Updated November 11, 2022

Why K Color Diamond is Perfect for Yellow Gold Rings

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Shopping for an engagement ring on a limited budget? Consider a K colored diamond for your yellow gold band. Read on to see why it's a good choice.

Diamond Color Scale
Diamond Color Scale © CreditDonkey

A K-colored diamond is at the top of the Faint range (K-M). A yellow tint is more noticeable at this point. Usually, online retailers don't sell diamonds for engagement rings less than a K.

So does this mean you should avoid K colored diamonds? Are they too yellow?

Nope. In fact, they are perfect for yellow gold settings.

The warmness of the K diamond matches a yellow gold band perfectly. And you'll also be saving a lot of money. There is a significant price jump down to the Faint range, as much as 25% less than J diamonds, and 50% less than H diamonds.

In this guide, we're going to show real examples of K colored diamonds (using online retailer James Allen) and to discuss when it's a good choice.

If you're considering a K shape diamond ring, you must check out Blue Nile and James Allen now. These stores offer high-quality images and videos of their gems so shoppers know what they're getting.

What are K Diamonds?

Not all diamonds look the same. While some are spotlessly colorless they look white, most show a bit of hue. The GIA grades their color on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow/brown).

Right next to the near colorless group are your K color diamonds. They're the first of the faint range, so they show a slight tint that even casual observers can see. You might notice that they look warmer since they usually come in hints of yellow or brown.

So should you be worried about their color? Not all the time.

When viewed from the side or next to a whiter diamond, this yellow tint is easily noticeable. But if you're looking at the stone on its own, the color is actually subtle. With the right light, setting, and stone specs, a K diamond can still face up white without breaking your budget.

We'll teach you how in the next sections.

What K Colored Diamonds Look Like (vs Other Color Grades)

First of all, I bet you're really curious to know just how yellow a K diamond looks.

Here are some face-up views of K diamonds and their side views.

Screenshot from James Allen Website

There are varying degrees of yellow-ness. At this grade, the yellow could be noticed by an untrained eye. Even without comparing to another diamond of a higher color grade.

Now let's see how it compares to some other color grades.

Screenshot from James Allen Website

The above is a comparison of K (Faint), H (Near Colorless), and F (Colorless). The yellow tint is more apparent when laid next to whiter stones.

But it can be a different story when your stone is placed in a setting. You'll find out in the next part.

What Do K Diamonds Look Like On Yellow Gold Bands?

With the right setting, you can minimize or complement the tint of a K color diamond. That's why they look beautiful set in yellow gold or rose gold bands.

A diamond will naturally pick up the color of its environment (in this case, the band). If you're using a yellow or rose gold band, even an icy-white diamond will look more yellow. So it's not necessary to spend more on a diamond with a high color grade. Warm-toned diamonds should be perfect.

Here are a couple of examples of K colored diamonds in yellow gold bands:

Screenshot from James Allen Website

James Allen's 6- prong solitaire and pavé channel rings

The warmth of the K diamond complements the yellow band perfectly.

And here's how K looks like in rose gold:

Screenshot from James Allen Website

James Allen's solitaire and tapered pavé rings

We think K is gorgeous set against rose gold too.

After seeing them mounted, do you still think K diamonds are too yellow? You might even think they still face up white. The trick is to avoid white gold and platinum bands since they contrast against the stone. This will make the yellow tint stand out.

Tip: If you're not sure how the color of your diamond will look against the band color, you can view different scenarios on James Allen. For each setting option, you can play with different metals and diamond characteristics and view an HD 360-degree video for each.

K Diamond Price Comparisons

The visual difference between K diamonds vs. other color diamonds may not be too big. But the gulf in price sure isn't. If you choose a K diamond, you're looking at over 60% of savings vs. a D diamond.

Here's a table comparing the prices of K, D, H, and J diamonds*. We use real examples from James Allen since they offer competitive pricing.

PriceSavings
1 carat K diamond$3,070
1 carat D diamond$8,080$5,010 (62%)
1 carat H diamond$6,610$3,540 (54%)
1 carat J diamond$4,200$1,130 (27%)

*As a benchmark, all diamonds have the following specs: round, VS2, and ideal cut. All are in-stock as of September 9, 2022.

As you can see, you save thousands of dollars when you opt for a K color diamond. It's not advisable to go over 1 carat with them. But you can still use your savings to get a better cut, clarity, or setting instead.

What About Fancy Shaped K Diamonds?

Fancy shaped diamonds appear more yellow. The round brilliant cut does the best job at reflecting light, so it appears the whitest. Fancy shaped diamonds hold more color.

For example, emerald and asscher cuts offer a large window straight into the diamond, thus revealing color. Pear, oval, and marquise cuts trap color at the tips.

Screenshot from James Allen Website

Examples of K colored emerald, marquise, and oval

For fancy shaped diamonds set in yellow gold, we recommend you don't go below an I (or J if you're on more of a budget).

But we've noticed that the setting greatly affects how the diamond appears. If you do want to consider K for fancy shapes, we don't recommend solitaire, as this setting really puts all the attention on the diamond. And the areas where yellow is trapped will be more easily seen.

But settings like the halo or bezel will complement a K diamond much better. Because there is a ring of metal around the stone, the diamond will blend into its surroundings much better.

Check out these two beautiful, warm-toned rings with K diamonds:

Screenshot from James Allen Website

K diamonds in oval halo and emerald halo

Who Should Buy K Diamonds?

Many buyers avoid K color diamonds because they think it's too yellow. But as you saw, this isn't always the case. And depending on your taste, the faint yellow tint can even work in your favor.

Here's when a K diamond might be a good choice for you:

  • You're on a budget
    You can save thousands with a K color diamond. Just choose the right stone specs and setting. In this way, you get a stone that's still gorgeous without breaking the bank.

  • You rock warm or antique styles
    Big fan of old-world vibes? Because of their yellow or brown tint, K color diamonds come with a warm glow. They're the perfect choice if you like art deco, vintage, or just plain warm styles.

  • You like a yellow gold or rose gold band
    If you're going for a yellow or rose gold metal, there's no need to choose a high color grade diamond. The stone will reflect the metal's yellow tint, anyway. This makes lower color grade stones, like K diamonds, a great choice.

Need help budgeting for your e-ring? Check out our e-ring budget guide. You'll learn how much you should really spend on your engagement ring.

How To Make K Diamonds Appear Whiter

Although they face up white sometimes, K diamonds still show a noticeable tint. But if you really want a white diamond, K diamonds are not a lost cause. You can still try to minimize their color through these tips:

  • Never compromise on cut
    With a K color diamond, you should never compromise on cut quality. The intense sparkle of a well-cut diamond will hide its color flaws, making it look whiter. So when shopping for a ring, the lowest you should go is ideal cut.

  • Round cuts are your best friend
    Speaking of sparkle, round cut diamonds are the sparkliest diamond shape. This means that they're the best at masking flaws in the other C's.

  • Fancy shapes are a no-no
    Still in the subject of shapes: if you're buying a K diamond engagement ring, this may not be the right time to choose a fancy shape. The corners of fancy diamond shapes tend to trap color and make it more obvious.

  • A yellow gold or rose gold band match best
    Stay away from platinum or white gold when choosing K diamonds. The whiteness of these metals will contrast with your stone. This will make the yellow tint stand out more.

  • Choose your setting wisely
    Engagement ring settings matter when it comes to K color diamonds. Avoid solitaire settings since they expose a lot of the yellow parts of the stone. Try a bezel or halo setting in yellow gold instead - the diamond will complement the metal perfectly.

    Final Tips for K Colored Diamonds

    Here are some final things to keep in mind when shopping for a K colored diamond:

    • Match side stones. If your setting has large side stones, such as the three-stone setting, then it's important that the color of the side stones match the center stone. When diamonds are right next to each other, it's easier to see color differences. Check with a representative to ensure they can match the side stones to J/K. (Note: this doesn't matter for small side stones, such as with the pavé setting.)

    • Put the money towards an ideal cut. We can't emphasize aiming for the best cut enough. A well-cut diamond will give off more brilliance and fire, and thus also give a boost in color. There's nothing wrong with having a warm-toned diamond, but let's make sure it also sparkles!

    • Go up to J for larger-sized stones. Larger stones also hold more color. If your diamond is well over 1 carat, then consider going up a grade in color.

    Bottom Line

    A K colored diamond is a great choice if you're working on a limited budget. But we only recommend it for rings set in yellow gold or rose gold settings.

    Of course, it all comes down to personal preference. A K colored diamond is an extremely good value if you're on a budget and enjoy a warmer look. But some people also like the contrast of a whiter diamond against yellow gold. And that's perfectly okay too if you have the budget for it.

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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