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Diamonds are formed through a tremendously long and exhaustive process inside mother earth. Colored diamonds are formed when other elements find their way inside the diamond’s atomic structure.
Nitrogen is atomically similar to carbon, and when it takes carbon’s place during the diamond’s formation, a yellow diamond is formed. This presence of nitrogen produces a yellow tint of various intensities and shades depending on the origin of the diamond and the chemistry that occurred during its formation.
A yellow diamond can range from light to dark basis the amount of nitrogen contained in it. Yellow diamonds may also have a secondary hue like orange, green and brown. Pure natural yellow diamonds of an intense shade are sometimes referred to as Canary Diamonds or Canary Yellow Diamonds.
The Rarity of Yellow Diamond
Natural or fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare to find, which makes them more precious and expensive. It is estimated that only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural color and is referred to as ‘colored diamonds’. Colored Diamonds are found in a rainbow of colors ranging from romantic pinks and purples, enchanting greens, dazzling blues to brilliant oranges and yellows.
Among the family of colored diamonds, yellow diamonds are the most common. It is estimated that they make up to 50%-60% of all naturally colored diamonds. As they are most common among colored diamonds family, they cost comparatively lesser than other fancy colored diamonds.
Shades of Yellow Diamond
The GIA grades for yellow diamonds are :
- Fancy Light: a light yellow color
- Fancy Yellow: clear, brighter yellow hue
- Fancy Intense: pure, bright yellow hue
- Fancy Vivid: extremely vibrant yellow color, also called as Canary Diamonds
- Fancy Deep or Fancy Dark: darker, more brownish tones
Yellow diamonds from fancy vivid or fancy intense grade categories are the most desirable and valuable.
Most of the colored diamonds are often found with other secondary hues which have a great impact on the stone’s value. Yellow diamonds are often found with secondary hues of orange, green or brown.
Canary Yellow Diamonds
Fancy intense or fancy vivid yellow diamonds with no secondary colors are referred to as canary diamonds. In simple terms, pure yellow diamonds, due to their color, are often called as canary diamonds.
These are rarer and much expensive than the regular yellow diamonds. Their price can go up by almost 25% - 50% than the regular yellow diamonds. What makes them extra special and sought-after is the intensity and purity of their yellow color.
Zimmy Yellow Diamonds
Zimmy yellow diamonds are a specific type of yellow gemstones that are found in Zimmy diamond mine in Sierra Leone. These yellow diamonds exhibit highly saturated yellow color and thus other yellow diamonds appear pale in front of these. They are highly valued and extremely expensive.
Yellow Diamond Pricing
While buying a diamond, one of the most difficult things to do is to evaluate the price of a diamond.
Not only 4C’s, but several other factors attribute to a diamond’s price. There is no one rule for all formula which can be applied for evaluating a diamond’s price. And when it comes to colored diamonds, evaluation of its price becomes even more complicated. A great level of knowledge and expertise is required to evaluate a colored diamond’s price.
Yellow diamond prices can vary greatly depending upon the intensity of its color and hue. In general terms, more intense the yellow color, higher will be its price.
- Fancy Light Yellow Diamonds: Diamonds with a light yellow tint are not even as valuable as colorless diamonds. This is because as you go down the color grade for colorless diamonds, they will start to have faint yellow or brown undertones. Therefore, they can be cheaper than colorless diamonds.
- Fancy Intense Yellow Diamonds: These are usually the most sought-after yellow stones. Their yellow color is pristine and pure, and that is why they are referred to as canary diamonds. They are more expensive than their colorless counterparts.
- Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamonds: These yellow stones are very rare and for the same reason are extremely pricey.
- Secondary Hue: Another thing that significantly impacts the pricing is the presence of a secondary hue. The presence of even a slight brown hue can significantly reduce the price of yellow diamonds, and on the other hand presence of orange and green tints can increase the stone’s value remarkably. `
- Fluorescence: Fluorescence is considered to be a flaw and reduces a diamond’s price. This rule does not apply for fancy colored diamonds except for yellow diamonds. The reason is that fluorescence in yellow diamonds is generally blue which affects the color of a yellow diamond.
Apart from these, various other factors make up the valuation of a particular yellow diamond. And therefore, the valuation of one yellow diamond would be different from the other one.
4C’s of Yellow Diamond
- Color: Prices go up with the color intensity of yellow diamonds. Yellow diamonds that are graded intense or vivid are considered to be most valuable.
- Carat: With yellow diamonds, the price increases exponentially with the carat size. The price of a 1-carat yellow diamond will be much higher than the price of a half-carat yellow diamond.
- Clarity: Clarity is important when considering colored diamonds but not as crucial as it is for colorless stones. As color tends to hide flaws, even stones with lower clarity levels can still be sold for high prices. However, yellow diamonds are known to be found in nature with comparatively high clarity grading.
- Cut: For the colored diamonds, the focus of the cut is on maximizing the color of the stone. What matters the most is the ‘color’ and not the ‘brilliance’. This is why most of the yellow diamonds have fancy shapes. Quality asscher and emerald cuts may bring as much as 50% more than a comparable radiant or cushion, and a nicely cut pear shape will bring 5-15% premium over radiant or cushion cuts.
Shape for Yellow Diamonds
The most popular shape for the colorless diamonds is the round brilliant cut as it exhibits the highest sparkle. However, in yellow diamond (or for any fancy colored diamond) the ultimate focus is on achieving the maximum color saturation with the maximum sparkle. Fancy shapes tend to balance both these aspects better, and therefore fancy shapes are preferred for yellow diamonds.
The most popular shapes for yellow diamonds are radiant and cushion cuts. These shapes balance both the aspects i.e. color saturation and high level of sparkle with ease. Oval and Pear shapes are also well preferred for yellow diamonds.
Settings for Yellow Diamond
Yellow is the color that symbolizes sunshine, hope, happiness, energy, optimism and much more. Settings, the ring style, metal color can create a huge impact on a yellow diamond’s appearance.
- Yellow gold: Yellow diamond will look more yellow when set in yellow gold. A money-saving option would be to buy a lighter shade yellow diamond and set it in yellow gold for an overall warm look.
- White metals: Yellow diamond set in white metals such as white gold or platinum create a contrast effect that exudes a very sophisticated look.
- Rose gold: Yellow diamond and rose gold create a warmer contrast effect.
Halo settings with surrounding stones, pave settings with embedded side stones, and side stone settings are popular for yellow diamond engagement rings. These settings bring more attention to the yellow diamond, highlighting it perfectly.
If Yellow Diamond is Beyond Your Budget
Since yellow diamonds are expensive, the budget could be an issue. But there are other gemstones which are a great alternative to yellow diamonds.
- Yellow Sapphires: If you are on a tight budget, then an ideal alternative will be yellow sapphire. Yellow sapphires are quite durable (rated 9 out of 10 on Mohs scale of hardness) and also come in a variety of shades with impressive sparkle. Etsy is an excellent place to shop for yellow sapphire jewelry.
- Lab-created Diamonds: Lab-created stones are grown or created inside a laboratory. These lab-grown stones are similar to natural stones in all aspects except the fact that they are grown in a lab. A lab-created diamond would still be expensive but cheaper than its natural counterpart. James Allen offers a selection of lab-created yellow diamonds.
- Treated or Enhanced Stones: Off-color diamonds such as brownish or yellowish can be treated to modify their color. These treatments are considered to be permanent under normal conditions of wear and tear. Treated diamonds are cheaper than diamonds that are not treated.
How to Purchase Yellow Diamonds?
It is highly recommended to buy diamonds from reputed sellers who provide GIA certificates with diamonds. One of the most trusted and reputed such diamond sellers is James Allen.
With 18+ years of experience, they are the leader in online diamond sales. Having a prime focus on customer satisfaction, you can be sure to get the excellent and best price for their diamonds.
Click here to visit James Allen and add this wonderful sunshine to your diamond family!
What is your favorite fancy diamond color? Let me know in the comments!