The H Color Diamond – A Definitive Guide

Written by: Benjamin Khordipour, Jewelry and Gemology Expert
October 6, 2021 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

The H color diamond generally comes under the heading of near-colorless. They don’t match the non-color standards of D, E, or F diamonds, but it’s unlikely that all – but an expert eye – will see even a hint of yellow coloring.

Read this article to learn everything that you need to know about buying an H color diamond.

What is an H Color Diamond?

loose H color cushion cut diamond on tweezers

An H color diamond is the 5th best rank on the color grading scale. It is deemed to be near-colorless, which means that it will be very difficult for a novice to see even a subtle shade of yellow.

Because these diamonds are rare, the asking price will be significantly higher than an I or J color diamond.

The Diamond Color Scale:

How Yellow is an H Color?

Diamond colors scale highlighting H color diamond
Diamond Color Scale Graph

Technically, H color (or H colour in the UK) diamonds are not colorless. They have a trace of color, light yellow, which has an effect on pricing if not much else. H diamonds can retail for up to 40% less than a D, despite looking nearly identical to the naked eye.

You would need to compare the two side by side in order to be able to tell the difference. That’s what diamond dealers do, actually. They use graded sample diamonds to assess the color of one yet to be given a color. In theory, an H color diamond could be less yellow than the sample H color, but because it has more color than the G sample stone, it will have the H rating.

Until you get to the bottom of the chart, most of the diamond colors will be hard to determine. Without controlled lighting in an equally controlled environment, anything from D-color to I-color or possibly even J-color will look colorless.

So why do we bother with so many colors on the chart? Why not just have three grades of colorless, faint color, and light color?

Part of the reason is simply that quality does matter. It also helps with pricing the various diamonds, as it would not be desirable to have a truly colorless diamond priced the same as what we know as H color.

H Color Diamonds as an Investment

4.20 carat Sherbrooke Ring H color Ascher cut diamond  SB2551
4.20 carat Sherbrooke Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU SB2551

Diamonds aren’t necessarily the jewelry investment opportunity you might think. The best diamonds – those with D, E, and F color, superb clarity, perfect cut, and high-carat weight – will almost certainly appreciate in value over time. The rest, though, are nowhere near as likely to be worth more in 20 years than they are today. Most, in fact, will lose value the second they leave the store.

An H diamond is likely to be up to 40% cheaper than buying a D diamond. This really takes it out of the investment bracket. You would likely need a sizeable H color diamond of at least 4 carats or larger before there is any chance of a return on your investment. This, of course, is offset by the much lower price that you pay for these diamonds.

The good news is that these diamonds are likely to get you more of a return rate than a diamond of a lesser color. Also, if the diamond is vintage or antique, you will probably have a much easier time selling it, as it is much rarer.

Setting an H Color into a Ring

Mulberry Ring antique cushion cut H color diamond 14736
2.19 carat Mulberry Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 14736

Once you get to I color diamonds or J color diamonds, there is a definite risk that platinum or white gold settings will expose even the faint color present at that grade. With an H color diamond, the risk is greatly reduced, and most will sit quite happily on white metals. In a yellow gold setting, the very faint color in an H diamond can be enhanced, but never to the point that the diamond ever looks yellow in any way. Instead, it just adds a little warmth to the overall look of the ring.

H color diamonds also work very well with colored stones. Where sometimes yellower diamonds can look a little “dirty” alongside sapphires or rubies, H colors maintain their non-detectable color status very well. They also perform very well set in earrings, as the more unpredictable light allows them to sparkle noticeably when exposed.

How much does an H color Diamond Cost?

pricing graph for H color diamond
Market pricing as of 2024.

Like all diamonds, H color diamonds vary in price. The additional factors mentioned below will greatly affect the bottom line.

For illustrational purposes, however, let’s look at prices for an H color, VS2 clarity, and Brilliant Cut diamond. Bear in mind that the prices below reflect market pricing as of 2024. Contact us at Estate Diamond Jewelry for exclusive pricing.

Carat WeightPrice
.50 Carat$1,200
1 Carat$6,400
2 Carats$25,000
3 Carats$60,000
4 Carats$108,000
5 Carats$170,000
6 Carats$204,000

Other Factors of an H Colored Diamond

Emerald cut H color diamond engagement ring on abstract background 14015
Colborne Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 14015

Color is generally unaffected by the other 3Cs, and vice versa. Cut and clarity do have a relationship of sorts. A poorly cut diamond can fail to eliminate flaws and inclusions in the original rough stone. Color, though, like the carat weight, is really a standalone classification. The only time weight becomes a factor is with larger stones. The price curve of diamonds isn’t constant. Where a 1ct D diamond might be 30-40% more expensive than an H, a 3ct stone might be 60-70% more expensive.

Large diamonds are very rare, and large D color diamonds are exceedingly so. Large H color diamonds, whilst rare enough to make a difference, don’t get anywhere near the price of the best colors.

Shop H Color Diamond Engagement Rings

Here are some of the H color engagement rings from our collection. If you are looking for more options, please contact us using the email form below.

Insider Tips for Buying an H Color Diamond

couple shopping for engagement ring

Buying an H color diamond, like all diamond purchases, should be done carefully and only after doing sufficient research.

Here are our top insider tips for finding the perfect H color:

  • Get a Certificate. Don’t just trust the word of the jeweler who is selling you the diamond. Make sure that you ask for an independent certification report, and ensure that everything checks out.
  • Compromise with Size. If you’re set on getting an H diamond, and the budget is too high, settle on the size of the diamond. The best trick is to drop to the top of the lower bracket. So if, for example, you wanted to get a 2.00-carat diamond, drop down to 1.95 – 1.99 carats. The difference in price will be very significant, but the visible difference will be unnoticeable.
  • Check Online Reviews. Only work with a jeweler who has a strong online reputation. Ensure that they have a lot of 5-star reviews and actually take the time to go through them.
  • Offset with Yellow-ish Halo. This is a great hack. Surround your H diamond with a halo of J – K diamonds, giving the impression that the center diamond is much whiter.
  • The Mounted Illusion. Place the diamond in a yellow gold mounting. This will make the diamond feel much whiter as it will appear that all the yellow in the diamond is merely reflected in yellowness from the mounting.

Final Thoughts – Are H Color Diamonds a Good Idea?

H color diamonds, as we mentioned above, are an excellent compromise buy in the best possible sense. With an H diamond, you won’t pay anywhere near the price of D or E stones, yet the difference is inconsequential. So inconsequential – as to not matter in most cases.

If I color or J color diamonds are just starting to get a little too yellow for your taste (or for your desired setting), then H can be a big leap forward.

One Final Note: Please stop calling the H-Diamonds by the name of “H Clarity Diamonds.” Clarity is a ranking for impurities found in the diamond, while H is a scale on the color spectrum. The correct term is “H Color Diamond.”

Talk to an Expert Jeweler

Afshin Negotiating prices on vintage ring at estate diamond jewelry showroom

Are you ready to purchase an H diamond? Feel free to reach out to our diamond experts so that they can find you options within your budget. We will respond within one business hour.

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