Wondering if you should buy an E color diamond?
You're in the right place. In this Guide, I'll go over all you need to know about an E color diamond and answer questions like:
- What's the difference between E and D Color Diamonds?
- Are E color diamonds worth the money?
- How can I buy E color diamonds for cheaper?
What Are E Color Diamonds?
A diamond that has been given an E color grade is considered colorless. A colorless diamond can have the color grade of D, E, or F color grades. An E color grade is lies in the middle of the colorless range.
E color diamonds are the second-highest color grades available for a colorless diamond engagement ring. They may not have the same icy white appearance as a D color diamond, but an E color diamond will still look colorless without the presence of yellow or brown tint.
A Word on Diamond Color Grades
If color grades are lost on you, we highly encourage you to check out our Color grade guide in order to get a good grasp on the details of diamond color grades.
But if not, don't worry we'll go over it briefly.
A color grade of D-Z is given to colorless diamonds to rate the present of tint throughout the diamond. During the diamond formation process, impurities enter the crystal structure as its growing. Some impurities create inclusions and blemishes, which is part of diamond clarity, another important factor about diamond quality.
Other impurities affect the color tint of a diamond. Typically it is nitrogen atoms that can cause yellow or brown tint in a diamond.
Diamonds are most valued as colorless and depreciate in value as it travels down the color scale. E color diamonds are more rare, especially in larger carat weights.
Don't expect to find an E color diamond engagement ring in your typical mall retail store. A brick and mortar store jewelry retailers like Kay mainly carries near colorless grades of H color diamond and I color diamond grades.
If you want an E color diamond from these guys, it's likely they'll push you to wait for their diamond show or special order a loose stone online.
Fortunately, you can skip all that and a sales presentation and buy E color diamonds online instead of in-store. You have many diamonds to choose from as well as ring settings to custom create your engagement ring at your own pace.
The GIA's Color Grade Scale for a Colorless Diamond
For the majority of the world's diamonds, we follow the Gemological Institute's color grade scale. Because most scales start with A, the GIA will grade diamonds beginning with the letter D. . This can also be known as the D-Z color scale.
It should be noted that a "light yellow" colorless diamond in the N-Z range is not the same as having a yellow colored diamond. Fancy yellow diamonds are often called canary diamonds in the trade and they are more rare and valuable than a light yellow colorless diamond.
The nitrogen is still the culprit of both orange and yellow fancy colored diamonds. But the conditions are more complicated to achieve the vivid and saturated yellow or orange color.
Despite the distinction, I've seen people choose very low color grades because it looks like a light yellow diamond. Most often, the tint is not uniform in saturation like it should be with fancy yellow diamonds.
E Color Diamond vs D Color Diamond
The average person probably won't be able to tell the difference between E color diamonds and D color diamonds. They are the top two diamond color grades in the colorless range.
When experts compare a diamond to the master stones of E and D color diamonds, they detect a more pronounced tint in E diamonds. The difference is ever so slight.
And because the difference is ever so slight, so is the price difference. Don't always expect E color diamonds to always be less expensive than D color diamonds. If other grades are higher, they could be more expensive and valuable than a lesser D color diamond.
E Diamond vs F Color Diamond
F color diamonds are the last diamond color grade that's considered colorless. The detection of E and F diamonds is just slightly more noticeable than D-E. F diamonds looking a smidge darker than E color diamonds. They're not bright white, but still void of any real yellow or brown tint.
The price difference between E and F color diamonds is slight, usually ranging between 5-10% increase if we're just going by color grades. A mix of other diamond grades can affect this price range.
E Color Diamond vs G Color Diamond
You'll probably be able to detect the difference between an E color diamond and a G color diamond. G color diamonds are the first color grade of near colorless diamonds. Most commercial diamond engagement rings have a near colorless diamond as their center stone.
When compared in imaging and 360˚ viewers, you may notice the distinction between the two. But in hand, you might not be able to tell the difference, especially if you're not sensitive to diamond color.
There's a more distinct difference in price as well. You can expect a 10-20% increase when going from G color diamonds to E color diamonds. But only if the other grades are comparable of course.
Are E Color Diamonds Expensive?
You might assume that E color diamonds are very expensive, but that's not the truth in all cases. A diamond's color grade has an impact on price, but not as much as other diamond quality factors.
By a general rule of thumb, you can expect a higher diamond color grade to cost more. But it's not uncommon to see F and G color diamonds with a more expensive diamond price.
For example, high clarity grades can increase the cost of an E color diamond more than high color grade diamonds. Flawless diamonds and internally flawless diamonds are more rare than diamonds without color tint. But a diamond with high color grades and high clarity is rare. It becomes even more valuable if it has a larger carat weight.
Other factors that can shift the price of an E color diamond include:
- Diamond shape
- Certificate Laboratory
- Branded Diamonds(Hearts on Fire, Leo First Light, Sakura Diamond)
- Specialty Cuts (Super Ideal Cut Diamonds, Hearts and Arrows)
- Buying in-store vs Online
- Fluorescence (another color effect in diamonds)
- Lab grown diamonds vs Mined Diamonds
I know you want a number, and the last thing you want to hear is that the price of an E color diamond depends on your specific diamond purchase. But it's true.
But if you'd like a ballpark figure, the average price of a good quality 1 Carat E color diamond can range between $5,000-$10,000.
Save Money with Lab Diamonds
If $5,000 sounds way out of your budget for an E color diamond, you might consider lab grown diamonds as an alternative.
Lab diamonds have all the same properties as natural diamonds, but not the same rarity or price. They're cost-effective and better for the environment than natural diamond mining.
Lab grown diamonds aren't the same as diamond imitations. They are the real thing. They range from completely colorless to light yellow as well. However, you should expect to see more lab diamonds in the colorless grade range rather than yellow tinted ones.
But everyone's favorite thing about lab grown diamonds is that they can cost 20-40% lower than a mined diamond of the same quality. You can get an E color diamond at a great discount compared to one of similar quality as a natural diamond.
Should You Buy an E Color Diamond Engagement Ring?
Here's why I don't think it's necessary to buy an E color diamond.
My favorite thing about color grades is the fact that their purely visual, much like the bowtie of an oval cut diamond. Diamonds with lower color grades and bowties are considered lower quality by the diamond industry-but not because it compromises durability.
So basically, no matter what diamond color grade you end up with, your diamond isn't physically vulnerable. Lower clarity grades and cut quality can leave your diamond vulnerable to chipping or breaking.
Some people aren't sensitive to the hues of different color grades unless they're set side by side in a picture. Others prefer their diamond color to be closer to light yellow.
But if you really must have an E color diamond, I recommend not getting a yellow gold or rose gold setting for it. Rose gold and yellow gold can make the colorless appearance of a E color diamond look more tinted. White gold or platinum settings are better for higher color diamonds.
In the same respect, you can put a lower color diamond like JKL in yellow gold or rose gold settings in order to make it appear less yellow. Depending on your sensitivity to tint, you can save money and still get the look of a higher color diamond without paying the increase in cost.
If this is your goal, you may opt for a solitaire setting instead of some of the more intricate engagement ring settings with lots of additional diamonds. If your center stone is closer to the faint yellow range, stones surrounding it may appear brighter.
However, you diamond's shape can affect the color grade as well. Some diamond shapes are known for revealing color tint more than others. Diamond shapes with smaller face-up areas and high cut quality may work in your favor when trying to achieve a colorless appearance.
Round diamonds and cushion cut diamonds with excellent cut quality can make a lower color grade appear brighter. Oval diamonds, radiant diamonds, and emerald cut diamonds tend to reveal color more, even if they appear larger than the other two shapes mentioned.
It's easier to get better color grades in smaller diamonds. But in halo settings, three stone rings, and other settings with larger accent stones may outshine the center diamond color.
You'd assume the solve would to be to purchase settings with smaller accent diamonds. It isn't always the case. Make sure that you observe the accent stones in relation to your center stone. And if you can't, just protect yourself by making sure the online retailer has a good return policy in place.
Final Thoughts on an E Color Diamond
So if not an E color diamond, then what?
My recommendation is that you choose a diamond from the near colorless range. I think that for once Kay and the like have it right. Though personally, I'd choose something from the G-H color diamond range rather than the I-J range.
But what I find most often is that people don't always choose a specific color grade for their diamond engagement ring. When I consider the 4cs, diamond color isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
I love using online diamond retailers because they allow you to filter your diamond's grades. Typically, I leave it open to the near colorless range and avoid faint or light yellow diamonds altogether.
I'm not willing to compromise on cut quality, especially when buying a round diamond. And I don't recommend you do either.
There's a reason it's popular and the most expensive diamond shape-because of its superior brilliance to fancy cut diamond shapes. It would practically be sacrilegious to choose nothing but the best cut grade for it.
Dark clarity imperfections bother me and I don't tend to have the patience to sort through a bunch of diamonds, so I prefer diamond clarity to be in the VS clarity grades.
Then, I set a carat weight limit because increasing carat weight is a surefire way to skyrocket the price. And as long as I don't detect any yellow tint, I'll just choose a diamond that looks the best.
The grades are there to help us determine the quality, value, and price of a diamond. There's no such thing as the perfect diamond, but there's a diamond out there that's perfect for you. You should choose the one that looks the best to you.