Color is one of the most important aspects of a diamond’s visual appearance and a major factor in diamond pricing. H is the fifth highest grade of diamond color, one step behind G on the GIA’s grating scale. H color diamonds are the second best of the near colorless diamonds, the range that is typically recommended for engagement ring diamonds due to high performance and better value. As the fifth highest color grade, H color diamonds are also the fifth most expensive color option. When compared to G color diamonds, H color diamonds typically cost between 5% and 40% cheaper, with the largest differences occurring in higher carat sizes and superior clarity grades.
H is the level at which better value starts to appear in the diamond market. That said, H color is still going to cost significantly more than I or J color diamonds. However, most people cannot perceive the presence of color in a diamond of J quality or better without seeing that diamond next to another diamond of superior color. Typically you need to compare diamonds that are two color grades apart in order to see a difference at all when it comes to color (H vs J for example). StoneAlgo typically recommends you start by targeting an I color diamond and see some stones in person before you make a purchasing decision. For perspective, Tiffany & Co. sells diamonds ranging from D – I color, an indication that these diamond colors look spectacular and white. If they didn’t look spectacular, Tiffany certainly wouldn’t want to associate its brand with that color range. So, while H is a better value alternative to G, and while an H color diamond will appear white, StoneAlgo still advises looking at I color diamonds over H color due to their value.
There are a lot of moving parts but generally speaking we try to maximize carat size for our given budget by sticking to the lower end of the color ranges we specified and searching for VS2 or better diamonds. SI1 diamonds are great if they’re eye clean, but they are a pain to find and often end up costing just as much as a VS2 diamond would. If you need one-on-one advice, we offer free support to all our users – simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org