Color is one of the most important aspects of a diamond’s visual appearance and a major factor in diamond pricing. I is the sixth highest grade of diamond color, one step behind H on the GIA’s grating scale. I color diamonds are the third best of the near colorless diamonds, the range that is typically recommended for engagement ring diamonds due to high performance and better value. As the sixth highest color grade, I color diamonds are also the sixth most expensive color option. When compared to H color diamonds, I color diamonds typically cost between 4% and 32% cheaper, with the largest differences occurring in higher carat sizes and superior clarity grades.
I is StoneAlgo’s recommended target color. Why? Because I colored diamonds should appear totally white to the naked eye while presenting significantly better value for your budget than any of the higher diamond color grades. After I color the presence of color within the stone begins to become more significant, though we do view J as the best color for buyers looking to stretch their budget. That said, I color is still going to cost more than J color diamonds. Typically you need to compare diamonds that are two color grades apart in order to see a difference at all when it comes to color (I vs K for example). For perspective, Tiffany & Co. sells diamonds ranging from D – I color, an indication that these diamond colors look spectacular and white. If they didn’t look spectacular, Tiffany certainly wouldn’t want to associate its brand with that color range. So, while I is a better value alternative to H, and while an I color diamonds will appear white, give a look at J color diamonds as well to see how much larger you could go in that color grade for the same budget.
There are a lot of moving parts but generally speaking we try to maximize carat size for our given budget by sticking to the lower end of the color ranges we specified and searching for VS2 or better diamonds. SI1 diamonds are great if they’re eye clean, but they are a pain to find and often end up costing just as much as a VS2 diamond would. If you need one-on-one advice, we offer free support to all our users – simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org