Color is one of the most important aspects of a diamond’s visual appearance and a major factor in diamond pricing. K is the eighth highest grade of diamond color, one step behind J on the GIA’s grating scale. K color diamonds are the first of the faint colored diamonds, the range that is typically recommended for engagement ring diamonds due to high performance and better value. As the eighth highest color grade, K color diamonds are also the eighth most expensive color option. When compared to J color diamonds, K color diamonds typically cost between 3% and 31% cheaper, with the largest differences occurring in higher carat sizes and superior clarity grades.
K is one of the most popular diamond colors for engagement rings. Why? Because K colored diamonds should appear white to the naked eye (especially from the top of the stone) while presenting significantly better value for your budget than any of the higher diamond color grades. After I color the presence of color within the stone begins to become more significant, though we do view J as the best color for buyers looking to stretch their budget. That said, I color is still going to cost more than K color diamonds. 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 (K vs M for example). 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. That said, this fact gives many people pause in pursuing a K color diamond which is two grades below this range, even though they can appear as white as I color diamonds to the naked eye and especially when viewed from the top of the diamond. This perspective is known as showing “top white” or “up white”, a diamond looks whiter from the top than from the bottom or sides of the stone. Another consideration is the setting color – a gold or rose gold colored setting will actually help hide the color of a K colored diamond. So, while K is a better value alternative to J, and while a K color diamonds should appear white, be sure to see some diamond options in person so you understand the subtle differences in color before you purchase.
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 email@example.com