Can your choice of precious metal change the color of your engagement ring’s diamond? Technically, no. However, it can change your perception of its color so, in a way, it can. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it is important that you understand how this effect works so you can decide which precious metal would be right for you. In this post, we’ll go over how your engagement ring’s precious metal can affect your diamond’s color and teach you how to consider this when you shop.

Why Do Precious Metals Change the Look of a Diamond?

Why would the appearance of a diamond be changed by the precious metal it’s encased in? It’s all about light reflection. We cut diamonds to reflect and refract light, which makes them look sparkly. But diamonds don’t just reflect light, they also reflect what’s around them. This is true for every diamond shape, as well as for diamonds of every carat weight. So, any diamond can reflect the color of your engagement ring’s setting.

Engagement ring settings are usually crafted from one of the following precious metals: white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum. Most people select their diamond engagement ring setting’s precious metal based on which they love the style of the most, which is a perfectly acceptable reason. But you may also want to consider how your diamond will reflect these precious metals as you’re choosing your engagement ring settings .

How to Pair a Precious Metal With Your Diamond

White diamonds are graded on a scale of how colorless they are. Diamonds graded from D to F fall into the colorless category, while diamonds graded G to J are near-colorless and diamonds graded K to Z will have a noticeable yellow hue. In this section, we’ll tell you which precious metal experts usually recommend for each of these diamond color categories.

D to F Color Diamonds and Precious Metals

Most experts, including the gemologists at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), would recommend that you choose a platinum or white gold setting for colorless diamonds . Diamonds that are truly colorless are quite rare and expensive and, generally, those who spend the extra money for a colorless diamond want it to look colorless. If you go with a yellow or rose gold setting for your D to F colored diamond, it may look very slightly yellow as it reflects your setting’s color.

There is a workaround for this: choosing a mixed metal design that has a white metal basket and prong area and a yellow gold or rose gold band. This way, you’ll get the look of a yellow gold or rose gold ring, while ensuring your colorless diamond looks as white as possible, as it will mostly reflect the white color of your platinum or white gold prongs. And, of course, if you don’t care that your colorless diamond might take on a very faint bit of color as it reflects a rose or yellow gold ring setting, feel free to ignore this rule and choose whatever setting you want for your center stone. Many people actually find that they still love the look of their colorless diamond in a yellow gold or rose gold setting, as it adds a bit of warmth to the ring as a whole.

G to J Color Diamonds and Precious Metals

G to J color grade diamonds will have a very faint yellow tint, one that most people don’t even notice. Because diamonds that fall into this range of the diamond color scale are mostly colorless, experts usually recommend a white gold or platinum setting if you would like your diamond to look as white as possible.

You can choose a yellow or rose gold setting for a G to J color diamond. But just know that these warmer precious metal colors can make your diamond look like it has a slightly lower color grading than it actually does. Just like we mentioned in our last section, not everyone dislikes this; some find this effect pretty. But just consider how you would feel when you choose your setting.

K to Z Color Diamonds

K to Z color grade diamonds will be noticeably yellow. Because of this, expert gemologists and jewelers often recommend going with a yellow gold engagement ring setting to give your diamond ring a harmonious look. Rose gold can work well here too, as rose gold has warm golden undertones.

You can pair a K to Z color diamond with a white gold or platinum setting if you like but be aware that this can call more attention to the faint yellow color of your diamond, due to contrast.