G vs. I Color Diamond Compared

A lot of thought goes behind purchasing the perfect diamond. Apart from the cut and clarity of the diamond, color is yet another integral feature that decides how glorious your diamond will look. While an average person may think that diamonds are, in fact, colorless, they’re not.

Diamond color refers to the slight hue or tint in a diamond, and the standard measure of this color is based on the GIA color scale. GIA laboratory grades diamonds on a scale of D to Z, where D is colorless, and Z represents a light yellow tint in the diamond.

Most of these colors are hard to distinguish for the naked eye, yet the color grade of a diamond dramatically accounts for its value. 

Anyway, here we’ll be comparing two color grades of diamonds belonging to the same range in the color scale, i.e., ‘near colorless.’ Despite belonging to the same category, there are slight differences between the two. 

So let’s learn all about G, and I colored diamonds!

What is G Color Diamond?

A G color diamond belongs to the ‘near colorless’ range on the GIA color scale. G is the highest color grade of this range and offers a magnificent appearance at a price far lower than the diamonds from the ‘colorless range.’

A G color diamond shows a very slight yellow tint that is not even visible to the naked eye. This slight hue can only be spotted by an expert gemologist, too, with the help of a jeweler’s loupe in a brightly lit environment. 

So in person, a G-colored diamond will look absolutely gorgeous. In fact, to be fair, the naked eye cannot even distinguish between the best color grade ‘D’ and a G-colored diamond. 

And in all honesty, I think you should only be concerned with how the diamond looks in person. Unless you’re going to view it under a 20x magnification, there’s no reason to pay the premium price for ‘colorless’ diamonds.

What is an I color Diamond?

An I color diamond also belongs to the ‘near colorless’ category on the GIA color scale. The color grade I secures the third and second last place in the near-colorless range, leaving behind the J grade only. 

An ‘I’ color diamond exhibits a faint yellow tint and may not be as stunning as a G-colored diamond. But despite that, an ‘I’ colored diamond will look almost colorless to the naked eye. 

The slight yellow tint in I grades diamonds is only visible in a lab setting, i.e., bright lighting and jeweler’s tools that can examine the diamonds up to 30x magnification. 

In simpler words, an ‘I’ color diamond can look really gorgeous in the right cut without costing you an arm and a leg. 

Diamonds in a lower color grade do have a visible yellowish tint. But the ones in the ‘near colorless’ range, such as G-colored diamonds (in the right cut), can look virtually similar to the highest grade diamonds in the ‘colorless’ category. 

Affect of Cut on Color of a Diamond 

You must have noticed the mention of ‘the right cut’ multiple times till now. And that is because the type of cut of a diamond plays a huge role in its color appearance.

Some cuts like the round brilliant have a fantastic ability to reflect light, and so a round brilliant cut really works in favor of hiding any kind of color in the diamond. At the same time, diamonds in a pear or emerald cut have the ability to make color differences easily noticeable.

Take a look at the diamonds in the images below.

You can clearly tell that the yellow hue in the Asscher Diamond is way more visible than the Round Brilliant Diamond despite them both being graded “I” on the Color scale. 

So if you really want to deceive the eyes, your best bet can be a brilliant round diamond, for it is amazing at hiding any kind of hues in the diamond. 

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What is the difference between G and I color Diamond?

To the naked eye, there won’t be any visible differences between G and I color diamonds. However, they differ in their grades on the GIA scale for a reason, right?

G Colored Diamonds Look Colorless 

First and foremost, I’d like to appreciate how amazingly colorless G-graded diamonds look from a face-up view, even under magnification. 

If you place a well-cut G-colored diamond under a jeweler’s loupe in contrast with a D color diamond, the difference will be close to none, especially for an untrained eye. 

For instance, take a look at the following 2 Ct. Diamonds, both with a VVS2 clarity but with a different color grade. 

The color differences are barely noticeable, right? The left one is a D color grade, while the diamond on the right owns a G color grade. But the price difference between the two is massive. Despite looking almost identical, the D color diamond will cost you $5k more than the G-grade diamond. 

A side profile examination may reveal different results. You might be able to notice the color differences in the diamond’s face down or side profile examination. However, that is not a big concern since your diamond will most likely go in a setting and not lay around on your desk as a loose diamond.

I Colored Diamonds show a Yellowish Tint.

Despite being in the same category as G-colored diamonds, I color is the grade where the yellowish hue in the diamond does start bothering the consumers. That is, the slight hue in the diamond starts to become noticeable.

Take, for instance, this 2 Ct. Diamond from James Allen. It is graded I on the color scale with VVS2 clarity.

You can easily notice the yellowish hue in the diamond, and it’s even more prominent in the side profile examination. 

But the good news is that an ‘I’ colored diamond in the right cut will still be great at deceiving the naked eye by hiding its faint hue. So you should only be bothered about an ‘I’ grade diamond if it’s not in the right cut or in case you’ll be looking at it under magnification.

Value for Money

Another factor that differentiates the G color diamond from the ‘I’ colored diamond is the value for money.

A G-colored diamond offers far greater value for money than an ‘I’ color diamond. That is because if you put a G diamond in comparison with a diamond from the ‘colorless’ range (D, E, F), you may hardly notice a difference between the two (as we’ve seen earlier).

That means buying a G-color diamond can help you save a lot of money while not compromising on the appearance of the diamond either. 

On the other hand, the price difference between a G and I cannot be neglected, for sure. The price of the two varies greatly and so does the appearance. That is to say, an ‘I’ colored diamond is where the yellowish tinge starts showing quite easily. 

In essence, going for an ‘I’ color diamond over G to save money will not be the right move. You’ll have to compromise a lot on the appearance in this case. However, choosing a G-graded diamond over a D can give you a lot of room to save your hard-earned money.

G vs. I Color Diamond: Which one is best?

With keeping the facts in mind, it is quite easy to decide which color grade of a diamond is the best. If you’re considering a G-graded diamond better than I, then you’re going in the right direction. 

Part of this decision is based on the fact that G color is the highest grade in the ‘near colorless’ category of the GIA color scale and, thus, suggests that it is indeed a better option. 

But it is definitely not the sole reason behind my choice. A G-color diamond gives you the liberty to choose between different diamond shapes and cuts. That is because the subtle yellow undertone in these diamonds is too minimal to get noticed by the naked eye, regardless of the shape. 

On the contrary, the shape and cut of a diamond is of utmost importance when talking about I color graded diamonds. Only a few diamond shapes are capable of hiding the yellowish tinge in the diamond. While most cuts such as Asscher, emerald, or pear cuts make the color in the diamond clearly visible. 

So with an ‘I’ graded diamond, your options become limited. Other than that, G color diamonds are considered far superior to I color diamonds because of their striking resemblance with diamonds from the ‘colorless’ (D, E, F) range.

Price Comparison: G vs. I Color Diamond 

G and I color diamonds both belong to the ‘near colorless’ category of the color scale, yet there is a visible difference between their appearance. The diamonds with a G grade on the color scale are true to their name, i.e., They’re actually near colorless.

But the ‘I’ colored diamonds show a visible yellowish hue in them. And this is what differentiates them in terms of value and price. G and I colored diamonds vary greatly in terms of their price.

Take for example this 1 Ct. Round Diamond, VS1 clarity, with G color grade from James Allen. It retails for $6400. And a similar diamond at James Allen with an I color grade will cost you around $4200

So there’s a significant difference between their prices, and to be fair, it is quite justified if you pay attention to the difference in their appearances. 

The price difference between these two diamond categories is quite uniform among different vendors. For instance, a 1.01 ct. VS1 diamond, G color grade at the Blue Nile costs around $7000, whereas a similar diamond with an ‘I’ color grade fetches a price of $5800

In short, if you choose an ‘I’ grade diamond over a G grade diamond, you can easily save up to 1500-2000 bucks. However, you’ll be making a huge compromise on the appearance of the diamond. The G-colored diamonds cost a premium for a reason. 

Final Verdict 

All in all, it really depends on your preferences at the end of the day. Both G and I-colored diamonds look every bit stunning in the right cut. And once the diamond is set, all that matters is the face-up view. And fortunately, the color performance of both G and I diamonds is really impressive that way. But if you can stretch your budget a little then, I’d suggest you go for a G-colored diamond, for it looks unbelievably similar to the ones in the ‘colorless’ range. 

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