A Guide to E Color Diamonds

If your diamond is “next to perfect” in color, that’s about as good as it gets! An E color diamond is just that – second from the top in the long alphabet of diamond colors. Sitting squarely in the middle of the elite “colorless” range (DEF), this particular color grade is virtually indistinguishable from perfectly colorless. In the real world D, E and F are “icy white”, giving no appearance of yellow.
E Colored Diamond
E Colored Diamond
Diamond color grading at the lab is a practiced skill that takes quite some time to master, even with the best of training. It is necessary to study hundreds of diamonds and compare theme to known master stones in order to develop true expertise. Possibly the biggest challenge for graders is to learn to distinguish the “level of colorlessness” of diamonds in the colorless range. An E color diamond is so close to D (and F for that matter) that without extensive training most people cannot discern the subtle differences.
One of the challenges with color grading of diamonds in general is the influence of the diamond’s cut quality on its face up appearance. An ideal diamond such as an A CUT ABOVE® hearts and arrows, by virtue of its optimal light performance, can appear whiter than its technical grade. A new generation of shoppers is quickly learning that this holds several advantages, even for diamonds already in the colorless range, as ideal cutting optimizes the aspects of fire, brilliance and scintillation. These aspects, deriving from the intrinsic properties of diamond and dependent on the cut craftsmanship of man, combine to transform simple crystallized carbon into something truly extraordinary.
E color diamonds with good clarity and crafted with precision, have beauty at the edge of what is possible in a gem diamond. Colorless ideal diamonds with clarity grades down to Si1 (providing the inclusions are of a type and distribution that do not diminish performance), exhibit fabulous eye appeal and are far less expensive than top gemological clarities.
Another reason some shoppers seek out E colored diamonds is that it they are solidly within the colorless range. Because each color grade actually represents a very narrow range, an F color at the low end could conceivably be graded a G at another time. E color diamonds will likely never fall outside the colorless range when graded by any legitimate lab in any future evaluations. This is the same mindset of many astute shoppers when it comes to insisting on super ideal diamonds. They are crafted to the very bull’s-eye of cut quality and will never fall outside of ideal on any valid cut grade scale, even as new technology makes cut grading more exacting and critical.

E Color Lab Diamonds

The recent emergence of laboratory grown diamonds on the market in large quantities is good news for diamond shoppers looking for colorless diamonds at affordable prices. Lab diamonds are real diamonds with essentially the same physical and optical properties as natural diamonds, so their durability and potential for fire and brilliance is equivalent. Though diamond was first synthesized in the 1950s, and synthetic diamond has been manufactured for decades for use in industry (particularly for abrasives), gem diamonds were difficult and expensive to produce until recently. Modern technological breakthroughs have enabled producers to grow much bigger and better diamonds, and at lower cost.
Sufficient quantities are now available that make it unnecessary for shoppers to opt for lower color and clarities in order to stay within budget. An E color lab diamond is now within reach of even modest budgets. While there is little visual difference between diamond color e vs f, there is also little if any reason to trade down. And the same is true of clarity grades; there is little reason today to compromise below clarities that are loupe clean. Of course, cut quality is always going to be the biggest factor in diamond beauty in both natural and lab diamonds. Shoppers are well advised to insist on precision cutting in order to derive the optimal light performance (fire and brilliance) from their diamond purchases.
Because lab diamonds are a manufactured product, the colors and clarities upon which the natural diamond market is based (a factor of rarity), do not really apply to lab created diamonds. Whereas the price difference between a VS1 and Si1 could be highly significant in a natural diamond, it is now negligible in lab diamonds. There is little financial incentive today for shoppers to buy anything less than G color and VS1 clarity with a precision cut.
While lab diamonds and natural diamonds share essentially the same properties, there are differences that enable gem laboratories to identify them. And there are some quality issues that are specific to lab grown diamonds that shoppers should be aware of in order to get the most beautiful diamonds with the best light performance. Please see our guide to lab grown vs natural diamonds for more information.

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