Guide to L Color Diamonds

May 6, 2021 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

We are all conditioned to think that all diamonds, including the L color Diamond, are all very white in color. In reality, though, with the exception of the very whitest D color diamonds, all have a slight yellow tint. The key is how yellow the tint is, and whether you can see it easily or not, and whether you even mind or not.

What is an L Color Diamond?

infographic featuring top-down view of an L color diamond

An L color diamond is a diamond that ranks as “L” on the D-Z Scale of Diamond Color. L color diamonds tend to have clear signs of yellow but are not yellow enough to be dominant or obvious.

L Color kind of stands on its own on the color scale. The closest colors on the scale to L are K Color and M Color. K Color is in its own color bracket of J-K Color, while M Color is considered a lot more yellow than L Color.

top-down view of round L Color and M Color Diamonds

Here’s a comparison of L Color vs M Color. As you can see the M color is notably more yellow than the L color stone.

It is important to note that not all certifications of L-Color will be the same. Color grading is a very subjective art form. Sometimes even GIA or UGL will grade a diamond as L Color, but when they re-grade it will declare that it is K Color.

Tips for Making an L Color Diamond Look Whiter

L color diamond engagement ring with foggy background
Learn more about this diamond ring

If you have an L color diamond and you want to make it appear more white, there are surprisingly a bunch of handy tips to know. Here are our top insider tips.

1. The Color of the Metal Matters

Diamond Engagement Ring with 18k yellow gold mounting and diamonds on shoulder
Notice that the slight yellow and reds in the ring aren’t so noticeable in comparison to the yellow-red of the gold setting

Rings normally have one of two metal colors used in the setting – yellow and white.

For very white diamonds (think D color – J color), the preferred metal color that you will want to use is white (either platinum or white gold). The metal will complement the diamond perfectly.

For diamonds that are L color and downwards, our expert tip is to use yellow gold. Yellow gold will reflect against the diamond, giving the illusion that the diamond is only yellowish because of the mounting. It takes so much perceived yellowness out of the L color.

2. Prong vs Bezel Trick

Diamond Engagement Ring with Bezel Setting on Finger
This diamond is bezel-set. Notice the platinum circle that surrounds the entire perimeter of the center diamond

Here’s another advanced jeweler trick that most people are completely unaware of. Prong vs Bezel makes a big difference.

The jewelry work that holds the center stone can certainly help you show or hide the color of the center stone.

The rule of thumb is that a prong setting will show more of the diamond (especially the sides) and thus display how white it is. A bezel setting will hide the sides and wrap more of the diamond with metal, thereby hiding a more yellow color. It’s the sides of the diamond that usually show the most color. See more below in our discussion about antique diamonds and their color advantages.

You can knock off two grades from the illusion of an L color diamond if you bezel set it correctly.

3. Diamond Treatment

Diamond Treatment for Yellow Diamond Color graphic with microscope

Diamond treatment is a really bad idea. We’re bringing up the idea here just to caution you not to do it if you’re tempted. Any form of diamond treatment dramatically reduces the stone’s value, and if it is not done properly, it could also risk the stone’s integrity.

If you don’t like the color of the stone and you’re considering giving it treatment, then we recommend selling it and buying a less-yellow stone instead.

4. The Halo Illusion

L Color Diamond Ring With Diamond Halo on Womans Finger

This is one of our most popular ideas when it comes to mellowing the effect of a yellowish diamond. It’s called the halo illusion.

If you place a halo of diamond around the center stone that is more yellow in color than the center diamond, it draws the attention away from the yellow in the center and gives off an illusion of being more white.

This same technique works for side accenting diamonds as well.

5. Colored Halo

Platinum engagement ring with center diamond and blue sapphire halo

This technique is very similar to the previous “halo illusion” trick, but with a colored stone halo, you’ll be using the halo to distract from the center stone.

The most popular ring style that this technique is the sapphire halo. We have a large collection of sapphire halo engagement rings. Some of the rings in the collection aren’t high color, but the sapphire halo is so vibrant and eye-drawing that the viewer focuses away from the center diamond.

How Much Does an L Color Diamond Cost?

how much does an L color diamond costs

A good-quality L color diamond that weighs 1.00 carat and is VS2 clarity costs approximately $3,800 without the mounting. In contrast, a D color diamond with the same specifications will cost approximately $10,100.

The complete variables in the price for an L Color Diamond would be too much for us to cover in this article, but here’s a breakdown of approximately how much you can expect to pay for an L color diamond that is VS2 Clarity.

Please remember that this cost does not include the mounting.

SizeRound Cut and VS2 Clarity
0.50-Carats L Color$850
1.00-Carats L Color$3,800
1.50-Carats L Color$6,600
2.00-Carats L Color$11,600
3.00-Carats L Color$25,500
4.00-Carats L Color$38,000
5.00-Carats L Color$60,000
6.00-Carats L Color$72,000

Shop for An L Color Diamond Ring

We have a lot of L-color diamond rings in our inventory, but here are a few examples. If you have any questions or want to see more, then feel free to contact us.

Advantages of L Color Diamonds

Dainty Platinum Ring Featuring Old European Cut Cape Diamond with Sapphire Halo

If we assume all other parts of the diamond appraisal are equal, a D color will cost a lot more than an L color. In fact, it is not unknown for an L color to cost less than half that of a G or H color.

To put that in perspective, you could possibly double the carat weight of your diamond by choosing an L color over a G color stone. The pricing curve for diamonds doesn’t just climb as it gets towards high-quality D color stones, it becomes almost vertical. Put away any pre-conceptions you may have about an L color diamond, and reap the rewards.

Some dealers are reluctant to stock L color diamonds, as they have the misguided impression that nobody wants them.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

As fancy colors start to see a rise in popularity, so demand for white diamonds with some color rises alongside. Despite this rise, prices for faint-color diamonds have a history of reasonable stability. However, if you do think an L color diamond might be the one for you, act fast. Find a dealer who has a range of stones, and see what you like.

Important Note: Once you get into the much higher carat ranges (more than 4.00 carats), L color stones become very desirable, especially when the stones are antique as well. See below.

Antique L Color Diamonds

Antique L color diamond ring with emerald and diamond accents

We deal with all diamond rings, but our specialty has always been rare antique rings.

The color expectations of antique stones are completely different than modern stones, in fact, when dealing in the world of antique sometimes a little bit of color gives it more of a genuine feel. It feels more rustic and vintage.

But the biggest advantage of antique stones is that they appear way more white from the top when looking down. The face-up of an L-color antique diamond will look like a J color of a modern stone.

The main reason for the color advantage in an antique diamond is the small table, large culet, and tall pavilion of the antique stones.

Click here to browse our collection of antique l-color diamond rings.

Contact Us

Customer Examining Engagement Rings from display in Showroom

If you’re looking for help searching for your perfect L Color Diamond Ring, let us help you. Tell us what you’re after and we’ll guide you along your journey.