May 31st 2023
F Color Diamonds: Blazingly White or Slightly Yellow?
By Devin Jones
F color diamonds are the most popular color grade of diamonds for diamond engagement ring shoppers (far more popular than E color and G color) and are a great way to get a larger carat weight while maintaining the icy white appearance that colorless diamonds are known for.
What Is An F Color Diamond?
Diamond color grades have been perplexing the average man and woman since they were first invented. Why do they start at D? What is the difference between an E and an F color? Why doesn't the GIA just tell us if the diamond is going to look yellow or not?
Well, the truth is that diamond color grades are as much a tool to be used by diamond professionals as they are a tool for the average consumer, if not more so. Professionals who look at diamonds all day long and invest their money in diamond inventory needed a way of standardizing diamonds in a more nuanced manner than your average shopper might. For that reason it is popular to also break down the diamond color grade scale into groups like Colorless (D - F), Near Colorless (G - H), Faint (K - M), Very Light (N - R), and Light (S - Z).
The above diamonds range in color from D - K. Click on an image for more details and videos.
The reason the GIA grading scale (which has been adopted by almost all other grading agencies) doesn't start at A color is simple: when the GIA started there was already a competing grading agency that used a scale from A - C, so the GIA differentiated by starting with D (and confusion has ensued ever since).
F color diamonds are the 3rd highest color grade and the lowest diamond color grade to be considered colorless. Because F color diamonds cost significantly less than D color and E color diamonds but don't appear noticeably different to the average person, they've become a popular choice for diamond buyers looking to get a larger diamond that still appears icy white. F color diamonds will look totally white in any setting color (platinum, gold, rose gold, white gold, etc.).
F Color vs. G Color Diamonds
F color is the 2nd most popular diamond color behind only G color diamonds, which have become the standard recommendation from just about every jeweler and blog in the diamond space. When it comes to visual appearance, most diamond shoppers have a hard time telling the difference between an F and a G color diamond unless they are seen side by side (and even then it can be difficult). However, there is a reason that F color is considered colorless and G color is considered near colorless - experts begin to detect the presence of color more noticeably after this point.
When it comes to pricing the difference between F and G color diamonds is anything but subtle. To see how F color diamond prices compare to those of G color diamonds, check out our popular diamond price calculator feature.
Which Clarity Grade Goes Best With F Color Diamonds?
Color and clarity decisions tend to correlate highly for most diamond shoppers. For example, diamond shoppers looking for K color diamonds tend to choose SI1 clarity diamonds while those shopping for D color diamonds look for VS1 or VVS2 clarity grades. The most popular clarity grade for F color diamonds is VS1 clarity which is chosen by 26% of shoppers using StoneAlgo's diamond search engine.
The most popular clarity grades for F color diamonds are:
- VS1 Clarity F Color Diamonds (26%)
- VS2 Clarity F Color Diamonds (22%)
- VVS2 Clarity F Color Diamonds (20%)
- SI1 Clarity F Color Diamonds (13%)
- SI2 Clarity F Color Diamonds (12%)
- VVS1 Clarity F Color Diamonds (7%)
- IF Clarity F Color Diamonds (1%)
- FL Clarity F Color Diamonds (<1%)
What Fluorescence Grade Is Best For An F Color Diamond?
Diamond fluorescence can help to make certain diamonds appear slightly whiter by cancelling out some of the appearance of yellow coloration in the stone. For this reason, many shoppers considering diamonds in the lower end of the near colorless spectrum (I and J color) or the faint spectrum (K - M) tend to prefer diamonds that have faint or medium fluorescence. That said, most diamond shoppers who are considering an F color diamond are, dare we say, pickier when it comes to their selection.
F color diamond shoppers tends to steer away from even faint fluorescence. But this preference actually leads to a great buying opportunity for those shoppers who are considering an F color diamond with faint or medium fluorescence. The fluorescence won't present much of a benefit but it also doesn't detract from the appearance of the diamond, and they can cost far, far less as the chart above shows.
Is F Color Worth It?
F color diamonds are a great choice for fancy shapes with larger facets (like emerald and asscher) and larger carat weight diamonds as these tend to show off the presence of color more easily. F color diamonds are also a popular choice for engagement rings as they look icy white in any color setting. If you're shopping for a diamond on a budget, we'd recommend either considering a lab grown diamond or a lower color grade like G or H which most shoppers would be unable to discern from an F color diamond. Choosing an F color diamond is a safe bet, you know it will look spectacular and always be a popular choice for investment grade jewelry pieces in the years to come.
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