Is I Color Diamond Too Yellow?

As connoisseurs of fine jewelry we at J.H. Young Jewellers are here to shed light on one of the most frequently asked questions regarding diamond selection: Is an I colour diamond considered too yellow? Our goal is to inform, engage, and inspire our valued clientele, offering insights drawn from our deep-rooted expertise in the jewelry industry.

The Diamond Colour Grading Scale

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the diamond colour grading scale, which ranges from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Each letter grade represents a range of colour and is determined under controlled lighting conditions. It is crucial to understand this scale to appreciate where an I colour diamond stands in terms of colour:

  • D-F: colourless diamonds, the highest grade, with virtually no colour discernible to the naked eye.
  • G-J: Near-colourless diamonds, offering excellent value with slight colour detected by trained gemologists.
  • K-M: Faint yellow diamonds, where a slight colour can be noticed by the naked eye.
  • N-Z: Light yellow to brown diamonds, with colour more easily observed.


Gia. (2017, October 20). Diamond Color chart: The official Gia Color Scale. GIA 4Cs. 

The Characteristics of an I Colour Diamond

I colour diamonds are categorized as near-colourless, meaning they contain traces of colour not easily identifiable to the untrained eye, especially when set in jewelry. Here’s what to consider:


In a well-cut diamond, the sparkle and brilliance can mask slight colouration, making an I colour diamond appear more colourless, especially when viewed with the naked eye.


The metal in which a diamond is set can either accentuate or diminish its colour appearance:

  • Yellow Gold: Complements the warmth of an I colour diamond, often making the slight yellow hue appear more integrated.
  • White Gold/Platinum: These settings might contrast with the I colour diamond's warmth, potentially making the colour more noticeable.


I colour diamonds offer a good balance between quality and cost, providing a slightly warmer hue than higher colour grades but at a more accessible price point, making them an excellent choice for those prioritizing size and sparkle over absolute colourlessness.

Is an I Colour Diamond Too Yellow?

Determining whether an I colour diamond is "too yellow" is subjective and depends on personal preferences and the context in which the diamond will be worn:

  • Personal Taste: Some may prefer the icy appearance of a colourless diamond, while others may appreciate the subtle warmth of an I colour diamond, especially if it aligns with a vintage or romantic aesthetic.
  • Comparison: An I colour diamond may exhibit a hint of colour when placed next to a diamond of a higher colour grade. However, when viewed independently or within a setting, the colour may not be as perceptible.

Expert Tips for Selecting an I Colour Diamond

  • View in Various Lighting: Observe the diamond under different lighting conditions to get a true sense of its colour.
  • Consider the Setting: Choose a setting that complements or neutralizes the diamond's warmth.
  • Prioritize Personal Preference: Ultimately, the choice should align with personal taste and how the diamond's colour appears to you.


An I colour diamond, with its nuanced warmth, offers a unique opportunity to own a stone that balances quality with value. At J.H. Young Jewellers, we understand the significance of this choice and are dedicated to helping you find a diamond that not only meets but surpasses your expectations. Although we can source a diamond anywhere along the diamond colour grading scale, our store standard falls within the G-H range. Visit us to explore a world where each diamond tells a story, enriched by our legacy of excellence, craftsmanship, and personalized service.