade of diamond and the first of the colorless range that also includes E color and F color diamonds.  These diamonds are incredibly rare and sought after which leads to their equally impressive price tags (the most expensive diamond color grade by far).

Diamond color grades range from D to Z and are broken down into subcategories such as Colorless (D - F), Near Colorless (G - J), and Faint (K - M). There are many color grades and subcategories below this, and even a whole class of diamonds considered "fancy colored" diamonds that can cost a fortune due to their scarcity.

If you're considering purchasing a D color diamond it probably boils down to two reasons: you are the type of person who wants the absolute best of the best or you are incredibly concerned with your diamond appearing even the slightest bit yellow. Let's tackle that second point first.

magnified image of a D color diamond
magnified image of an E color diamond
magnified image of an F color diamond
magnified image of a G color diamond
magnified image of an H color diamond
magnified image of an I color diamond
magnified image of a J color diamond
magnified image of a K color diamond

The above diamonds range from D color to K color. Click on a diamond for more details and videos.

Above are 8 different diamonds ranging from D to K color, with the D in the top left and the K in the bottom right. Can you tell the differences between the first two diamonds? What about the first diamond and the last diamond?

Most people can tell an obvious difference between the first and the last diamond, the D color and the K color. However, if you didn't know which order these diamonds were in, would you be able to sort them in the correct order? The odds are low, even if you're an expert.

For this reason we typically recommend you consider lower color grades to help save money or get a larger carat weight diamond. That said, many people who are searching for a D color diamond are not necessarily trying to get better value and we totally get it. Choose the color grade that's right for you. 

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D Color vs. E Color Diamonds

If you are nervous that an E or F color diamond will look yellow, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The average diamond shopper would have a difficult time noticing the difference between even a G color diamond and a colorless diamond once the stones have been set in an engagement ring or other jewelry setting. That's because a diamond will naturally pickup and reflect light from it's environment, meaning even a D color diamond will reflect some "colored" light from your skin, the setting itself, or the environment around you once it is worn as a piece of jewelry.

Let's compare two diamonds side by side and see if you can spot the difference between this 1 carat D color diamond and this 1 carat E color diamond.

2 carat D color diamond2 carat E color diamond

If you can't tell which of the diamonds above is D color and which is E color you're not alone.

It is typically easiest to pick up on the differences in color between a D color and E color diamond when the two diamonds are evaluated side-by-side with the diamonds face down (so that flat table of the diamond is resting on the mat) on a black surface that absorbs any environmental light. When a diamond is viewed from above as you would in an engagement ring setting, the facets of the diamond reflect light in a way that sparkles and distracts from any color present in the stone.

This is why round brilliant diamonds (commonly known as just round diamonds) tend to hide color better than fancy cut diamonds which have fewer and larger facets, and thus then to have less sparkle.

According to StoneAlgo's diamond price calculator, the difference in price between an E and a D color diamond is significant. D color diamonds cost 10% more than E color diamonds on average. That's the price you pay to be the absolute best, and many diamond shoppers think its worth it.

So, if you're worried that an E color diamond will look like a lemon on your betrothed's finger, fret no more. You can happily step down a grade or two without issue. However, if you are searching for the very best of the best, read on to see how you maximize your D color diamond and make it even more spectacular.

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Which Clarity Grade Goes Best With D Color Diamonds?

If you're shopping for a D color diamond it's unlikely you're willing to compromise in most areas of your life, let alone in the other aspects of your diamond purchase. Hence, it's not surprise that D color diamond buyers are also the pickiest diamond buyers in the market when it comes to diamond clarity grades. The most popular clarity grade for D color diamonds is VS1 which makes up 25% of all D color diamonds shopped on StoneAlgo according to data from our popular diamond search engine.

However, where the pickiness of D color diamond shoppers is most obvious is in the proportion of diamond searches that include VVS clarity D color diamonds or higher. 46% of D color diamond shoppers chose a diamond with VVS1, VVS2, IF, or FL clarity grades which is far and away the largest proportion of these grade for any color grade.

The most popular clarity grades for D color diamonds are: 

  1. VS1 clarity D color diamonds (25%)
  2. VS2 clarity D color diamonds (22%)
  3. VVS2 clarity D color diamonds (17%)
  4. VVS1 clarity D color diamonds (12%)
  5. FL clarity D color diamonds (10%)
  6. IF clarity D color diamonds (7%)
  7. SI1 clarity D color diamonds (4%)
  8. SI2 clarity D color diamonds (3%)

What Fluorescence Grade Is Best For D Color Diamonds?

The obsession with perfection for D color diamond buyers doesn't stop at clarity grades. As you might guess, the most popular fluorescence grade for D color diamonds is None fluorescence, which is also the most expensive fluorescence grade. This preference is most obviously seen in the prices commanded by D color diamonds with None fluorescence versus the other fluorescence grades, as compared to those same differences for other color grade and fluorescence combinations.

Fluorescence grades versus color grades with prices

For more details on this chart see our Diamond Fluorescence Guide

Are D Color Diamonds Worth It?

D color diamonds are expensive, rare, and showstopping-ly gorgeous additions to any diamond jewelry piece, but especially for platinum or white gold jewelry. If you're considering a gold or rose gold setting, skip the D color and go for a lower color grade since the D color will naturally pick up and reflect the yellow or rose colored hues from your jewelry.

However, if you are going to buy a lighter colored setting and are designing a piece of investment quality jewelry meant to last generations, then D color diamonds are very much worth it. D color diamonds like Manhattan real estate, it's pricey but it can be a great investment and they tend to attract the most discerning individuals.

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