diamond color

If you’re about to join 1.8 million other American couples in matrimony, there’s a lot to look forward to. One of the most exciting and invigorating parts of the wedding planning process is popping the question and proposing. To do this the right way, you’ll need a great ring.

Here, we’re going to help you figure out what kind of stone to integrate into your custom band. Read on to learn about diamond color and clarity so that you can choose the most brilliant diamond possible while staying within your budget.

The 4 C’s

There are 4 core things to consider when choosing a diamond. They are generally referred to as the 4 C’s.

The first is diamond cut, or the angling of a diamond’s facets to appropriately reflect light that hits the stone. The right cut brings sparkle and brilliance to the stone. This is generally regarded as the most important of the 4 C’s.

Carat weight is another of the 4 C’s. The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, so you’re determining how heavy the diamond will feel when set in the band. While this often corresponds to diamond size, it is not always related.

Diamond color is the hue of the diamond. Stones will range from a brilliant colorless white to a soft light yellow. The diamond color chart ranks the stones based on how much of a yellow tint they have.

Finally, clarity refers to whether or not the diamond has imperfections. While it’s possible to get a flawless diamond, most stones have some flaws. Clarity rates diamonds on how flawed they are so you can select the best quality stone possible when creating custom jewelry.

Today, we’re going to focus on diamond color and clarity.

The Basics of Diamond Color

White diamonds have a natural yellow tint. However, most people imagine crystal-clear diamonds when they think of traditional engagement rings. This is because many engagement rings use “colorless” diamonds that experts have optimized for jewelry.

The closer to being colorless a diamond is, there rarer it will be. This means that flawless-looking white diamonds tend to be more expensive than their yellowish counterparts.

To distinguish between different diamond hues, there is an industry-standard color grading scale. These colors range from D-Z. D diamonds are the whitest and most brilliant diamonds while Z stones have a pretty yellow tint.

You can get both lab-grown and natural diamonds with these tints.

D/E/F Diamonds

These diamonds are referred to as “colorless” and do not even have a small trace of yellow. Their radiant brilliance has been an engagement ring staple for generations. Because of their beauty, they generally are considered the top choice for engagement bands and other wedding jewelry.

The biggest drawback of these diamonds is their price. Because they’re so rare, D/E/F diamonds usually cost several hundred dollars. If you’re looking for a larger diamond or a multi-stone engagement band, you quickly could wind up with a hefty multi-thousand-dollar price tag.

Just make sure that you know your budget in advance. If you’re committed to getting the clearest possible diamond but have less money than you would like, consider a smaller stone or a G-J color diamond.

If you want a white-gold or sterling silver engagement band, a colorless diamond is the best way to go. There will be contrast, but the stone and the metal will not clash. White/silver bands will clash oddly with colored diamonds.

G/H/I/J Diamonds

These stones are referred to colloquially as “near colorless.” They may have extremely faint hints of color, but most people won’t notice them unless they look extremely closely.

Generally, G-J diamonds are considered one of the best wedding ring stone options. They look about the same as a colorless diamond but cost far less.

This means that you can get a larger stone for money. You also can indulge in more intricate ring designs with diamond-studded bands.

If you choose a yellow-gold or rose-gold setting for a G-J-colored ring, you’re even less likely to notice the extremely small color grade shift. The surrounding metal hue will negate the yellow undertones and it will be identical to a colorless diamond.

K/L/M Diamonds

K-M diamonds have a very faint yellow tint. It is generally noticeable to the untrained eye, but it looks like a slight sheen in an otherwise colorless diamond. No one could reasonably refer to the stone as yellow.

You can think of these stones simply as having warmer undertones. They look great when set in yellow-gold or rose-gold bands much like G-J color-grade diamonds. However, rather than making the color unnoticeable, these bands will bring out the best in their existing hue.

Note that color is also more visible in large diamonds. If you’re getting a small diamond under 1 carat, you might get by with a K-M diamond. Otherwise, those in previous color grade categories are usually better choices for engagement rings.

N/O/P/Q/R Diamonds

N-R color grades are very light yellow. Their hue is somewhat darker than the small twinge provided by K-M diamonds.

Usually, these diamonds are too heavily colored for engagement or wedding bands. They simply don’t have the traditional shine that newlywed couples are looking for.

However, you can get diamond jewelry in several different varieties. Rose gold line bracelets studded with diamonds will look amazing with colored stones. The warm hues of the yellow will look great with the faint yellow look of N-R-grade diamonds.

These stones also make fantastic earrings, especially studs.

S/T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z Diamonds

These are the lowest diamond grade and are pretty yellow. They are generally not a good choice for jewelry. The color is so intense that it directly impacts the stone’s appearance.

It also might give them a somewhat milky appearance. They will rank lower in clarity as well as in color.

All You Need to Know About Diamond Clarity

Speaking of diamond clarity, it’s important to take this consideration into account as well as diamond color.

Clarity assesses the surface of the stone for small imperfections. These imperfections often come in the form of blemishes. Blemishes are surface flaws on the diamond that may include scratching and chipping.

Inclusions, or internal defects within the diamond, are also assessed. These are usually less important since many inclusions are invisible to even a trained naked eye. These inclusions are called “eye clean” because they’re too small to see without professional magnification.

Because of this, they sometimes are called “internal characteristics” rather than flaws. They give the diamond character. Many people like inclusions; no one wants a heavily blemished diamond.

Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless Diamonds

Flawless diamonds have no internal or external characteristics. They are literally perfect, which means that fewer than 0.5% of all diamonds fall into this category. In addition to being tough to find, they are extremely expensive because they are incredibly rare.

Internally flawless diamonds are similar to flawless ones. They are completely eye-clean. They may have some tiny blemishes if magnified under expert microscopes, but this means nothing.

IF diamonds don’t have any inclusions, giving them the status of being internally flawless. The grade is only lower than FL-grade stones because of microscopic surface characteristics.

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS) and Very Slightly Included (VS) Diamonds

These diamonds are usually the best place to begin looking for engagement ring stones. They cost far less than FL-grade diamonds and look exactly the same. They’re usually the best-value diamonds.

It is difficult for experts to detect flaws in VVS and VS stones. This is even true at 10x magnification. No inclusions will ever be visible to the naked eye.

Choosing these stones lets you save money for your wedding and honeymoon at no real cost. Your partner is unlikely to tell the difference between these diamonds and their FL counterparts. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll only know the difference because of the information that you’ll get prior to purchasing your perfect diamond.

Slightly Included (SI) Diamonds

SI diamonds have inclusions that generally cannot be seen by the naked eye. Even experts will need to magnify them to make note of inclusions. However, they are almost always visible when magnified by 10.

There are two types of SI diamonds. SI1 stones have fewer inclusions that SI2 alternatives. Their inclusions are smaller and less extreme.

SI2 diamonds are still high-quality, but inclusions may be visible to the naked eye in some cases. This depends on the cut of the diamond and the location of the inclusion. You may only see it when light hits the stone in a very specific way.

Still, SI diamonds- especially SI1 diamonds- make for good engagement rings. This is especially true if you’re looking to set a smaller stone in the band. SI diamonds of lower carat weight are optimal.

Included Diamonds

Unlike SI diamonds and those above them on the clarity scale, included diamonds are generally not ideal for engagement rings. Their inclusions are extremely obvious to the naked eye. They impact beauty to the point that the diamond no longer looks great.

There are 3 grades of included diamonds I1, I2, and I3. I1 is the best of the included diamonds with obvious inclusions that are smaller. I3 diamonds have the most obvious flaws.

Some included diamonds also feature surface blemishes. These make the diamonds look rough, unpolished, and generally flawed.

How to Choose the Right Diamond

It’s best to consider the 4 C’s together when choosing your diamond. However, this is best done after choosing the band metal and color. You’ll be able to get the precise look you want if you know where your custom diamond will be set.

You also should first choose the cut of your diamond. This is one of the most noticeable things about your band. It gives it the visual appeal that you want and is the most important of the 4 C’s.

Decide whether you want a round, princess, emerald, or Asscher-cut diamond. If you want a different shape, that is also fine. Those are simply 4 of the most popular cuts.

Once you decide on the band color and diamond cut, it’s time to begin choosing your stone color.

Yellow-Gold Bands

If you’re setting your diamond in a yellow-gold band, K-M-grade diamonds are great for round cuts. The yellow of the band will be absorbed into the color of the diamond, so higher-grade stones will look yellowish anyway. It’s a waste of money to go above K.

Those who want princess/emerald/Asscher-cut diamonds in golden bands might prefer J-K stones. Other diamond shapes will require I-J-grade diamonds.

White Bands

For those who choose white gold/sterling silver/platinum bands, you’ll want to get an H-J-grade color for a round cut. Anything higher is wasteful since you’ll be paying for color features that the naked eye can’t detect.

Those who want princess/emerald/Asscher-cut diamonds will need G-I-grade stones. Buyers who want other cuts should consider F-H grades.

Side Stones and Halos

These stones are extremely tiny. You can choose G-I grades for round, princess, emerald, and Asscher cuts. There is no need to consider which of the 4 you prefer before choosing a color since they all require the same thing.

However, other diamond shapes will look best in F-H grades. This is true for both diamonds on the band and in the halo.

Start Buying a Diamond Today

Choosing the appropriate diamond color and clarity is a critical part of the jewelry-buying process. While there are many options to choose from, it’s important that you find the brightest and clearest diamond possible within your budget. Now that you know how to do that, it’s time to get started.

Finer Custom Jewelry is committed to helping you create the engagement band of your dreams. Our experts will help you determine which color and grade of diamond you need to make your custom piece shine. Contact us with any remaining questions that you have and begin the customization process today.


Our Happy Customers

Finer Custom Jewelry
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Harmony GreenHarmony Green
23:13 01 Apr 24
Shimon is absolutely amazing at what he does and such a pleasure to work with. We had a custom wedding band made to complement my center stone and the design is quite unique. My fiancé was very apprehensive and worried about not going with a classic wedding band but we both couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Going to be hard not to wear this for the next few months! 😅
Dylan KuchanDylan Kuchan
21:42 19 Mar 24
Shimon was absolutely amazing. He not only was professional and courteous, but was understanding of my questions and made my visits very easy. Would highly recommend his services at Finer Custom Jewelry.
Alana VAlana V
22:15 18 Mar 24
We had a wonderful experience creating a custom engagment ring with Shimon. Shimon took the time to truly show us our options and helped shape our vision throughout the process.Shimon did a phenomenal job finding the perfect unique stone including similar stone options so we felt confident in our choice. It was such a fun process exploring our options and designing the perfect ring. Shimon is truly a master of his craft!
Ena DuriezEna Duriez
19:48 18 Mar 24
I absolutely love their jewelry, they have beautiful pieces. Highly recommend 👍
Monica J HairMonica J Hair
19:50 15 Mar 24
I had a custom bracelet made by Shimon and his team. From start to finish the process couldn’t have been more seamless. Genuinely a pleasure to work with Finer Custom Jewelry
Steven TocciSteven Tocci
02:32 07 Mar 24
Just got a new watch and needed a link removed. I found this store on Google and decided to stop in and see if they could help. Shimon doesn’t typically do watches, but he didn’t hesitate to stop what he was doing to help me. He took the time out of his day to help me and wouldn’t accept any payment. You can tell he takes extreme pride in his work and he will do whatever it takes to help his customers. I will absolutely be coming back and using him in the future!
Pamela SpearsPamela Spears
21:21 12 Feb 24
Shimon was very helpful, grand place finer jewelry sales. Would definitely recommend to everyone. Will definitely be back to this location
John HuntJohn Hunt
17:59 23 Jan 24
Great experience! Shimon helped me get a salt & pepper engagement ring. He understood exactly what I was looking for and the finished product greatly exceeded my expectations. Highly recommended!!
Sara TurnbullSara Turnbull
22:30 22 Jan 24
Shimon cleaned my wedding ring for me and made it look better than new. I couldn’t stop looking at it in the sun! I had forgotten its potential to shine like that. And Monica was a great help as well, they have an amazing and dedicated team 💍
01:24 05 Jan 24
My fiancé and I cannot say enough about Shimon and Finer Custom Jewelry. I had an heirloom ring from my mom, and two bands that I wanted to use to create a very specific ring, the ring of my dreams. After a lot of research, we found Shimon. Throughout the entire process, he was incredible. From our very first meeting where we went over my vision, to the final product. I feel so lucky to have found such a caring and talented jeweler. You can tell he takes such pride in his work, as he should because it is truly flawless. I would recommend Shimon to anyone I know. We are so thankful to have him to make our forever ring so incredibly special. It exceeded all our expectations and then some.
Laura VargasLaura Vargas
20:26 30 Dec 23
My fiance and I had a fantastic experience going through Finer Custom Jewelry for our wedding bands. Shimon and Monica both worked to create our dream rings within our budget. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for affordable, high quality, fast, and wonderful service.
Jacquie LymanJacquie Lyman
04:17 28 Dec 23
10/10 would recommend Finer Jewelery! I needed a repair on my wedding ring, and also wanted my engagement ring and wedding band soldered together. The service was incredible and the communication was as promised. Shimon is so kind and warm and friendly! My ring came back looking brand new!
Paige DimakosPaige Dimakos
23:15 04 Oct 23
Wonderful experience and customer service. Look forward to working with Shimon in the future.
Homa NikoHoma Niko
22:23 26 Sep 23
It was very nice meeting Shimon, he was very helpful on pricing my sister's ring. Very understanding and knowledgeable on jewelry. Thank you so much Shimon.
Kyle RootKyle Root
20:13 21 Sep 23
Shimon is a great guy super knowledgeable and I will definitely be coming to him again for my jewelry needs.
Lauren Van GyselLauren Van Gysel
18:18 18 Sep 23
Shimone was SO helpful and accommodating when I was selling jewelry! 10/10 experience and will be back!! :)
Roman MendezRoman Mendez
22:55 06 Sep 23
Great place. Shimon really helped me get a great offer on my diamond bracelet
Matthew RamirezMatthew Ramirez
18:25 01 Sep 23
Shimone was a pleasure to work with. He was both reasonable and fair when it came to selling a ring that I had been sitting on for a while. I would highly recommend Finer Custom Jewelry if you’re looking to sell any pieces. Shimone will treat you well.
denise drakedenise drake
22:23 29 Aug 23
Great experience working with Shimon. He had expert ideas about how to manage some antique jewelry and was super and helping us find the right rings!
Pure Air Service AZPure Air Service AZ
18:36 29 Aug 23
Thank you Shimon for your patience with me.I called finer custom jewelry to find a diamond ring to Propose my girlfriend and Shimon was really helpful and profesional.Really recommend.She said yessssss 😊
17:17 29 Aug 23
This place is absolutely amazing. The Jeweler Shimon did a wonderful job when pricing and inspecting the jewelry I brought in for sale. Extremely knowledgeable and very personable. recommend everyone comes here!!
Shelby KarrelsShelby Karrels
23:14 21 Aug 23
My experience with Finer Curation Jewelry was nothing short of phenomenal. Buying, selling, and creating custom jewelry can be a stressful and pressuring experience. However, from the moment I walked into Finer Custom Jewelry, I felt like a valued client. Shimon was patient, knowledgeable, and made the process so much easier than I had expected. If you are looking for a jeweler you can trust, you will find them here!
Sarah KanitschSarah Kanitsch
18:35 15 Aug 23
Amazing service! Helped immediately with the ring I had. Wonderful guy!!
Shane CsiszarShane Csiszar
23:49 07 Aug 23
Shimon was a pleasure to work with! Made the process very easy and enjoyable. We picked a beautiful emerald diamond, and I could not be happier with the quality of his work! I highly recommend Finer Jewelry!
Lauryn ScusselLauryn Scussel
03:27 20 Jul 23
Thanks to Shimon I was able to give my mom her dream Mother’s ring. It was done quickly and efficiently with great communication and a stunning product. A great company for your custom jewelry needs!!
Ryan BerryRyan Berry
17:19 11 Jul 23
Shimon was great to work with. We made a custom ring exactly how I drew it and my fianceé loved it. Will definitely come back for my ring!
Lisa HilchieLisa Hilchie
20:37 09 Jul 23
Shimon was very kind and professional. He responded quickly to my initial email, worked with my schedule to make an appointment, and took the time to answer any questions I had. I'm very happy with my decision to go to him.
Eli Garcia (ELI)Eli Garcia (ELI)
18:32 26 Jun 23
Ring came out perfect my Fiancé loved it, it fit perfect, I’d highly recommend this jeweler, also Shimon was very communicative and gave updates on the ring every chance he had, couldn’t have had a better experience.
Michael NedlerMichael Nedler
00:17 19 Jun 23
I had a big wedding anniversary coming and wanted to do something special for my wife. A friend suggested Finer so I contacted them. What a wonderful experience...Shimon led me through the process of picking an amazing diamonds as well as the perfect ring. My wife couldn't have been happier and I felt like a hero. I feel like a got an incredible ring for the money and will be back for the next occasion!
Arianna DohertyArianna Doherty
16:51 14 Jun 23
I needed to get two rings appraised and the process was easy and convenient. Shimon was able to meet with me the same week and got me the written appraisals within 3 days. I did not need to leave the items with him as some other jewelers require. I'm very pleased with the ease of working with Shimon.
Kayla ThurberKayla Thurber
02:32 16 Mar 23
I would give Shimon at Finer Custom Jewelry 10 stars if I could! He created an entirely custom ring for my fiancé just based on one Google image photo that she provided me. Before working with Shimon, I assumed I would not be able to afford a custom ring, but I was able to choose everything for the ring and stay perfectly within my budget. It was a very personal experience to create this ring and I felt heard by Shimon the entire time. (He even texted me to congratulate me on my engagement!) And he produced the most wonderful, amazing ring that will last for a lifetime! One final note: as a woman proposing to another woman, I was nervous to be judged when purchasing a non-traditional engagement ring. Shimon made me feel SO comfortable and validated. I could not recommend his services enough.
Daniel GoldbergDaniel Goldberg
00:55 03 Mar 23
My entire experience with Shimon was incredible start to finish. I came in with just an idea of what I wanted for an engagement ring. He took the time to explain the different options, settings and styles that would match my idea. Needless to say, the ring turned out beautifully and she loved it. Most importantly, Shimon was honest and fair. We will definitely be going back for all of our future needs.
Sarah RisiSarah Risi
18:47 14 Feb 23
Shimon helped me elevate my engagement diamond to a beautiful channel set band with my birthstone sapphires. I couldn’t be happier with the quality of his work!
Kyle BelskiKyle Belski
23:50 07 Feb 23
Shimon is the man! He took the time to help us design my fiancé’s ring just the way she wanted it. She now gets compliments on her ring on a daily basis. Shimon also got us a high quality diamond at a more than fair price. I recommend Finer Jewelry for all of your jewelry needs!
Aalia FuellerAalia Fueller
19:49 07 Feb 23
I’ve been working with Shimon for a year. I had all my mother’s diamonds reset. He helped me recreate a ring setting that joined my mom and dads diamonds so I have them with me at all times. He repaired many pieces and restrung my mom’s pearls. He’s a true professional and an amazing person. He and his wife have created an awesome business.If you want to design your own piece or buy one, Finer Jewelry is the place to go!
Lena GonzalezLena Gonzalez
17:10 25 Jun 22
Thank you to Shimon for this amazing diamond ring!! If you’re struggling looking for a jeweler in Arizona, you have to choose Finer Jewelry! He was very attentive to what I wanted and made me feel listened to throughout the entire process. He was truly a pleasure to work with, I could not recommend him enough!
Dania KassabDania Kassab
18:43 09 Jun 22
I’ve been looking for a yellow diamond ring for a while now and I’m so glad I foundation Finer Jewelry!!! Shimon showed me a variety of diamonds and made sure I was in love with the specific stone and shade of the diamond. Shimon made sure to educate me on my purchase which I really appreciated because I honestly didn’t know much about diamonds before meeting with him. I could not be more obsessed with this ring, so thank you so much Shimon for helping me find my dream ring!!!
Ashley BoldAshley Bold
07:24 29 Jan 22
If you are looking for a jeweler in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, look no further. As we began shopping for an engagement ring we went to a number of different jewelers in the area but no one offered the same level of customer service as Shimon at Finer Jewelry! He was so helpful and caring throughout the entire process of designing my dream ring. I get so many compliments on my ring and it’s all thanks to Finer Jewelry!!
22:48 24 Dec 21
I was gifted diamonds from my mother and both grandmother’s wedding rings and I wanted to make my own wedding ring with them. I was able to schedule an appointment the following day and began working on the ring design. They were so thorough in making sure the fit and design was just right by making 3D imaging and wax molds for you to see before the ring is actually made. The whole process took about a month from start to finish and you can’t beat the price! I’m beyond happy with what they made for me. It’s truly something special.
18:36 14 Dec 21
After sharing our diamond CCC wish list with Shimon we sat back and waited. Shimon took us seriously and carefully watched the exchanges for "our stone". He found us a nearly flawless diamond that presented 30% larger than its weight! We then asked Shimon to craft a setting that required specially cut supplemental diamonds. Shimon's relationships with diamond cutters and his goldsmith made it possible for him to deliver our dream setting with our own "hope" diamond! Shimon is personable, very fun to work with and completely transparent. He and his stones are priceless!
Deanna HuntDeanna Hunt
17:35 04 Nov 21
Amazing experience. My favorite diamond jeweler in Scottsdale. A custom experience, fair prices, honest, top quality. What more can I say!
Candace HagermanCandace Hagerman
00:03 08 Sep 21
Shimon did an amazing job understanding what I wanted in my ring. After picking out my main stone he found two that perfectly coordinated. It turned out so much more than I hoped. Will definitely recommend and return.
Robbie BurtonRobbie Burton
23:20 03 Aug 21
I found the staff to be more than happy to assist in the design and creation of a true family heirloom. The process of collaboration with this jeweler was such a joy. Me and my family will treasure this for a lifetime. Thank you so much. A truly happy customer.