A common assumption on the part of many new diamond shoppers is that a diamond seven grades down on the color scale would not be of acceptable quality. But the diamond color grading scale is so nuanced that a large number of shoppers end up finding their best value in this range. It turns out that J color diamonds, even though seemingly far down on the scale, can look beautiful to the eye if other conditions are met. As a member of the “near colorless” range on the grading scale, a J color diamond looks white to most observers.
When compared to colorless diamonds side by side, it is fairly easy to see a small amount of body color in a J, especially when viewed from the side (profile view). In fact, because small amounts of color are more easily detected from this angle, diamond color grading at the lab
is done from this perspective. But in the real world, most observers are looking at the diamond in face up view and do not get an impression of color from well-cut J colored diamonds.
As mentioned at the outset, other factors help determine whether a diamond in the near colorless range will “show” body color. Chief among them is diamond cut quality
. Diamonds that have been crafted to precise proportions and are symmetrical in three dimensions are capable of optimal light performance. The greater the amount of light returning to the eye, the whiter the diamond looks. For this reason, an ideal cut diamond
can appear better than its laboratory grade in face up view.
Because body color is not masked by light return in profile view the setting style is another factor to consider when discussing J color diamonds. Settings that allow a clear profile view, such as a four prong solitaire, will be more revealing of diamond color than a six prong mounting for instance. A bezel setting does an even more complete job of obscuring the view from this perspective and can be a good choice for diamonds lower on the color scale.
In conclusion, great value can be found in the near colorless range. Lab certified ideal cut diamonds like A CUT ABOVE®
Round and Princess Diamonds with light performance levels at the very top of the scale allow diamonds with a little body color to appear very white. At the same time they deliver optimal brilliance, fire and scintillation (diamond sparkle
). And selecting a setting that prevents a wide open profile view can render body color unnoticeable from the side perspective.