What are K color diamonds?

We have entered the ‘faint yellow’ diamond color range

Rare Carat diamond hue comparison showing round brilliant cut diamonds with brown, yellow, and gray hues


The hint of color in a K diamond is usually fairly easy to pick up with the naked eye, and the stones will appear warmer than their ‘near colorless’ cousins. The key to winning in the K category, is to understand hue.

As we’ve discussed previously, diamonds have three main ‘hues’ of color; yellow, gray and brown. Yellow hues/tints are the most sought after and so they have a higher price tag. Next is gray, followed by brown. Here is just an example of how much of an impact hue can have on the overall look of a diamond.

The yellow tone looks more traditional, whereas the brown tone sticks out more. K colored diamonds with brown undertone can give you a very beautiful and unusual effect. An added bonus if you dig this hue, is that brownish diamonds tend to be priced lower than their yellow counterparts, so you are saving even more money!

Why go for K color diamonds?

The center stone in the ring above was originally given a color grade of K by the EGL.

Here we can learn two lessons; firstly, this is not a K color diamond. This stone should have been given a L or even M color grade. However, if you have read my previous posts on grading laboratories you will remember that EGL are notorious for over-grading diamonds - so beware, and only buy a diamond with a GIA or an AGS grading report!

The second lesson is that, even a stone with a substantial body of color like this one, can still face-up very white and beautiful! For me at least, the diamond looks fantastic when it is at arm’s length rather than under magnification.

The bottom line is that a K colored diamond with the best cut, the perfect setting and the ideal hue for you, can be an absolute show stopper. Do not be afraid to venture deeper into diamond color, you might very well find a treasure.

< J Color Diamonds

Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Rian is officially a Diamond PhD - just ping us if you’d like to read her fascinating 200-page thesis, titled Facets of Value: An Investigation into the Formation of Worth in the Diamond Market. She has consulted various firms all along the pipeline, from the rough diamond market to the recycled diamond industry. She holds an MA in Globalisation and Development from University College Cork and a PhD in the Sociology of Diamond Valuation from the London School of Economics.