Yellow gold is a classic choice for any piece of jewelry, from a pair of earrings or a necklace to an engagement ring. Diamonds, of course, are also a classic choice for any special jewelry, engagement rings and wedding rings, in particular. When paired together, yellow gold and diamonds can create the most elegant, sophisticated, and sparkling jewelry designs.
If you’re new to gemstones or have never shopped for diamonds before, you may not know that diamonds come in a range of colors. If you review the diamond color chart, you will know that most diamonds have a slight yellow or brown tint that can range from invisible to extremely noticeable. Aside from fancy colored diamonds, the less visible the color, the more expensive the diamond, which is why it is important to know about color when shopping for this precious gemstone. When a diamond is set in yellow gold it can often appear whiter or without color. So, a diamond with a lower color grade can often appear of higher quality.
To learn how to choose the best diamond color to go with a yellow gold setting for your diamond engagement ring or another piece of fine jewelry, read on. We’ll explain diamond color and how different cuts, carats, and metals affect its appearance.
About Diamond Color
Color is one of the 4Cs of diamond quality, and thus, important to take into consideration when selecting any diamond, regardless of whether it is set in yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or platinum. Unlike cut and clarity, color is an aspect of diamond quality that is more or less subjective. While bright white or transparent diamonds are the most popular, a subtle hint of color and fancy colored diamonds, including yellow diamonds, blue diamonds, and pink diamonds, are coveted by many.
Color is, nonetheless, an important attribute that every diamond is graded on, and the higher the grade, or the less color, the higher the quality, and thus, the more expensive the diamond. This is because the less color a diamond has, the rarer it is and the more light it typically reflects, and thus, the more radiant it is.
How Diamond Color is Graded
Diamond color is rated on a letter scale from D to Z. D, being a completely colorless diamond, and Z, being light yellow or brown in color. A color that is richer than Z or different than yellow or brown would fall under the category of fancy colored diamonds.
This standard is set by the Gemological Institute of America(GIA) and is used to rate all diamond gemstones. So, you can expect any diamond color grade with a GIA rating to be consistent. This consistency is why we can suggest certain color grades of diamonds for particular cuts, carat sizes, settings, and styles.
Once you understand the diamond color scale and how different color grades appear, from a G color diamond to a K color diamond, it will help you choose the right diamond for your yellow gold jewelry.
How Diamonds Get Their Color
Diamonds are made of carbon, and a chemically pure diamond is made of solely carbon, but in the presence of nature, this is hardly ever the case. As diamonds form within the earth’s surface they are exposed to natural gases such as boron and nitrogen that give them a faint color.
Other Important Aspects of Diamond Quality
The best diamond color for yellow gold or any other metal depends on the cut, clarity, and carat weight of the diamond. Some diamond cuts show more color than other cuts and color is often more noticeable in larger carat sizes. If you are looking for a diamond that appears colorless or bright white, first consider the cut and carat weight of your ideal diamond. Then, consider the colors that appear colorless in that cut.
Round cut diamonds hide color rather well because of their incredible fire and brilliance. This means you can usually choose a diamond with a color grade of I or below and notice no faint color.
Fancy shapes such as oval, cushion, and emerald, on the other hand, show more color than a round diamond. Pear, oval, and marquise cut diamonds tend to show color near the edges of the stone, while emerald, asscher, and cushion cut diamonds show color in the center of the stone. For emerald diamonds, in particular, which feature step cuts and a “window” into the stone, color should be more carefully considered. An emerald diamond with an H, I, or J color will typically provide you with the best value.
Regardless of shape, the quality of the diamond cut is paramount. When all other factors are the same, a diamond with an ideal or excellent cut will sparkle much more than a diamond with a good cut, and thus disguise more color.
Diamond Carat Weight
Additionally, the larger the diamond, the more noticeable its color. For instance, when comparing a 1-carat diamond and a 3-carat diamond with the same color grade, the 3-carat diamond will show more color. Keep this in mind as you shop, as your budget can quickly run away from you when you increase in carat size and find you need to increase in color grade as well.
How The Setting Affects Diamond Color
As with any two colors set beside each other, the lighter color will appear lighter, and the darker color will appear darker. This is how the setting of a diamond affects the appearance of the diamond’s color. Yellow gold and rose gold settings are more forgiving of lower color grade diamonds such as one with a J color, or even a K color. In a platinum or white gold setting, on the other hand, a slight color will be more pronounced.
For settings with multiple diamonds, such as a halo setting or a three-stone setting, it’s important that all of the diamonds have the same color grade. Otherwise, a difference in color will be noticeable.
The Best Diamond Color for Yellow Gold
If you are looking for a white diamond, you’re in luck because yellow gold can often make a diamond appear whiter than it is. The best diamond color for yellow gold, in this case, is somewhere between a G color grade and an M color grade. There’s no need to break the bank on a colorless diamond when the yellow gold setting can make even a K color diamond appear near colorless. Of course, the shape and size of the stone, as well as personal preference play a part.
For round brilliant cut diamonds, a K, L, or M color grade will look near colorless in a yellow gold setting. Fancy shapes such as princess, emerald, and Asscher, require a slightly higher color grade, ideally from I to J. For all other shapes, G, H, or I color grades should appear near colorless when set in yellow gold. As always, it is important to inspect a diamond from all angles and in various lights before purchasing it to ensure you are happy with the color and overall appearance of the diamond.
If you are looking for a fancy colored diamond, many colors pair well with yellow gold. While a yellow tint may not be desirable when you’re looking for a white diamond, a fancy diamond with a rich yellow hue looks beautiful set in yellow gold. Pink diamonds also go well with yellow gold, giving the piece of jewelry a truly feminine and romantic feel.
Shop Yellow Gold Diamond Jewelry
Now that you know all about diamond color and the best diamond color for yellow gold settings, you can shop for yellow gold diamond jewelry or yellow gold engagement rings with confidence. Although yellow gold is more forgiving of lower color grades, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice color at all to find a stone that is within your budget. Also see our blog on how to clean yellow gold jewelry.
How To Find a Colorless Stone
To find a diamond that is colorless, or with a D color grade, you may need to be willing to pay a high price. There are, however, much more affordable diamond alternatives that make it possible to find a colorless stone for a much lower cost. These include lab diamonds and diamond simulants.
The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a stone that is visually identical to a diamond in every way, except for the fact that it is perfect. All Nexus Diamond™ alternatives have D color, meaning they are completely colorless. So whether you are looking for yellow gold or white gold jewelry, you don’t have to worry about the color of the stone appearing any less bright and white.
When shopping for an engagement ring, opting for a diamond alternative can allow you to achieve perfection at a much lower price point. Shop our collection of yellow gold engagement rings and fall in love with these flawless, colorless stones.
The Diamond Pro: Color
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.