J Color Diamonds | A Buyer's Guide

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.
J Colored Diamond
J Colored Diamond
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.

J color Lab Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds have become increasingly popular as more and better quality material in larger sizes has come onto the market. The affordability of lab diamonds vs natural diamonds represents a huge advantage for shoppers looking for the most impressive “bang for the buck”. The cost savings in lab diamonds is such that customers have much less incentive to compromise on color or clarity.
Because lab grown diamonds are not really priced based on rarity as natural diamonds are, the cost savings of a J color lab diamond vs a colorless lab diamond is not a persuasive to most shoppers. While the calculus for natural diamonds may result in the determination that choosing a J color enables a bigger and/or cleaner diamond for the budget, lower colors in lab diamonds aren’t as impactful with respect to cost. Most customers today interested in lab diamonds have their sights set on G color and above, and VS1 clarity and above. The Whiteflash Precision Lab brand is specifically tailored to customers looking for proven cut quality, and color and clarity combinations at the top of the scale.

Diamond Color K vs J

Many shoppers limit their selection to J because it is still within the near colorless range. There is an assumption that beginning at K body color becomes obvious. This is not necessarily so, and many shoppers who can compare J and K color diamonds together, see very little difference. And the drop in color can often times equate to significant cost savings in natural diamonds.
K vs J Color Diamond
And colorlessness is not a goal for some shoppers who may actually prefer a little warmth in their diamonds. In this case when considering J vs K color, a shopper may in fact be drawn to the K. So while color (or the lack thereof) is a cost factor, color preference is about sensitivity AND preference.


In conclusion, great value can be found in natural diamonds in the near colorless range. 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.
With respect to lab grown diamonds, there is little economic incentive for shoppers to compromise on color or clarity as more and more high quality material reaches the market at affordable prices. Size and cut quality become much more important factors in lab grown diamonds.

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