The color of your diamond can have a considerable impact on its price. If you are on a budget but still want a diamond that will dazzle your partner, then an H color diamond is the perfect choice. Placed midway on the color grade scale, an H diamond is nearly colorless, bearing a close resemblance to a premium D or E color. Iit is essential to have an in-depth understanding of H color diamonds.
What is an H color diamond?
The GIA rates the color of a diamond from D to Z, D being the highest grade and colorless while Z being the lowest and consisting of diamonds having a yellow tinge. The H diamond is a nearly colorless diamond and will appear so even in the case of bigger sizes. The only minute amount of color is noticeable on the body of the diamond at certain angles. Imperfections are very minutely visible only to the trained eye, in the case of bigger stones.
An H color diamond falls under the category of ‘nearly colorless’ on the color grade right after the D, E, F category which comprises premium colorless diamonds. A G diamond also falls under the ‘nearly colorless’ category however is slightly more expensive than the H. The H diamond does possess a yellow tinge which in large quantities renders the diamond invaluable.
However, this yellow tint is hardly noticeable to the naked eye, especially in a well-cut diamond. Even under magnification in a well-lit room, the yellow tint of this category of diamonds is unnoticeable, making it difficult to differentiate between diamonds of the colorless grade.
How To Choose an H Color Diamond?
You cannot go wrong with diamonds of this color category, they hide inclusions and very closely resemble premium quality D color diamonds. They are also affordable, making them almost a dream pick for anyone who is looking to get a quality diamond at a reasonable price. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
H diamonds have a faint yellowish tint to them, which can be minimalized if not completely removed with good cut quality. Cut quality is integral to the value of a diamond. A well-cut diamond hides inclusions and flaws. The cut quality of a diamond also influences its fire and brilliance. The amount of light transmission in a diamond is directly affected by the cut quality of a diamond. In certain diamonds like the princess cut, if the cut quality is excellent then an eye-cleaned diamond is what is generally recommended by experts. Good cut quality on an H color diamond will ensure lesser inclusions and also, make the diamond seem more like a premium D color diamond.
Kinds of Cuts
Pearl, Round, Oval, and Pear cut diamonds are favorable for the H color grade. Any uniquely cut diamond which is good at hiding inclusions will work with an H color diamond. A princess-cut is not highly recommended as the square body can expose the yellow tint. If one is adamant about getting an H-grade diamond in a princess cut, then the clarity of the diamond will play an important role. A clarity grade of SI2 works best in this case and is also the favorable clarity grade for oval and pear cut diamonds. Using a rose gold or yellow setting helps reduce inclusions further.
Diamond Imaging technology accurately presents an advanced image of the stone from every angle and axis. This technology encompasses all aspects of a diamond’s true character and quality, including appearance, cut, light transmission, quality, inclusions, and more. Using diamond imaging, vendors are able to compare H grade diamonds of varying carat weights, to be able to denote the best possible value. In certain cases, experts might use high energy irradiation or annealing to improve the color grading of the stone.
How to evaluate the cost?
The cut and clarity play a very important role in determining the value of an H diamond. If we are to consider two situations as an example, a 1 carat VS2 clarity D color princess cut diamond will cost between $4000 to $6000, however, a 1 carat SI2 clarity H grade princess cut diamond will cost between $2000 to $4000. This massive difference in price is only on account of the clarity and cut quality. However, the color grade also has a role to play in the price.
Choosing the Right Cut for H Color Diamonds
Almost all diamonds have a bit of color in them. Even clear diamonds have a hint of yellow color in them due to the presence of nitrogen impurities. G and H color diamonds are favorable choices due to their cut versatility, quality, and transparency. Here is an in-depth guide to choosing the right cut for your H grade stone.
Princess diamonds need to have an excellent cut quality in order to be compatible with an H color grade. In the case of diamonds weighing less than a carat, a VVS or VS clarity is suited, however for stones over a carat, the clarity grade has to be VVS2. A budget between $2000 to $4000 is expected for a 1.5 carat stone with SI2 clarity and very good cut quality. However, a 1.5 carat diamond with VVS2 clarity will spike up your budget to $5000 to $6000.
The oval cut is a fancy shape and is perfectly suited for an H color grade. They have perfect symmetry and brilliance and the slender oval-shaped body has an elongated look making it a perfect fit for H color diamonds. Focusing on a clarity grade of SI1 or SI2 is optimal when going for an H diamond. A higher clarity grade can also be opted for as Oval Cut diamonds hide inclusions really well. White gold or platinum setting is best suited for an oval cut. A 1 carat G grade SI1 diamond would cost you between $3500 to $4000, whereas if you choose an H color diamond, a higher clarity grade can be chosen for the same price.
The pear cut diamond is uniquely cut, however, it is not very proficient at hiding inclusions. Pairing the cut with an H-grade diamond helps hide major inclusions. A 1-carat pear cut diamond with an H color grade and SI2 clarity should cost you between $3500 to $4000.
H color diamonds pair well with a round cut. Round cut diamonds have excellent fire and brilliance and are capable of hiding inclusions very well. However, the only drawback is that round cut diamonds are expensive and using an H grade stone would help that but it would still not be a favorable choice for anyone on a budget.
When do H color diamonds look yellow?
H color diamonds look yellow only when they are cut poorly. A good cut quality as mentioned earlier will mask the yellow tint of an H diamond. However, if you are stuck with a yellow H diamond, placing the stone in a yellow setting might just be a saving grace. A princess-cut might also help mask the color, although round cuts are premium. In case you are looking for a higher clarity grade on your diamond while sticking to an H color grade. It is recommended to avoid fancier cuts like the pearl and the oval. The worst cut to go for is the Cushion Cut. The faceting style of the cushion cut amplifies the yellow tint and leaves you with the worst possible result. Make sure you avoid it at all costs.
What setting suits an H-grade diamond?
An H-grade diamond with a good cut and clarity can be the best purchase. However, what you set your stone in is equally important. An optimal setting will help mask the yellow tint that your H diamond might have. White gold or platinum setting is always favorable whereas a rose gold or yellow setting is perfect for marquise and emerald cuts. Having a halo or pave setting with the same color grading can help mask the yellow tint. H-grade diamonds look best when they are set in a simple prong setting that focuses on a solitaire. Both the cut and the setting of an H-grade diamond ensure the best possible outcome.
G vs H Color Diamonds
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) clubs H and G color diamonds in the same category of Near Colorless. Both of these color grades are extremely close to each other and are hardly distinguishable. Both of these color categories feature diamonds that have a slight yellow tint about them, which can be masked using several different methods as discussed above. While choosing between an H and G color grade, it is recommended to go for an H color diamond in case you are on a budget. The difference between these two categories cannot be discerned by a layman, however, an H grade diamond will definitely be slightly cheaper than a G color diamond.