I Color Diamond Explained: Do’s and Don’ts

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Bottom Line Recommendation About I Color Diamonds

I color diamonds offer a balance between noticeable color and affordability, ideal for those desiring a near-colorless appearance without the high cost of higher grades like H, G, F, E, or D. Prices for a 1.00 carat I color diamond can vary, typically starting from about $1,790 to $6,000

For natural I-color diamonds, visit this top retailer for exceptional deals. For a diverse selection, this renowned retailer is also worth exploring.

Lab-grown I color diamonds can be a good option, but beware of potential tints. The price difference with higher grades like F or E is minimal in lab-grown diamonds, so considering those may be beneficial.

For premium lab-grown diamonds, visit this leading retailer known for quality. For budget-friendly lab-grown options, browse this cost-effective retailer.

My top picks

1.01 Carat I VS1 Round Cut Natural Diamond

1. Best balance

1.01 Carat I VS1 Round Cut Natural Diamond
1.5 Carat I VS2 Round Cut Natural Diamond

2. Largest diamond

1.5 Carat I VS2 Round Cut Natural Diamond
1.03 Carat I VVS2 Round Cut Natural Diamond

3. Most premium

1.03 Carat I VVS2 Round Cut Natural Diamond

Table of Contents

I color diamonds are known for their balance of color and value, positioned below H color on the scale. This article discusses the attributes, market value, and buying considerations for I color diamonds.

What is an I Color Diamond?

I color diamonds, in the nearly colorless category, display slight color nuances, typically less noticeable to the untrained eye. These diamonds strike a balance between color quality and affordability, emerging as a practical choice compared to higher-priced diamonds.

I color diamonds, situated below H color, typically present a near-colorless appearance to the untrained eye, distinguishing them from J color diamonds, which are more likely to display visible tints. They are considered a good compromise on the color scale, offering an affordable option while still maintaining a colorless appearance in most lighting conditions, making them a popular choice for buyers who prioritize both value and the visual appeal of their diamond.

Color Comparison of I Color with Other Colors

I vs. F

I color diamonds, while less premium than F color diamonds, display a more noticeable color difference yet still often appear colorless to the untrained eye when appropriately selected. The price gap between F and I color diamonds is approximately 90.88%, indicating significant savings with I color diamonds. This makes I color diamonds a practical option for those seeking decent color quality without the high expense associated with higher-tier color grades.

i color vs f color diamond

I vs. G

Situated below G color on the color scale, I color diamonds offer a cost-effective alternative with a slight difference in color quality. The price gap between G and I color diamonds is about 61.82%, with I color diamonds being more affordable. This positions I color diamonds as a viable choice for those balancing visual appeal and budget.

I vs g color diamond

I vs. H

I color diamonds, one grade below H color diamonds on the color scale, display a slightly more pronounced color but are still considered nearly colorless. The price difference between H and I color diamonds is approximately 39.32%. I color diamonds can be a budget-friendly choice for buyers looking for a near-colorless appearance, while H color offers slightly superior color quality at a higher cost.

I vs H color diamond

I vs. J

I color diamonds provide better color quality compared to J color diamonds, which often show a more noticeable yellowish tint. The price gap between I and J color diamonds is around 15.95%, making J color diamonds less expensive. I color diamonds are a popular choice for those who want a balance between color quality and affordability, offering a near-colorless appearance at a moderate price.

I vs J color diamond

I Color Diamonds in Different Settings and Shapes

The setting significantly affects the appearance of I color diamonds. Yellow and rose gold settings can subtly highlight the diamond’s slight color, impacting its near-colorless look. Conversely, white gold or platinum settings better preserve and accentuate the near-colorless characteristic of I color diamonds.

The diamond’s shape also plays a crucial role in its appearance. Round cuts excel in boosting brilliance and masking slight color variations due to their reflective properties. On the other hand, shapes like emerald or Asscher, with larger tables and fewer facets, are more prone to showing subtle color differences, as they don’t hide color tints as effectively as round cuts.

I color diamond in different settings

I Color Lab-Grown Diamonds

When considering lab-grown I color diamonds, it’s advisable to consider higher grades like F or E. This recommendation arises because some I color lab-grown diamonds may exhibit noticeable grey, blue, or yellow tints due to the growth process, leading to a less desirable appearance despite their color grade. In the lab-grown diamond market, the price difference between I color, and higher colorless grades like F or E is often minimal. Therefore, opting for a higher grade like F or E can be a wiser investment, ensuring a more visually appealing and truly colorless lab-grown diamond.

i color lab diamonds

I Color Diamond Pricing

Pricing for I-color diamonds, falling in the nearly-colorless range, is influenced by two main factors besides carat weight:

  1. Clarity Considerations: Price decreases with lower clarity. Eye-clean VS1-VS2 grade diamonds strike a balance between cost and quality. More affordable SI1-SI2 clarity diamonds require careful selection to avoid those with visible flaws affecting brilliance. Diamonds with higher clarity, like VVS2, are more expensive due to rarity.
  2. Fluorescence Impact: Strong fluorescence in I color diamonds may cause an undesirable appearance, such as a yellowish or oily look under specific lighting. Opting for I color diamonds with faint to medium fluorescence can be beneficial, as they generally maintain their aesthetic appeal and can provide savings without compromising beauty. In some cases, faint to medium fluorescence can even mask the yellowish tint of the I color and make it appear more colorless.
Color Clarity Fluorescence Price
I VS1 None $3,510
I VS1 Faint $3,730
I VS1 Medium $3,630
I VS1 Strong $3,080
I VS2 None $3,250
I VS2 Faint $3,040
I VS2 Medium $2,890
I VS2 Strong $3,020

How to Buy an I Color Diamond?

When selecting an I color diamond, consider these factors:

  1. Thorough Inspection: Assess the diamond under proper lighting to judge its color and clarity accurately. Inspect it from various angles, particularly the side, to identify any subtle color shades not visible from above.
  2. Consideration of Fluorescence: In nearly-colorless diamonds like I color, choose diamonds with faint to medium fluorescence for potential savings without a significant impact on appearance. Avoid strong fluorescence that might affect the diamond’s color perception under UV light.
  3. Metal Setting Selection: The metal setting can influence the diamond’s look. White gold or platinum settings enhance the near-colorless quality of I color diamonds, while yellow or rose gold may slightly alter their perceived color.
  4. Impact of Diamond Shape: Different shapes affect color perception. Round cuts help mask minor color differences, while geometric shapes like emerald or Asscher cuts might make color more noticeable.
  5. Harmony in Multi-Stone Settings: In designs with multiple diamonds, the central stone’s color quality should match or exceed that of the accent stones for aesthetic consistency and to highlight its feature status.

Conclusion: Is I Color Diamond Right for You?

In my experience, color diamonds are a savvy choice, particularly for those prioritizing value and looking for a diamond that appears nearly colorless, especially when set in a suitable metal and cut. They represent an intelligent option for maximizing the balance between cost and aesthetic quality in diamond selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

I color diamonds are a good choice for those seeking a balance between cost and a near-colorless appearance. They offer a visually appealing option without the premium price of higher color grades. In most settings, I color diamonds appear nearly colorless, especially to the untrained eye.

G color diamonds are higher on the color scale, offering a closer to colorless appearance compared to I color diamonds. They are more expensive but provide a slightly better color quality. The choice between G and I depends on budget and preference for color quality.

I color diamonds are one grade higher than J color on the color scale. I color diamonds typically exhibit less color tint and are considered nearly colorless, while J color diamonds often show a more noticeable yellowish tint. This difference is reflected in their price and perceived quality.

I color diamonds are one grade lower than H color diamonds, falling into the nearly colorless category but with slightly more noticeable color tints. H color diamonds are closer to colorless and typically appear less tinted compared to I color diamonds. The price gap reflects this difference in color quality.

I color diamonds are not “too yellow” but may exhibit a slight yellowish tint compared to higher color grades. They are still classified as nearly colorless, and in most settings, this tint is not easily noticeable, especially to the untrained eye.

I diamonds are worth considering, particularly for those looking for a balance between affordability and aesthetic appeal. They offer a nearly-colorless appearance and are less expensive than higher-grade color diamonds, making them a valuable choice for many buyers.


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