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F vs G Color Diamond: What’s the Difference?

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F vs G Color Diamonds

The color grade of a diamond is based on the presence of yellow or brown tints. 

On the scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), diamonds are graded D-Z, with D indicating it’s colorless and Z diamonds having heavy shades of brown.

F and G diamonds are positioned toward the top of the color scale.

The main difference between F and G color diamonds is that G diamonds show slightly more yellow compared to F, which puts them in the “near colorless” category. Buyers pay premiums for F diamonds because of its colorless grade, even though the two often appear identical.

To help you decide which is the right choice for you, we’ll compare F versus G diamonds, including an overview of each and three distinctions.

What are F Color Diamonds?

F color diamonds are the third highest position on the GIA color scale. They fall within the colorless section but show more yellow compared to D and E diamonds.

GIA Color Scale

Its qualities place it one letter grade above G diamonds.

Even though F diamonds don’t earn the highest mark, it’s often difficult to find any flaws related to its color.

Take this example of a one-carat diamond.

No matter which angle you view it, the yellow is difficult to find.

Even when it’s placed next to the D color diamond below, they’re indistinguishable from one another.

D Color Diamond

But the difference is apparent when viewed with magnification. When gemologists determine its color grade, they place it under 10x magnification and scan back and forth.

So while the gemologist found a hint of yellow in the F diamond, the D diamond was clean.

What are G Color Diamonds?

G color diamonds are directly below F on the color scale. 

It’s the fourth highest position, above H, I, and J.

Even though there’s a whole category of diamonds with less color, G diamonds are still a rare find. Most diamonds show significant color, which is why buyers pay a premium for any lacking that trait.

As a counter example, check out the diamond below that earned a K color grade.

K Color Diamond

When you rotate the image, yellow is visible at every angle.

Now look at this G diamond.

If you didn’t know its color grade, you would think it earned the highest designation.

Placing them side by side demonstrates the superior quality of G diamonds versus ones in lower categories.

But the yellow tints are more obvious under 10x magnification. In fact, gemologists can spot them easily with a jewelers loupe.

If they were more hidden, the diamond would earn a colorless grade instead of G.

What are the Differences Between F and G Diamonds?

Although F and G diamonds are next to each other on the color scale, they have several differences that should affect your decision on which is best for you.

Let’s discuss those distinctions in detail.

1. G Diamonds are a Better Value

As a buyer, you shouldn’t be too concerned with the specific grade a diamond receives. That’s true for its clarity as well.

Instead, prioritize how it appears when viewed in a normal setting. Jewelry retailers earn high margins when you pay premiums for characteristics that can only be seen under a microscope.

As you’ll see, this is true with color. 

I’ll demonstrate by comparing prices of G versus F diamonds, where its other grades are the same.

I compiled prices for 292 diamonds from James Allen. They had the following qualities:

Prices of F and G Diamonds

For the ones with G color, the average price was $6,226. The range was $5,330-$6,710.

For F color, the average cost was $7,556, with a range between $6,970 and $9,880.

That’s a 21 percent premium for an F diamond over G, even though the two often look identical when placed next to each other.

That’s why I say G diamonds are a better value. 

Plus, that premium is higher than the one between other color grades. 

When you jump from one category to another, like near colorless to colorless, there’s more of an upcharge in comparison to an H to G diamond.

2. F Diamonds are Colorless

F and G diamonds are in different categories of the GIA color scale. The sections are:

  • Colorless (D-F)
  • Near colorless (G-J)
  • Faint (K-M)
  • Very light (N-R)
  • Light (S-Z)

So F diamonds are colorless, and G diamonds are near colorless.

As we’ve discussed, the actual difference between these two grades are minimal. When you place one next to the other, it’s difficult to tell them apart.

For example, the image below is of a G and F diamond.

G and F Color Diamonds

If they weren’t labeled, you likely wouldn’t know the difference.

But some buyers desire the satisfaction of a colorless diamond. They want to maximize its qualities across the four Cs and may ensure their diamond has grades like an excellent cut and flawless or VVS clarity.

Even though they appear similar, there’s intangible value to a higher quality diamond.

Additionally, you might decide on an F versus G diamond based on the diamond’s weight. If you’ve chosen a two- or three-carat diamond, be mindful you’ll have to choose a higher color grade for it to appear colorless.

There are still instances in which a G diamond will appear colorless at those carat weights, but it’s worth viewing it in-person or through a high-quality image to be certain.

3. G is the Most Popular Color for Engagement Rings

G is often the most popular color for engagement ring diamonds because it strikes the balance between appearing colorless and avoiding the premiums charged for higher grades.

Because it sits outside the colorless category, there’s a disproportionate drop in price compared to its value and appearance.

Check out this engagement ring in 18K white gold with a G diamond.

Engagement Ring with G Color Diamond

It’s surrounded by a halo of small diamonds and pave on the shank.

The color of those accents are G and H, so the center diamond isn’t dull in comparison.

That’s an important tip for engagement rings with a G color. 

Be mindful of the colors of any additional diamonds on the ring. If they’re graded D or E, the larger stone may show yellow in comparison.

But if you’ve chosen a solitaire diamond ring with a G grade, you don’t have to worry about any contrast.

Solitaire Setting with G Diamond

Even though a G color diamond is a common choice, you shouldn’t start your search there. Instead, you can also find value at J or I color grades, depending on its weight and cut.

Remember your goal isn’t to choose a specific color grade for your engagement ring. Focus on how it appears to the naked eye.

Are There any Similarities?

There are also similarities between F and G diamonds.

Consider a lower color grade if your diamond ring is set in yellow or rose gold, like in the setting below.

Diamond Ring with Yellow Gold Setting

The color from those settings has the potential to make the diamond appear darker no matter its color, so it’s not always worth the high color grade.

You could choose H or I for the same result.

But G and F diamonds are an exceptional fit for white gold or platinum settings if you’re interested in those higher grades.

The other similarity is their popularity for fancy shapes. 

Cuts like Asscher, emerald, and baguette show more color because of step-cut facets. Instead of exhibiting strong light performance, they have a subtle glow that doesn’t disguise hints of yellow.

Fancy Shape Diamond Color

For it to appear colorless like a J or I brilliant cut, you may have to move up the scale to G or F.

The additional cost of this higher color grade is offset by the lower cost-per-carat for step cuts compared to round diamonds.

Should You Choose an F or G Color Diamond?

Comparing F versus G diamonds requires understanding how that difference in color grade affects its appearance and performance.

Although the two are next to each other on the color scale and appear similar, it’s important to choose the diamond that’s right for you.

To help you decide, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want to avoid the premiums charged for a colorless diamond?
  • Is the satisfaction of a colorless diamond essential to you?
  • Could you find a diamond with the same appearance at a lower grade, which could result in better value?

Check out F and G diamonds at in-person and online jewelry vendors. By viewing them in the store or through high-resolution images, you’ll learn how each color grade performs.

Whether you land on F, G, or a diamond with another color grade, you’ll have the confidence it’s the best fit for you.

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler is the founder of TeachJewelry.com.

He earned an Applied Jewelry Professional Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America and now brings you essential information about diamonds, settings, and more.

Devon has consulted with leading jewelry brands, and his work has been cited in Diamond Nexus and other industry publications.

He's also a member of the International Gem Society.

Devon enjoys discussing jewelry with readers, so contact him with any questions at tyler.devon@teachjewelry.com.

Learn More About Devon

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