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Best Diamond Color for Rose Gold Rings

Rose gold is a favorite jewelry metal for many. If you’re considering a rose gold engagement ring, you may be wondering what diamond color grade will look best with the setting’s soft pink tint. Fortunately, with colored metals, you can save money by choosing a diamond with a lower color grade.
By Addison Rice 8 minutes read
round diamond in rose gold engagement ring

This lab-made diamond has an I color grade but looks perfectly white in the rose gold setting. © CustomMade. Used with permission.

No matter what color grade you choose, it’s important to take a close look at the diamond you’re buying. This is the only way to assess the stone’s clarity and cut, too.

If you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, make sure the jeweler shows you the diamond in its intended setting under a daylight-equivalent light bulb with an ultraviolet component. (That’s the standard lighting for diamond color grading, so you’ll see what the gem grader saw). Also, have the jeweler show you the stone from various angles.

If you’re buying online, you must watch closeup videos of your diamond. James Allen and Blue Nile both offer excellent magnified views of their diamonds, so you can pick the one that’s best for you. You can also view your diamond mounted in the metal setting you prefer.

Going custom is another great option. If you’re looking for something that suits your personality, consider designing a ring with CustomMade. Their experts can help you find the right diamond and put it in a ring made just for you.

What Does a Diamond Color Grade Mean?

Most diamonds come with grading reports from gem laboratories. One of the grading parameters is color. For a white diamond, that really means how colorless it is. The diamonds with the least color receive a grade of D, the highest grade. Diamonds with successively more yellow or brown color get letter grades further down the alphabet. (This system was created to avoid confusion with early grading systems that used A, B, and C grades).

Fancy color diamonds include diamonds with any hint of colors other than brown or yellow (such as pink or blue) as well as brown or yellow diamonds with deeper color. These stones go through an entirely different grading process. For this article, we’ll focus exclusively on white diamonds in the D to M color range and how they pair with rose gold.

Colorless Diamonds: D, E, and F

If want the best-looking diamond, you should go with a pure colorless D grade, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Diamonds in the D to F color range are all considered colorless, but it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between these stones and those with G or H color. Try it for yourself:

One of these lab-made diamonds has a color grade of E, and the other has a G. Can you tell which is which? Click on the pics to check out their videos at James Allen.

Furthermore, diamonds with D to F color simply won’t look their best when set in rose gold. That’s because the ring’s metal color will actually make these diamonds appear to have more color than they do.

Since the stone will look like it has more color anyway, we recommend that you avoid a high color-grade diamond for a rose gold ring. It’s just not worth the extra money for a difference you can’t perceive.

Near-Colorless Diamonds: G, H, I, and J

After the colorless diamonds come the near-colorless ones, with grades from G to J. This color range sits at the sweet spot, where a diamond will still appear colorless but at a much lower cost than a true colorless diamond. Let’s take a look at some examples:

All of these rose gold rings from James Allen feature I and J color diamonds, which look perfect in their settings.

As you can see, a J color diamond will still look amazing against rose gold.

Faint Diamonds: K, L, and M

If near-colorless diamonds look good, what about faint ones? Diamonds in the K to M range have noticeable, faint color. Let’s take a look at some examples:

Faint color diamonds, like these from James Allen, often give rings a vintage look.

As you can see, K color diamonds will still look more or less colorless, but L and M may show a somewhat deeper color, giving the ring a vintage flair. If that appeals to you, these colors are excellent choices. In terms of choosing a diamond for a rose gold engagement ring, it’s best to go for the aesthetic you prefer.

Diamond Prices for Different Color Grades

Of course, one of the principal factors behind your choice of diamond will be cost. Diamond color has a huge impact on price. Just take a look at this chart:

2020 Average Diamond Prices by Color Grade, 1ct Excellent Cut VS2

These 2020 averages are calculated from diamonds at James Allen.

As you can see, the price of an average J color diamond is just under half that of a D color diamond. The savings you can get by dropping down to a faint diamond are pretty nice, too.

Recommended Diamond Color for Rose Gold Rings

Of course, there’s more to choosing a diamond color than cost. You’ll have to consider the ring setting, diamond shape, and your personal preferences to settle on the color grade that’s best for you.

Ring Settings and Diamond Color

The type of ring you prefer has a major effect on the diamond color we recommend.

Solitaire rings give you the most leeway to choose a low color-grade diamond. Since you’re not directly comparing the center diamond to other diamonds in the setting, you can choose a color as low as M and still have a great aesthetic.

On the other hand, you’ll have to be more careful with rings that have settings with side stones right next to the center diamond, such as halo rings. Your eye will automatically compare the color of the accent stones to that of the center diamond. If you choose a halo ring, check the color of these accents. Then, choose a diamond that matches this color.

L color diamond in rose gold halo ring

As you can see, the L color diamond looks a little lackluster compared to the diamonds in the halo. Check out this ring at James Allen.

With rings that have side stones set farther away from the center stone, this effect isn’t as significant. You can go as low as an L or M color for your center diamond and still have a great-looking ring.

m color vintage

Here, the accent diamonds sit a little farther from the center diamond. Although its M color is still noticeable, it doesn’t look off in this rose gold ring. Check out this ring at James Allen.

Prong Metal Color

When you’re choosing a setting, check the color of the prongs that hold the diamond. Some rose gold rings will also have rose gold prongs, but others will use white gold prongs. Since they’re so close to the diamond, your eye will compare the prong color to that of the stone.

K color white prongs

Against white gold prongs, this K color diamond can look off-color. Take a look at the video on James Allen.

For white gold prongs, you should choose a higher color grade for your diamond. Stick to an H or I for the best value.

Compare these diamond rings. Which looks whiter? Would you believe that the marquise-cut diamond actually has a higher color grade (D) than the cushion-cut diamond (H)? Images © CustomMade. Used with permission.

Of course, you could ask your jeweler to use rose gold prongs instead of white gold prongs. This way, lower color-grade diamonds will still make good options.

Diamond Shape and Color

The shape of the diamond you want can make a big difference in your color choice, too. Since rounds are the sparkliest diamonds, they’re the best at hiding color. All our previous recommendations assume you’re choosing an excellent-cut round diamond.

However, many diamond shapes show more color or may show color concentrated in corners and ends. After round diamonds, princess, emerald, and asscher-cut diamonds are the next best shapes for hiding color. For a solitaire ring, you could go as low as a K color and still have a beautiful ring with these shapes.

Other shapes show more color, so it’s best to stick to an I or J color diamond for shapes like ovals and marquises.

i color oval

Notice how this oval-cut diamond concentrates its color in the ends. Take a closer look on the James Allen site.

Color Preference

Of course, what matters most when choosing an engagement ring is that you love it. So, if your diamond preference leans toward higher — or lower — color grades, go for it!

If you’re opting for a high color-grade diamond in your rose gold ring, consider using white gold prongs. This little detail can give your diamond a bright white appearance that you just wouldn’t get with rose gold prongs.

For those who prefer a vintage feel with low color-grade diamonds, work with your jeweler to make sure the side stones aren’t too bright white. This can make the center diamond look off-color and detract from the ring’s aesthetic.

Choosing a Jeweler

When it comes to assessing diamond color, you really must examine the stone carefully before you buy. With the magnified views that both James Allen and Blue Nile offer for all their diamonds, you can easily see any noticeable tints. They also have a variety of engagement ring styles available, so you can find the perfect rose gold setting.

Still, there’s nothing like the custom experience. If you’re looking for something truly unique, check out CustomMade. Their experts can help you choose a center stone and design a unique engagement ring.