The last grade of the colorless group is the F grade, it sets at the end and right before “Near colorless”, making it one of the problematic colors where people think it will be more or less close to showing some yellow color.
In terms or color purity ranking (as per GIA grading), it’s the 3rd color from the top, dancing with D & E being all colorless to naked eye.
Here is an image for this F color diamond on Blue Nile:
Image quality might not be as super as James Allen as we’ve seen in other posts, but it’s clear how colorless is the F grade for a naked eye (this is 20x magnification and not how you see it with your eyes, just a reminder).
F diamonds might be a favorable choice for those who are extremely sensitive to the word “yellow”, but it comes with a higher price tag, somewhere like $1k more than the average 1 carat diamond price.
But let’s tell you 1 thing here, even if you’re extremely sensitive to diamond color, F grade is not be the best bang for your buck, and you can guarantee a colorless diamond (to eye) without spending an extra grand.
Let’s learn more about F, and how you can pick the best diamond for whatever budget you have.
What is the F Color Grade?
As per the global GIA standardization of diamond colors, F stands as the last grade of the near colorless group (along with D & E), being in the colorless group means that the diamond will never show any yellow color when me, you, or even a jeweler check it in regular lighting using naked eye.
People tend to select F color grade because it gives them a guarantee to have a colorless diamond, and doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg like the insanely-priced D color diamonds for example.
In terms of popularity, the F color is one of very popular color grades, making it easy for people to find the perfect gem since offerings will be much wider when compared to D & E colors.
For instance, this filtered search on James Allen shows a total of 15k+ diamonds with F color, while a similar search for D color shows around 9k diamonds.
F color is a very beautiful color grade, will look amazing on a white gold or platinum ring, but it’s not the best grade for your money, even if you want a completely colorless stone as we will see a bit shortly.
Where it Stands in Color Grade Chart?
The global standard for diamond coloring is the GIA color grading chart that we have written a full guide about it.
In short, the chart goes from D to Z, and the first part of it is the colorless spectrum, which consists of D, E, and F color grades, as per GIA terminology, these 3 grades will look very similar to the naked eye, even when checking them by a trained person under regular conditions.
While the chart above here shows decent amount of color in near colorless group grades, the truth is that this is not a 100% visual reflection for these grades, in other words, the G color for example won’t show any yellow color when checking it under normal lighting conditions.
What this means? That the difference between colorless & near colorless (specially for grades close to each other) is very little.
F & Neighboring Colors: E vs F vs G Grade Difference
We know for a fact that the visual difference between each color grade and the next one is very hard to detect, and that’s not our own opinion, here is what James Allen says about this in their Color Guide:
Generally, when comparing color between two diamonds, the diamonds need to be at least two color grades apart to even begin to see a difference
For the F color, being at the end of the colorless group, makes it very close from the next group, and in particular color G, so what’s the real difference here? And what you should pay attention to when picking a diamond color?
If you look at 2 diamonds side by side, whether an E & F or F & G, you will not be able to tell any visible difference between both diamonds, even when they are loose diamonds and not set on a ring (that makes it even harder).
Even more, if you check E & G color diamonds, most probably you will think they are just 1 grade apart, because the visual difference between them is so minimal, and it needs a gemologist or an experienced jeweler (under ideal conditions) to make a distinguish here.
To summarize, getting an F grade isn’t any different from getting a G color, both grades are very beautiful and will guarantee a flawless color diamond.
Comparing diamond colors (whether set on ring or as loose stones) isn’t easy, since the visual difference to naked eye isn’t similar to how you see it under 20x magnification & top imaging technology offered at James Allen for example.
In our Blue Nile’s review, we mentioned that their images aren’t as great as James Allen’s, but they still clearly show what you need to know about your diamond.
You also need to keep in mind that many factors affect color appearance, so F color for a round shape diamond might look a bit different from the same grade on an Asscher one.
Mentioning shapes, we believe you will find it useful to know read the difference between Cut & Shape, and the most popular shapes as well.
Let’s fix the remaining of 4Cs (cut, clarity, carat) to better compare the gems.
Here are 3 images for the F grade and its adjacent colors as well, taken from Blue Nile:
Do you think there is a HUGE difference between them? Feel free to check more examples on James Allen if you want extremely high magnified images.
Price difference between each 2 grades of these diamonds is around $500, let’s break this down and see how you can save yourself a $500 or even a grand.
How Much Does F Color Diamonds Cost?
Diamond pricing is influenced by a lot of factors, the “big players” in determining the price are the 4Cs, along with less common (yet, important) factors like polish, symmetry, table & depth, etc.
To get an estimation for F color price range, we will set our search to:
Polish & Symmetry: Excellent
Let’s then run a search on James Allen and see.
We see total of 285 diamonds, and by excluding outliers, we can safely say that the price range for F color diamonds is between $6300 to $8000.
Doing the same exercise on Blue Nile gives similar results, with prices ranging between $6100 and $8200 for the same characteristics.
Comparing this to D & E color grades prices we saw in other color guides, we can see that F color prices are somewhere between 15-20% cheaper that diamonds within the same colorless group.
When shopping for an engagement ring or just any diamond, it’s critical to understand what factors play a role in reflecting the true beauty of a diamond, and how each characteristic influence diamond pricing as well.
Before you start, always set yourself to an excellent cut grade, because it’s on top of 4Cs in order of importance, and then browsing other factors.
Color is a matter of taste, some people like to see some color on their gem, if you’re not among them, you need to make sure you get a clean and colorless color grade.
While F color diamonds are undoubtedly beautiful, they are still a bit expensive, around $1k higher than average carat price if you know what 4Cs you should get to guarantee a great diamond.
Because you can safely pick a G color grade, set it on white gold or platinum setting ring, and the diamond won’t appear yellowish at all.
The same applies to H as well, since G & H grades are adjacent, it’s pretty hard for anyone to distinguish which is which.
Still not sure where to buy your diamond?
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