March 4th 2022
G Color Diamonds: Are They White Enough?
By Devin Jones
G color diamonds are the most recommended and popular choice for diamond shoppers thanks to their balance of aesthetic and value. They're a great way to maximize your budget, get a larger carat weight, and still have a diamond that looks basically indistinguishable from a colorless diamond like a D, E, or F color.
What is a G Color Diamond?
Diamond color grades are defined by grading agencies like the GIA and can range from totally colorless (D, E, and F color diamonds) all the way down to Z color diamonds before they tip into a separate class of diamonds considered Fancy Colors (some of which are incredibly rare and expensive). But generally speaking, the higher the color grade (D color being the highest) the more expensive the diamond will be and the whiter it will look.
This is the pickle we as diamond shoppers find ourselves in: how do I get a diamond that looks totally white without overspending for quality I'll never be able to appreciate? The answer is to find a near colorless diamond that looks white but doesn't cost as much as a D color diamond.
The above diamonds range from D - K color. Click on an image to see more details and videos.
G color diamonds are a good choice for any engagement ring regardless of the diamond's shape or the setting's color (gold, platinum, etc.). G color diamonds are the best, whitest, and most expensive of the Near Colorless class of diamond color grades that includes H, I, and J colors as well. These diamonds cost less than their slightly whiter cousins in the Colorless range, but the average person has a very difficult time telling the difference (if they can tell a difference at all). However, when it comes to pricing, a Near Colorless diamond costs significantly less than a Colorless diamond.
This is exactly why G color diamonds are the most recommended color grade of diamond for engagement ring shoppers and other diamond buyers looking to create heirloom quality jewelry pieces without (completely) breaking the bank.
G Color vs. H Color Diamonds
It's difficult if not impossible to give a straight answer on which diamond color grades look yellow and which look white, but G color is a safe bet. Every person perceives and experiences color slightly differently, and the same person can actually increase their sensitivity to color by studying or grading diamonds like a GIA Graduate Gemologist student does.
A G color diamond is better than an H color diamond but it's also more expensive. For the most part, the average person won't be able to tell the difference between a G and an H color diamond. However, if you or your significant other has a very sensitive or discerning eye, you may be able to pick up the nuanced differences between these color grades.
It is very unlikely that you would be able to spot a noticeable yellow tinge in either a G or an H color diamond once it has been set in an engagement ring or other jewelry setting. This is because diamonds naturally pick up and reflect some of the color from their environment and any setting color, even platinum, will introduce some colors that the diamond will reflect. These colors will mask a certain amount of the natural color present in the diamond.
If you're choosing a darker setting color like yellow gold or rose gold, this effect is even more noticeable. So, if you're choosing a platinum or white gold setting a G color diamond may be preferable while in a yellow or rose gold setting an H color diamond would be the clear choice (since the color of the setting will overwhelm any colors in the diamond).
Which Clarity Grade Goes Best With G Color Diamonds?
Most people who shop for a G color diamond are pretty savvy when it comes to the other aspects of their diamond selection as well. For instance, someone willing to pay up for a D or E color diamond regardless of the price is also willing to overpay for clarity as well (they'll choose a VVS2 clarity grade instead of a VS1 or VS2 clarity grade that would look 100% eye clean).
G color diamond buyers are still picky, but they're also looking for a balance of quality and value. For this reason, the most sought after clarity grade for G color diamonds is VS2 clarity. VS2 clarity diamonds are the sweet spot in terms of eye cleanliness and price, making them the most popular clarity grade among diamond shoppers using StoneAlgo's diamond search engine (where you can shop millions of diamonds from top online jewelers).
The most popular clarity grades for G color diamonds are:
- VS2 Clarity G Color Diamonds (32%)
- VS1 Clarity G Color Diamonds (17%)
- SI2 Clarity G Color Diamonds (14%)
- SI1 Clarity G Color Diamonds (13%)
- VVS2 Clarity G Color Diamonds (11%)
- IF Clarity G Color Diamonds (6.4%)
- VVS1 Clarity G Color Diamonds (6%)
- FL Clarity G Color Diamonds (<1%)
What Fluorescence Grade Pairs Best With G Color Diamonds?
Most diamond shoppers don't know this, but diamond fluorescence is one of the best ways to improve the appearance of your diamond and save money at the same time. It's a miracle hack for value shoppers. How is this possible?
Fluorescence can cancel out some of the natural color in a diamond and thus make that diamond appear slightly whiter. That's why you'll notice that J color and K color diamonds tend to price similarly whether they're medium, faint, or none fluorescence. However, for a high color grade like D or E color, the fluorescence has nothing to offset and doesn't offer any real advantage. These picky shoppers tend to avoid fluorescence at all cost and view it as undesirable.
G color diamond shoppers are more likely to seek out faint or medium fluorescence to help offset what minimal color exists in their diamonds. As you can see in the chart above, G color diamonds with faint fluorescence cost about 4.5% less than those with none fluorescence, while F color diamonds with faint fluorescence cost 8.3% less.
Our personal opinion is that you consider faint and medium fluorescence when shopping for a G color diamond, but that fluorescence won't necessarily make your G color diamond look like a D color diamond. It will improve the color just a little bit but it does so while saving you money, not costing you more. This is why we think G color diamonds with faint fluorescence are a great option for savvy diamond buyers.
Is G Color Worth It?
G color diamonds are a great choice for anyone looking get a white diamond without paying a "colorless" diamond price. If you're looking to make an even better investment you can typically find an amazing eye clean G color diamond by finding one with VS2 clarity and Faint fluorescence, saving you even more money without surrendering any eye cleanliness.
If you're shopping for a round diamond we highly recommend you use our Cut Score feature to filter out less sparkly diamonds in our diamond search engine (another way to generate some extra pop without upping your price tag) and if you're considering a fancy cut diamond we recommend you take into account your carat weight as well. Some fancy shapes with large, flat facets tend to more easily show off their color grades, meaning you may want to opt for an F color if you're shopping for a 3 carat Asscher cut diamond. If you've already got a diamond you love, you can run it through our GIA Diamond Check Tool to see Cut Score, Visual Carat, and Fair Price Estimates for any GIA certified diamond.