A Guide to I Color Diamonds

We think of diamonds as eternal and classic – the epitome of endurance and stability. So it may be surprising to learn that tastes in diamonds do also fluctuate. Sometimes it has to do with shapes becoming more or less fashionable. And sometimes it even has to do with qualities. For instance, I color diamonds happen to be incredibly hot right now.
I Colored Diamond
I Colored Diamond
Why would one color grade become suddenly so dominant? After all, there is a whole alphabet of diamond color grades to choose from (well, all except ABC!) It doesn’t really have anything to do with fashion. It is actually a trend driven by value. I color diamonds are those that fall near the middle of the near colorless range (GHIJ). In terms of cost, they do not carry the significant premiums of comparable diamonds in the colorless range (DEF). Yet they are white – or at least not yellow.
An additional aspect that is steering the market to I colored diamonds (or even lower colors for that matter) is the rapid growth of interest in ideal cut diamonds. Diamonds cut to ideal proportions and with top light performance tend to appear whiter due to the greater amount of ambient light returned to the eye. And ideal cut diamonds look a little bigger than ordinary diamonds which is another bonus. Buyers who understand this and are seeking out ideal diamonds are able to compromise slightly more on body color without diminishing the apparent color of the diamond. By making just the right compromises it is possible to greatly enhance the value possible from a given budget. So, if getting more brilliance and fire was not reason enough to go with an ideal cut diamond, then the color and size advantages might seal the deal!
One other little factor that many people use to their advantage is to look for an I color diamond with fluorescence. Blue fluorescence, if it is not too strong, can also help a diamond with a little body color look slightly whiter. Diamonds in the near colorless range with medium blue fluorescence can look a color grade whiter in appearance. Too much fluorescence and the stone can take on a milky look. And they can be off putting to some people when seen under a black light such as in a discotheque as they glow most prominently. So moderation is the key when it comes to the potential benefits of fluorescence!
When shopping for diamonds, there are many considerations. Clarity, carat weight, cut quality and cost are all important factors. But one thing is pretty clear; many buyers today are finding the “best bang for the buck” in terms of color is squarely in the near colorless range.

I vs J Color Diamonds

The question is often asked about the difference between I vs J color diamonds, since in natural diamonds of the similar size and quality the price difference can be significant – especially in large stones. Since J is at the outer limit of the “near colorless” range, people often wonder if it will look yellow. The answer depends on a few factors, including how color sensitive you are. Larger stones tend to be easier to see color in than smaller stone. It can also depend on the setting and if the diamond will be visible from side profile which is more revealing of color than looking at it in the face up position. A solitaire in a prong setting will be revealing of body color whereas a bezel setting or low prong halo setting will not.
I vs J Color Diamond
I vs J Color Diamond
Cut quality and shape also play a significant role here. An ideal cut will return more ambient light to the eye and will appear brighter and whiter than a diamond with an inferior cut. And some diamond shapes tend to trap color making body color more obvious, even from the face up direction. Fancy color diamonds are most commonly cut into cushion and radiant cut diamonds for this reason, as they tend to accentuate body color.
A precision cut round brilliant J color is usually seen as very white by most casual observers. If you are color sensitive, going for the I color is a better bet.

I Color Lab Grown Diamonds

The latest trend in the world of diamonds is the emergence of laboratory grown diamonds, and many shoppers are taking advantage of the significant cost savings they represent. These are real diamonds with essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. And like natural diamonds they come in a variety of colors and clarities, though lab diamonds do have some unique characteristics.
Because lab diamonds are a manufactured product, and because the technology to produce them is rapidly advancing, there is ample supply of colorless diamonds available today. Because the cost savings is so substantial, shoppers opting for lab diamonds do not have to make the same compromises to stay in budget as shoppers for natural diamonds. In fact, for this reason we only stock the highest colors and clarity ranges in our Precision Lab brand. But other lab diamonds we offer do come in colors down the scale and are even more affordable. An I color lab diamond today is available at a fraction of what an I color natural will cost, all other factors being equal.

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