Are G Color Diamonds a Good Choice? A Breakdown and Shopping Advice

G color diamonds: High-quality color for mid-tier prices...

Many shoppers struggle to find the right balance of the 4Cs. Diamond color is important in a gem’s overall appeal, and it can be difficult to understand whether you should spring for a high-quality color or something less expensive. Luckily, G color diamonds are a moderately affordable way to get the best of both worlds.❤️

G Color Diamonds Inspection

Why are G color diamonds a good deal for the quality you get and the price you pay? Let’s look at:

  • The basics of G color diamonds
  • How the G color rating compares to adjacent hues
  • Prices for G color diamonds and comparable stones
  • Shopping advice for G color diamonds

Basics: What is a G color diamond?

So, on average, what hue do G color diamonds have, and how do experts decipher between diamond shades?

Grading diamond color

Experts at the GIA grade diamond color on a scale of D to Z. These grades correspond to the colorlessness of each diamond. The diamond color scale is as follows:

GradeColor
D, E, FColorless
G, H, I, JNear Colorless
K, L, MFaint
N, O, P, Q, RVery Light
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, ZLight

So how do experts decide where a diamond falls on this color scale? First, gemologists lay diamonds face down on a white grading tray. This neutral surface provides the proper backdrop for accurate color identification, as a diamond’s color is most concentrated in its pavilion.

Then, gemologists simulate daylight using UV lights, as this is the best lighting for bringing out color. Finally, they use a set of master stones to determine each diamond’s color. By placing the diamond between the two master stones it most closely resembles, gemologists use this comparison as a baseline for grading.

There is a master stone for each grade on the color scale, and any diamond that falls in between two colors will receive the higher grade. For instance, if a diamond’s hue falls between E and F, it will receive the E rating. This is because master stones are actually the whitest color possible for each grade, so not matching its hue doesn’t necessarily mean the diamond isn’t E quality.

What do G color diamonds look like?

While diamond colors may be graded face-down, we inspect them face-up as buyers.✅ This means we’re often more concerned with how a diamond’s color performs table side up! So what can you expect when looking at different G color diamonds?

In short, if you didn’t know there were higher-quality diamond colors, you’d think G colored gems were icy-white. The top grade of the Near Colorless range, G colored diamonds present mostly colorless and can look just as white as Colorless stones.

Not all G color diamonds have the exact same hue, but these differences are rarely discernible to the naked eye. This is because a diamond’s color depends on the number of nitrogen impurities within its carbon structure, which creates a yellowish tint.

However, G color diamonds are “near” colorless because they do have the slightest yellow undertone to them. Despite this, the yellowish tones are rarely perceptible, and they disappear once you’re no longer under bright lighting.

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G color diamonds vs. Adjacent color grades

If a G diamond is almost colorless, how does it stack up to surrounding grades? And what sets it apart? Let’s compare G color diamonds with F and H color gems for reference:🔍

G color diamonds vs. F color diamonds

The variation in color between F and G color diamonds is so minute that it can almost be seen as a psychological difference. In reality, since they’re nearly identical, the major contrast is the extra money you’ll pay for the Colorless F grade since the D to F range stones are considered “pure” by many buyers. F color diamonds typically cost about $500-$1,000 more than their G color counterparts.

1-Carat Excellent Cut G Color VS1 Diamond (James Allen)
G Color Diamond (1-carat Excellent cut VS1 clarity) | James Allen SKU: 10627443

F Color Diamond (1-Carat Excellent Cut VS1 Clarity)
F Color Diamond (1-carat Excellent cut VS1 clarity) | James Allen SKU: 11250449

Because these stones are one grade apart, the color shift is imperceptible to anyone without professional training. Furthermore, the G’s yellow color is lost in its sparkle, and the right setting can remove any warmth to make both stones look the same.🌟

Overall, the difference between these two gems comes down to what you value most. If you value purity over appearance, spending the extra money for an F color diamond may be worth it. But, a G color stone will shine nearly the same bright white for a lower price.

G color diamonds vs. H color diamonds

G and H color diamonds are also nearly identical, as they are both high grades in the Near Colorless range. As such, both gems look white when compared, and the right setting will only make them brighter.

1-Carat Excellent Cut G Color VS1 Diamond (James Allen)
G Color Diamond (1-carat Excellent cut VS1 clarity) | James Allen SKU: 10627443

H Color Diamond (1-Carat Excellent Cut VS1 Clarity)
H Color Diamond (1-carat Excellent cut VS1 clarity) | James Allen SKU: 10988093

However, unlike the significant price difference between G and F color diamonds, H and G diamonds can cost about the same depending on the other 3Cs. In fact, the price difference is usually $500 or less!

Overall, if money is a concern, an H color diamond may be a better bet as it will have almost the same whiteness as a G color gem. However, considering the price difference can be negligible, the G color diamond may be the better deal if its other 3Cs are better than those of an H color stone.📝

Price differences between G color and other color diamonds

Diamond prices vary wildly due to differences in each gem’s characteristics as well as where you shop. G color diamonds with Excellent cut and high clarity range in price from about $5,000 to $10,000. However, some G color stones cost more or less due to “perfect” rounded carat sizes and other desirable characteristics.

Generally, expect to pay about 10-25% more for Colorless diamonds if all other qualities are similar. It’s up to you whether this price difference is worth it, but realistically you could end up paying significantly more for a diamond that has no visible differences from a G color diamond!

We’ve taken the liberty of pulling together some 1-carat Excellent cut VS2 clarity round diamonds with different color grades from four name brands. While prices among retailers vary, you can start your search by taking a look at the cost differences for these diamonds:

Updated: May 7, 2021
Overall Statistics
Calculated QTYAverage PriceCalculated QTYAverage PriceCalculated QTYAverage PriceCalculated QTYAverage PriceCalculated QTYAverage PriceDifference (USD)Difference (%)
D Color1067897.261348084.1529242.00288173.212708028.5900.00%
E Color757526.001157627.4926657.00267831.152187607.96-420.63-5.24%
F Color717174.791207501.7616862.00347522.652267399.35-629.24-7.84%
G Color856656.35867024.2336694.00307615.002046952.97-1075.62-13.40%
H Color505950.60506450.9214998.00226600.911236262.55-1766.04-22.00%
I Color564888.04425458.40--255404.801235187.83-2840.76-35.38%
J Color544002.04384444.9714654.00114390.911044211.28-3817.31-47.55%

Why can the colors of G diamonds look different? (5 reasons explained)

As we mentioned, not all G color diamonds have the same hue. Rather than focusing on a diamond’s exact color grade while shopping, it’s wise to shop around and consider the other factors that can impact how a diamond appears in a ring.🕵🏻‍♂️

Here are 5 factors that can influence the perceived color of a G color diamond:

Diamond Shape and Cut

A diamond’s sparkle is crucial in masking any yellow undertones, so a great cut and the right shape can make any diamond look whiter.  

A high-quality cut means more sparkle as light hits the diamond’s facets to refract the beams through its table. As such, always look for Excellent or Ideal cuts, as these gems may appear whiter than diamonds with low-quality cuts.

For shape, the round brilliant cut is the best at masking unwanted color. The facet patterns and light reflection of the round brilliant cut provide extra sparkle that can hide a yellowish hue.

Fancy shapes have a harder time concealing color, and so they’re not always ideal for a G color diamond. Emerald, radiant, Asscher, and cushion cut diamonds have larger tables, and so the color of your stone is more prominent. Emerald and Asscher shapes also have step cuts, and the longer, wider facets reflect light in a way that shows more yellow and less white.

Similarly, shapes with pointed corners can be problematic when it comes to yellow undertones. Yellow discoloration pools in corners, making princess, pear, marquise, and heart shapes an issue for diamonds with color.

Diamond Carat and Size

A diamond’s carat size can also impact how yellow it appears. Overall, the larger the diamond, the more noticeable its color!

On average, Americans prefer to buy 1-carat diamonds. One unconscious reason they may choose this size is its ability to hide color. The 1-carat diamond is ideal for looking large on one’s finger while masking yellow undertones, so it's ideal for G color diamonds

In sizes over 1 carat, diamonds have much larger tables that can act as windows to the stone’s flaws. This includes color, which is amplified by a larger surface area.

Metal Color

The color of the precious metal you choose for your setting impacts just how white your diamond will look to observers.  

Diamonds with high-quality color look best in white metals. Platinum and white gold are excellent options because they will enhance the whiteness of Colorless and G and H grade gems.

Gold Wedding Ring With Yellowish Diamond

In contrast, yellow and rose gold bring out the sunnier undertones of a G color diamond, and some people honestly prefer the look of a warm diamond!

Setting Style

G color diamonds look amazing in all ring settings, but there are certain styles that can really bring out the best qualities of these particular gems. Settings that provide more light to increase refraction or additional diamonds to enhance sparkle are the best for making Near Colorless diamonds look whiter.

If you’re looking for a setting with extra diamonds, G color stones look amazing in pavé, three stone, and halo settings. The sparkle of accent and side stones enhances the whiteness and sparkle of the center stone, and you can get the same shine as a D to F diamond with a G color gem.

A G color diamond also looks amazing in a solitaire setting. Solitaire, cathedral, and tension styles lift the diamond out of the ring and channel more light to the diamond. These styles increase brilliance, fire, and scintillation, masking any yellow within the G color diamond.

Diamond Fluorescence

A less observed quality of diamonds, fluorescence is a stone’s ability to glow under ultraviolet lighting. About 25-35% of all diamonds have some level of fluorescence, and it can impact how yellow a diamond looks under certain lighting.

Of the 35% of diamonds that fluoresce, about 10% experience an intensity that affects their normal appearance. Blue fluorescence can improve the white hue of a diamond, counteracting the yellowish tones. As such, a G color diamond with Medium to Strong fluorescence can actually look whiter!

However, stronger fluorescence also means an increased risk of milky or hazy patches within your diamond. Additionally, fluorescent diamonds typically have a lower resale value, so shop wisely when looking at fluorescent G color diamonds.

Is G a good color choice for your diamonds? Our shopping advice

Are you still considering whether a G color diamond is right for you? Let’s sort through our shopping advice to give you an edge if you decide to purchase a G color diamond:👇🏻

Never compromise cut

Always remember the diamond buyer’s mantra: cut is king! A diamond’s cut can mean the difference between a dull rock and a sparkling stone, so always prioritize it over the other 3Cs.

Overall, always choose Excellent or Ideal cut diamonds, as they can mask yellow tones without having to upgrade your chosen diamond’s color.

The round brilliant cut is the recommended diamond shape for anyone who wants a G color diamond with little to no yellow hue. An H color diamond will also suffice, because the facets and brilliance of the round brilliant cut mask any color.

Step cut stones show color more easily, and so buying one grade up from G color may be necessary if you’re looking for emerald or asscher cut gems.

Diamond shape can change the appeal of your stone

Select the right diamond shape for the color you wish to invoke from your G color diamond. There are different shapes for bringing out the whiter or sunnier tones of a gem, so make sure you choose the right shape for your needs.

As mentioned above, round brilliant shapes are great for G and H color diamonds and can mask unwanted yellowish hue.  

Fancy shapes aren’t ideal for masking color, and emerald, Asscher, cushion, and radiant shapes have a darker appeal. They’re ideal for Colorless stones, but they may give off a yellowish luster in G color diamonds.  

As such, you may need to upgrade your diamond’s color if you want a fancy shape, but take your budget and the other 3Cs into consideration.🐬

Any diamond shape with corners also impacts color. Pear, princess, marquise, and heart-shaped diamonds may have uneven color in their corners, so if budget allows, opt for at least F color stones for these shapes.

Keep carat size in mind when looking at diamonds

While the world average diamond size is 1 carat, there are people who feel they need a larger gem. This is entirely up to you, but consider whether sacrificing the other 3Cs for carat size is really a worthwhile investment.

Typically, if you choose a G color diamond, stick with a 1-carat stone as well. It’s not recommended to purchase a stone of more than 2-carats with G color, as its larger size may enhance any yellowish hue. However, a stone in the 1-2 carat range can still look white depending on the diamond’s shape, and the round shape is the best for hiding color.

NOTE
For some shapes and settings, an H color will do just as well and may save you some money. If you can afford the G color stone, you should absolutely do so, but don’t feel pressured if you can purchase an equally white H color diamond for less!

Certain setting styles can enhance your diamond’s color

The setting is the stage for your diamond, and it plays a huge role in your diamond’s shine. Furthermore, your setting should reflect your personal style!

Opt for a Right Ring Setting to Amplify up the Beauty of G Diamond

The best settings for light and scintillation are solitaire prong, cathedral, and tension settings. These settings are an excellent way to keep the focus on your beautiful G color gem and make it look whiter. They’re also classic with a touch of glam, which is perfect for people who prefer understated looks.

For those with a flair for the dramatic, halo, pavé, and three stone settings can make your diamond appear icy-white while offering extra sparkle. Everyone around you will certainly be drawn to your bling!

Choosing the right metal for white and warm diamonds

Selecting the right metal for your setting can mean the difference between a white and sunny diamond.

If you want your G color diamond to appear as white as possible, choose white gold or platinum. These metals will enhance your gem’s whiteness and make it just as sparkly as Colorless diamonds.

However, if you want yellow gold or rose gold for your setting but don’t care about the whiteness of your diamond, opt for a lower color quality such as I. You can save some money and your diamond will still look beautiful in this sunny setting.

If you really like yellow gold even though you’ve purchased a Near Colorless diamond, try a setting with platinum prongs. These settings enhance the white sparkle of your stone without sacrificing the appeal of yellow gold.

G color diamonds: The center of attention or side/accent stones?

Whether you choose to let your G color diamond stand alone or surround it with beautiful side and accent stones, your gem is sure to sparkle!

Accent stones add brilliance and diminish any perceived yellow color in a center stone, so a G or H color diamond won’t look dark when set in a halo or surrounded by small pavé stones within a band.

But, if money is tight, you can easily get away with an I color diamond instead. G color diamonds may look excellent with accent and side stones, but an I color gem will sometimes look equally lovely and its yellowish hue will become inconspicuous or lost in the overall sparkle of your ring.

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Finding your quality diamond: Final thoughts

It’s easy to see why G color diamonds are so popular. With the same white sparkle as Colorless diamonds for the price of a Near Colorless stone, G color diamonds are a great way to save money without sacrificing any crucial quality.🧐

When shopping for a good deal on diamonds, always patron shops that focus on giving clients both quality products and exceptional customer service. Additionally, the best online retailers offer 10x or greater magnification for all diamond images as well at 360° viewing to inspect your gem from all angles.

While there are plenty of amazing online shops for diamond buying, we recommend these reputable brands:

For more information, check out our article on the 4Cs of diamonds or our in-depth explanations of each grading characteristic: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

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