Is an M-color diamond too yellow for engagement ring?

Awhile back, we were asked by a client whether an M-color diamond is too yellow for an engagement ring. He was trying to decide between several Brian Gavin Signature diamonds, which range in color from H-color to M-color, and from 0.90 – 1.50 carats. The common denominator being the budget which he is working within. In an effort to help him discern the difference between diamond colors, we provided him with this photograph of a 1.517 carat, M-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, placed next to a 1.031 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond.

Now those two diamonds have long since sold, but we think that this photograph might be a good reference for people trying to decide between diamonds of different color grades. As you can clearly see, the difference in the visible body color of the M-color and J-color diamonds is extremely slight from this top-down perspective.

The M-color diamond which is positioned to the left of the J-color diamond in the photograph provided above, exhibits just a bit more warmth. However, what is most visible is the overall brightness and sparkle factor of the two diamonds.

How cut quality affects perception of diamond color:

The factor which neutralizes the difference in color between these two diamonds is the proportions and overall cut quality. Since both diamonds are Brian Gavin Signature diamonds, they are both cut to the strict production standards established by Brian Gavin. These standards are widely recognized for producing diamonds which exhibit the highest volume of light return and sparkle.

Diamonds such as these, which are cut to a higher standard, and optimized to deliver a higher volume of light return and produce a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) often appear to be whiter and brighter than their standard ideal counterparts. This is because the higher volume of light return and more intense sparkle serve to overwhelm the senses and make it more difficult to accurately ascertain body color from a face-up perspective. This is why diamonds are graded from a side-profile in laboratory conditions.

How yellow is an M-color diamond?

is-m-color-diamond-too-yellow-for-engagement-ring-brian-gavin-signature-ags-104085572002The only way to accurately judge diamond color, is to look at the diamond from a side profile. Thus if you look at the video provided for this 1.530 carat, M-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Cape series diamond from a side profile, you will be able to get a good idea of the hue and saturation. Watch closely as the diamond spins around in the high resolution video provided on the diamond details page. You will be able to clearly see that the diamond exhibits a little bit of yellow color when viewed from the side profile. But then take a look at the photograph of the diamond presented from the face-up position.

Suddenly the body color of the diamond is not as apparent, and this is the vantage point that we tend to view diamonds from in the real world. We don’t spend much time looking at diamonds from a side profile. We look at them from a top-down perspective, as they are set in an engagement ring. And from that vantage point, we’re more apt to see the sparkle of the diamond, than the body color.

Thus diamonds of warmer color, such as Cape Series Diamonds by Brian Gavin, provide us with great options in terms of size and affordability.

How does diamond color affect price?

The reality is that the cost of this 1.031 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond and this 1.517 carat, M-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond are relatively the same. However as you can see from the picture provided above, which shows the two diamonds set side-by-side, the one carat featured to the right faces up visibly smaller than the 1.50 carat diamond pictured to the left.

This difference would be readily apparent if you were comparing the two diamonds side-by-side. However, as you can plainly see, the difference in color from a top down vantage point is more difficult to discern. And if you were to view the diamonds from across the room, or even from across the dinner table, what you are really going to be able to appreciate is how the two diamonds are sparkling! You’ll be mesmerized by how they play and dance with the light which is available to them within the room.

What diamond color should you choose?

At the end of the day, deciding which diamond color to purchase is largely a matter of personal preference. In this particular instance, when all was said and done, our client ended up purchasing this 0.908 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond which exhibits very strong blue fluorescence when exposed to black light.

effect-medium-blue-fluorescence-j-color-diamond-brian-gavin-104089117011That is the diamond that provided the balance of carat weight, color, and clarity, that met his personal sense of balance… Now obviously that diamond is sold, but the 1.530 carat, M-color, VS-2 clarity, Cape series diamond by Brian Gavin is currently available at the time of this update. There is also this 1.178 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that exhibits medium blue fluorescence when exposed to black light, or this 1.174 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which exhibits strong blue fluorescence; both of which provide you with a really good middle ground of carat weight, color, clarity and price.

It is commonly understood that the effect of blue fluorescence within diamonds is likely to improve our perception of diamond color. The blue fluorescent molecules act to filter out some of the yellow undertones that may be present in diamonds of all color grades, including D-color by the way.

All of this is intended to be food for thought, information for you to keep in mind as you determine which combination of color, clarity, and carat weight are right for your personal sense of balance.

At the end of the day, that’s really all you have to concern yourself with. Because we’ve evened the playing field when it comes to light performance and sparkle factor. Ensuring that every Brian Gavin Signature round diamond is cut to exacting proportions, and that they exhibit the highest levels of optical precision.


  1. Author: Danny

    Title: Danny

    Short Bio:

    Social Media and Internet Marketing Strategist and Implementer. Director of Marketing for the best Diamonds Online. Passionate Guitarist, Singer & Songwriter.


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