Definitive Guide to the H Color Diamond

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?

H Color Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Front View

An H color diamond is the 5th best ranking on the diamond 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 H color diamonds are rare, the asking price will be significantly higher than an I or J color diamond.

The Diamond Color Scale:

D Color | E Color | F Color | G Color | H Color | I Color | J Color | K Color | L Color | M Color | Etc…

How Yellow is an H Color

D Color Diamond vs H Color Diamond

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 color diamond, 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

Cartier H Color Diamond Ring

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 to buy an H-color diamond.

The good news is that an H color diamond is likely to get you more of a return rate than a diamond of lesser color. Also, if the H color 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

12655 Diamond Platinum Engagement Rings for $18000

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?

Engagement Rings for $100000 Olean Ring Finger Pictur

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

For illustrational purposes, however, we will give you prices of an H color, VS2 clarity, and Brilliant Cut diamond:

  • 0.50-carat H color diamond will cost $1,650
  • 1-carat H color diamond will cost $7,600
  • 1.50-carat H color diamond will cost $14,100
  • 2-carat H color diamond will cost $25,000
  • 3-carat H color diamond will cost $55,000
  • 4-carat H color diamond will cost $100,000

Other Factors of an H Colored Diamond

girl holding book while wearing engagement ring

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, are really standalone classifications. The only time weight becomes a factor is with larger stones. The price curve of diamonds isn’t constant. Where a 1ct D color diamond might be 30-40% more expensive than an H color, 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.

  • Antique Three Stone Ring Pierce Ring Top View
    Pierce Ring. Circa 1902
    $34,000
  • Emerald Cut Diamond Ring Colborne ring Top View
    Colborne Ring
    $80,000
  • 0.63ct Antique Cushion Diamond Gold Ring - Malta Ring 13052 TV
    Malta Ring
    $5,200
  • Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Studs 1.80ct - Calverton Earrings 13795 TV
    Calverton Earrings. Circa 1980
    $7,000
  • Art Deco Diamond and Onyx Ring - Walden Ring 14046 TV
    Walden Ring. Circa 1925
    $4,500
  • Cushion Cut Cluster Ring Manchester Ring Top View
    Manchester Ring
    $7,200
  • Vintage Art Deco Halo Engagement Ring - Orleans Ring 14030 TV
    Orleans Ring. Circa 1925
    SOLD
  • Antique Cushion Cut Diamond Halo Ring - Norfork Ring 14047 TV
    Norfork Ring
    $7,200
  • Antique Edwardian Swirl Design Engagement Ring - Murren Ring 13866 TV
    Murren Ring. Circa 1905
    SOLD
  • Emerald Cut Diamond Ring Tivoli Ring Top View
    Tivoli Ring
    $6,000
  • 0.84ct Asscher Cut Diamond Halo Ring - Bolton Ring 13035 TV
    Bolton Ring
    $7,200
  • Oval Rose Cut Diamond Halo Ring - Finchley Ring 13757 TV
    Finchley Ring
    $10,000

Insider Tips for Buying an H Color Diamond

Diamond Engagement Ring in Box Held Box Customer

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 color, 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 color diamond with a halo of J – k Color 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?

Diamond Color H color on the Color Scale

H color diamonds, as we mentioned above, are an excellent compromise buy in the best possible sense. With an H color diamond, you won’t pay anywhere near the price of D or E color stones, yet the color 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 and Adira with Necklace in Showroom

Are you ready to purchase an H-color 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.