Jewelry Blog

Guide to L Color Diamonds

l color diamond rings in artistic layout

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?

Diamond color scale graph highlighting L color

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.

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.

K L M color diamond comparison graph
Based on round brilliant, excellent cut, IF clarity diamonds.

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

1.41 Carat old European cut diamond with french cut sapphire halo Constantinople Ring
1.41 Carat Constantinople Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 13803

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

3.26 Carat Old European Diamond Astoria Ring on abstract background
3.26 Carat Old European Diamond Astoria Ring. SKU 14361

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

2.25 Carat Old European Cut Diamond Heathrow Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU13528

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

treating diamond in lab

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, we recommend selling it instead and buying a less-yellow stone.

4. The Halo Illusion

11903 Genova 1.94 carat floral cluster halo diamond Ring
1.94 Carat Genova Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 11903

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

12953 Warminster ring l color elongated antique cushion cut diamond with French cut sapphire halo
1.44 Carat Warminster Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry

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?

L color diamond carat pricing graph
Based on 2024 market pricing.

A good-quality L color diamond that weighs 1.00 carat and is VS2 clarity costs approximately $2,800 without the mounting. In contrast, a D color diamond with the same specifications will cost approximately $8,700.

Because so many factors affect a diamond’s price, including color, clarity and cut, the complete variables in the price for an L Color Diamond would be too much for us to cover in this article. So let’s take one example and breakdown approximately how much you can expect to pay for an L color diamond that is VS2 Clarity and excellent cut.

Please remember that this cost does not include the mounting and reflects market pricing as of 2024. For exclusive pricing on diamonds contact us at Estate Diamond Jewelry for the best rates.

Carat WeightPrice
0.50-Carats L Color$700
1.00-Carats L Color$3,100
2.00-Carats L Color$12,800
3.00-Carats L Color$30,000
4.00-Carats L Color$46,000
5.00-Carats L Color$72,500
6.00-Carats L Color$87,700

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

12861 5.02 carat antique cushion cut diamond with bezel set halo ring on abstract background
5.02 Carat Antique Cushion Cut Diamond Ring from Estate diamond Jewelry. SKU 12861

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

0.57  L color diamond old European cut diamond ring with tapered baguette diamond accents 14690
0.57 Carat Old European Diamond Clayton Ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry. SKU 14690

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

Ben Khordipour in Jewelry Showroom Estate Diamond Jewelry

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.

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


About Benjamin Khordipour

Benjamin Khordipour is one of the jewelry researchers and gemologists at Estate Diamond Jewelry. He received his official gemological degrees from both the GIA and GUBELIN. He also regularly contributes to Business Insider, Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, and Brides Magazine. Benjamin was born in New York and joined Estate Diamond Jewelry in 2014. He is passionate about vintage jewelry and diamonds. This blog was built on his strong belief that jewelers have a responsibility to properly educate their customers. In 2019, Benjamin co-authored the book The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. His favorite vintage jewelry era is the Art Deco Era and his favorite type of stone is the Kashmir Sapphire. He also collects rare antique pins.