Vintage floral engagement ring
Photo: From the Hip Photo

One of the important 4 C's to consider when purchasing an engagement ring is none other than diamond color. In this case, color refers to the hue (or, rather, the lack of a hue) that a diamond possesses. While it might seem easy to ascertain the color of a diamond (they're pretty much all clear, right? Kind of...) there's much more to the process than knowing your reds from your blues. In this engagement ring guide, you'll get everything you need to know to confidently pick the perfect diamond in a color that fits your beloved's taste and your budget.

The Color Scale

Diamond color is rated on a scale from D to Z. D is the absolute clearest, colorless diamond, while stones in the K-Z range have a noticeable yellow color.

Talking Money

The closer you are to the start of the alphabet, the more expensive the diamond will be. Instead of going for a D or E grade diamond, aim for the G-H range. These are called "nearly colorless." What color they do have will be undetectable by the naked, non-professional eye.

Not to Be Confused...

Don't confuse diamonds with a noticeable color (K-Z grades) with canary diamonds. While diamonds with a K-Z grade do have a yellowish tint, they are not the same as a canary diamond. The latter are much rarer and have a deeply saturated color. Fancy color diamonds come with their own color scale.

Diamond Priorities

Color isn't the most important aspect of a diamond. In general, you should look for a well cut diamond and put your budget there first. Once you've found the right cut, then narrow down the stone by color. The sparkle created by a well cut stone is what will catch the eye of your fiance, not the color.

Collaboration Time

Make sure the stone's color works with--not against--the color of the band. You don't want to negate the stunning color of the diamond you've chosen, so place a stone with a D, E, or F grade in a silver, white gold, or platinum setting. Putting it in a gold setting will cause the gold hue to reflect onto the stone, which will undo your hard work in dedicating this engagement ring guide to memory.

Still want to learn more about engagement rings? Start with these guides to diamond carat and diamond clarity.