Jewelry Blog

Complete Guide to the E Color Diamond 

E color diamond rings in artistic layout

Buying a diamond is not only a personal preference. It may be a sentimental decision as well. Diamonds are often purchased for loved ones and represent how much you care. If you have never bought a diamond before, navigating the various aspects of these stones can get confusing. This guide explores the E color diamond to help you determine if they are the right choice for you. 

What Is an E Color Diamond? 

loose E colored diamond on tweezers against black backdrop

An E color diamond is a natural stone that ranks second-highest on the diamond color grade scale. It comes in just below D color stones, and it is considered to be a colorless gem. It may not be as transparent as those in the D category, but it has no discernable color when viewed with the naked eye or under a bright light. 

Many assume that diamonds are clear and do not contain any hues, but most stones available on the market have a yellow tint. The darker and more visible the color is, the lower the gem sits on the diamond color range. 

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the diamond color grading scale to grade diamonds uniformly and ascertain their value. The scale has become an industry standard where stones receive grades against known-colored diamonds in precise conditions. The color scale ranges from D to Z, with D consisting of gems with no color and Z stones having hues visible to the naked eye. 

An E color diamond sits just below D color stones. A professional gemologist may be the only one to distinguish between the two categories. These stones are rare but not as rare as those in the D classification. Because of their position on the color scale and their scarcity, E color diamonds fetch a premium price in the market. 

Understanding an E Color on the Diamond Color Scale 

Diamond color range graph d color through z color

E color diamonds are ranked second-highest on the diamond color grade scale. 

Diamonds obtain their hue from specks of minerals trapped in the gem when forming. The more particles a precious stone has, the more visibly tinted it will be. The diamond color scale has 12 grades and goes from D to Z. The D classification has colorless stones, while Z gems are visibly tinted. The more pigmentation a gem has, the lower it places on the spectrum. 

Each color grade represents a very narrow band of color, and it is hard to distinguish where one ranking begins, and another ends. That is why establishing a diamond’s color is done by comparing it to a master stone with a known color. 

Gemologists examine them with their bases pointing up, under specific lighting, and on a white background. Differences in close color grades are almost impossible to distinguish with an untrained eye. However, these variations can add up to a significant difference in price. 

The higher a stone ranks on the color scale, the more valuable it is.

Shop E Color Diamond Engagement Rings

Browse our stunning collection of diamond engagement rings that showcase E color diamonds in the center. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out below.

How Much Does an E Color Diamond Cost?

E color diamond pricing graph
Based on 2024 market pricing.

Because of their scarcity, E color stones cost more than the others in the diamond color scale, except for D color gems. 

The price of a diamond depends on its cut, color, weight, and clarity. A one-carat, round cut, E color stone with VS2 clarity will sell for about $8,000. A gem of a similar weight, cut, and clarity with a H color grade will go for about $5,200. These two diamonds will probably look identical to the naked eye despite their price difference. When purchasing a diamond, it is vital to consider all its features to get the best value for money. 

The table below reflects 2024 market pricing based on a VS2 excellent cut round brilliant diamond.

Carat WeightPrice
.50 Carat$1,400
1 Carat$7,500
2 Carats$33,000
3 Carats$82,500
4 Carats$146,000
5 Carats$245,000
6 Carats$294,000

D Color vs. E Color vs. F Color 

graph depicting d color e color f color diamonds

D, E, and F color diamonds are all categorized as colorless on the GIA diamond color scale. It is almost impossible to tell these stones apart with the naked eye. A professional gemologist will require years of training and laboratory equipment to differentiate between these precious stones. D to F stones all appear ice-white without any hint of yellow. 

The diamond color spectrum is very narrow, so stones are compared to master gems to find their place on the scale. It is conceivable that a low-end F color rock can pass for a high-end G diamond. With E color stones, you know they will not fall out of the colorless spectrum as they are between D and F gems. 

Although their appearance may not be immediately distinguishable, their price difference can be significant. D color stones will cost considerably more than E and F color diamonds. These extra dollars tacked onto the price tag of the higher-rated gems have more to do with their scarcity than their appearance. 

Therefore, it would be more prudent to buy a lower color-rated diamond as it will look just as stunning as a rock higher up on the spectrum. It will cost less, saving you some money. 

Is Buying an E Color Diamond a Good Idea? 

Customer Trying on Diamond Engagement Ring in Showroom on Outstretched Fingers

The value proposition of buying an E color diamond depends on the situation. These stones are great as investment vehicles but may not make much sense for an engagement ring or if you are on a budget. 

E color gems sit nearly at the top of the color scale. Their position means that they are stunning. If you are looking for a showstopper of a diamond, you could hardly go wrong with an E color stone. Therefore, these gems make for great investments or high-ticket items as they are rare and retain their value over time. 

The downside of E color gems is their hefty price tag. 

They sell at a premium price even though they look similar to stones several levels down on the color scale. This means that they are way more expensive than lower-rated diamonds that appear just as brilliant as they are. When looking for an engagement ring, it would make more sense to buy a gem that is not as highly rated as an E color diamond as it will be less expensive and look just as good. The cost savings can go towards getting a bigger carat. 

Top 7 Insider Tips for Buying an E Color Diamond 

jeweler showing diamond to customer

E color diamonds are considered premium, investment-grade gems, and they have the price tag to match. Selecting a diamond in this category has to be done strategically to realize the highest value for the stone. The gem’s cut, weight, and clarity will go a long way in determining the diamond’s ultimate value. These are some of the factors insiders say you should consider when buying E color gems. 

1. Buy the Right Cut for Your E Color

New technology is making the cutting process more precise. A high-grade cut will give the gem optimal brilliance, showing it to its best advantage. The Hearts and Arrows cut, for example, will result in a diamond that reflects light better, which makes it appear whiter than its color grade. High precision cuts may cost more money, but they are worth it as they bring out the best in your diamond. 

2. The Diamond Shape for E Color

E color vintage diamond engagement ring on artistic backdrop
2.23 Carat Buccellati Diamond Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 13836

E color diamonds can make almost any shape without diminishing their value. Larger stones show more pigmentation, but this is not an issue as E color diamonds are colorless. However, some shapes are more costly to produce than others. The round-cut, the most popular diamond shape, costs 10% to 15% more than other shapes. 

You might consider opting for a less expensive shape to save some money. The cost savings could go towards buying a bigger carat stone. 

3. Surrounding Diamonds 

13880 Bridgewater Rose Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
1.35 Carat Oval Rose Cut Bridgewater Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 13880

Designs like a halo or infinity rings consist of a center stone surrounded by smaller pieces. If you are designing jewelry to match your E color gem with other diamonds, it would be best if these diamonds were also E-colored. Using surrounding stones that are visibly different from the primary rock will lessen the piece’s beauty. 

If buying E-rated gemstones is too expensive, you can opt for a lower-grade hue that still appears colorless. 

4. Fluorescence With Your E Color

Tiny particles trapped in diamonds can cause them to glow when exposed to UV light. This is known as fluorescence. Fluorescence is a factor that diamond traders consider when determining a gem’s value. A diamond with high fluorescence will appear cloudy, making it less desirable. Low fluorescence in a lower-grade stone makes it seem more transparent, increasing its appeal. 

More often than not, jewelers will sell diamonds with high fluorescence at a lower price. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the fluorescence of a gem before making a purchase. Look for a rock with little or no fluorescence, as it will likely be more valuable. 

5. Compromising Clarity in E Color

5.92ct vintage Tiffany e color Diamond engagement Ring Ascher cut platinum setting
5.92ct Tiffany Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU KAV532

The clarity of a diamond determines how well it reflects light. It would not make much sense to spend a lot of money on an E-rated stone, only to have low clarity. This would mean that it will not be as brilliant or beautiful as the price tag warrants. 

As E color gems are investment-grade, you should consider all aspects to ensure exceptional stone. That means choosing a high clarity stone. VVS2 clarity or higher will take your diamond from good to extraordinary, ensuring that you have a collection-worthy item that will retain its value over time. 

6. What Carat Weight for E Color?

4 Carat Park Plaza Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU SB1055

Large diamonds show more color. Because E color diamonds are colorless, you can pick a large carat without worrying about any hints of yellow becoming evident. Stones that weigh more are more valuable as they are even more challenging to come by than smaller gems. Therefore, investing in a large carat E color gem will give you a better investment-grade piece. 

When buying an E color diamond, it is essential to remember that it is not just another piece of jewelry but an asset that you can use as a store of value. Therefore, you should ensure that its cut, weight, and clarity show it at its best advantage. Not compromising on the other factors that make diamonds valuable will ensure that your stone holds its desirability over time.

7. Pick the Appropriate Setting for E Color

5.01 carat antique cushion cut diamond E color VS2 clarity JR761
5.02 Carat Cassel Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU JR761

One of the values of E color stones is their ice-white appearance. However, when you set them in a colored metal like yellow or rose gold, they reflect the tint of their setting. They will therefore appear to be less brilliant than they actually are. 

Tip: When choosing a setting for your E color gem, it would be best to go with white gold or platinum mounting to retain the whiteness of the diamond. 

Understanding the Diamond Colors

Diamond color scale graph highlighting E color diamond
Diamond Color Scale

Let’s look at how E color stones compare to others on the spectrum. 

D Color

D color diamonds are at the pinnacle of the color scale. These gems are colorless and appear ice white. They have no discernable hue even when viewed under a microscope. These stones are rare, making them expensive to buy. 

They are often set in white gold or platinum to accentuate their icy brilliance. 

E and F Color 

The other colorless precious stones on the GIA color scale are E and F color diamonds. It is hard to tell these stones apart with the naked eye. However, a trained gemologist will differentiate them using specific steps set up for color grading. 

E and F color diamonds are best mounted on platinum or white gold to show them to their best advantage. These stones are not readily available and command a premium price in the market. 

G Color 

With the G color diamond, the classification table moves from colorless to nearly colorless. Diamonds rated G have a very slight hint of yellow. They appear colorless to the naked eye, and you can only discern their hue under magnification. 

G-rated stones are not as rare as D to F stones, and so they cost less than the higher-rated gems. They should be set in white gold or platinum to deflect their yellow tint and make them appear whiter. 

H Color 

H color stones have a faint hue that is only visible under magnification. Because specific cuts can hide color variations in diamonds, H colors stones are the minimum color grade recommended for radiant and cushion cuts as they have large tables. 

I Color 

These gems have a slight tint that is only noticeable when viewed alongside a higher grade stone. An I color stone will appear colorless with the right cut. These gems should be set in white gold or platinum to offset their yellow tint. 

An I color stone is excellent value for money as it will look like a colorless stone but cost significantly less. This color grade is the minimum recommended for the princess cut. 

J Color 

Stones in the J grouping have a hint of color under a microscope or when viewed with a bright light. This pigmentation is often invisible to the naked eye. However, with some cuts, you can detect the hue in J gems without magnification. 

J color diamonds are accentuated by round brilliant cuts when mounted on platinum or white gold. 

K, L and M Color 

GIA rates K to M diamonds as having a faint color. The naked eye can detect their pigmentation. Because of their yellow coloring, these stones are best in yellow gold, which will make them appear warmer. 

M color stones are the lowest color grade selected by most jewelers. Gems in this grading scale should preferably weigh less than half a carat as they are more likely to appear colorless. 

N, O, P, Q, and R Color 

N to R color diamonds have very light coloration. Their yellow or brown hues are visible to the naked eye, lowering their price point. 

S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z Color 

Diamonds in the S to Z color range have darker tints than those in the N to R group. Their yellow, brown, or gray hues are discernable even without magnification. Stones in this grouping are not desirable, and most jewelers do not recommend them. 

The diamonds found in the market are mostly G to L stones. They offer good value for money while still appearing colorless. The metal chosen to mount a diamond plays a significant role in how the stone appears. A colorless gem set in yellow gold will take on the hue of the metal. This will make the diamond look less transparent than it actually is. 

Are E Color Diamonds Considered Collection Grade Diamonds? 

Antique Diamond Loose in Diamond Box

An E color diamond with a clarity of FL to VVS2 is a collection-quality gemstone. These stones sit near the top of both the color and clarity scales. That makes them stunning pieces with the brilliance and fire desired by diamond connoisseurs. 

Talk to a Diamond Expert

Estate Diamond Jewelry Showroom with Afshin and Customer

E color diamonds are a premium purchase. When making that kind of investment, it would be best to talk to an expert to ensure that you get value for money. Our expert jewelers at Estate Diamond Jewelry will walk you through the best cut, weight, and setting for your stone.

D Color | E Color | F Color | G ColorH Color | I Color | J Color | K Color | L Color | M Color


About Afshin Shaddaie

Afshin moved to New York City in the 1980s, and a few years later, he began his career in the fine and rare jewelry scene. He teamed up with Michael Khordipour, and they've been curating vintage jewelry ever since. He also regularly contributes to Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, The Knot, and Insider. Afshin constantly travels to international shows and private viewing events in the hope of finding rare vintage rings that will be important enough to make an impression. He is available for appointments at our New York showroom when he's not traveling. In 2019, Afshin authored his book called The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on vintage jewelry and antique diamonds. His favorite jewelry era is Art Nouveau, and he loves rare Italian jewelry from the 1950s - 1970s. The Natural Saltwater Pearl is his favorite precious jewel.