How to Buy Yellow Diamonds – An Informative Guide

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how to buy a yellow diamond
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It is imperative that you buy your diamonds from a reputable dealer that offers high-quality photos and GIA certification. We recommend James Allen and Blue Nile for their selection and excellent customer service. 

Today, you will learn how to buy a yellow diamond. We will look at the various shades available in the yellow diamond color range, and you will learn the factors you need to consider when evaluating yellow diamonds. 

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. In this article, you will learn how to buy yellow diamonds. 

Nitrogen is atomically similar to carbon, and when it takes carbon's place during the diamond's formation, a yellow diamond is formed. Therefore, the presence of nitrogen during the diamond's formation produces a yellow tint of various intensities and shades. 

yellow diamond can range from light to dark based on the amount of nitrogen present. Yellow diamonds may also have a secondary hue like orange, green, and brown. Pure natural yellow diamonds of an intense shade are sometimes called Canary Diamonds or Canary Yellow Diamonds.

how to buy yellow diamonds

The Rarity of Yellow Diamonds

Yellow diamonds belong to the family of Fancy Color Diamonds, the name for diamonds that exhibit a rich color. 

Natural fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare to find, making 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, beautiful greens, dazzling blues, and brilliant oranges and yellows.

Among the family of colored diamonds, yellow diamonds are the most common. It is estimated that they make up 50%-60% of all naturally colored diamonds. They are most common among colored diamonds family; they cost comparatively less than other fancy colored diamonds.  

What are 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.

What are 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.

Watch - What you Must Know about Yellow Diamonds:

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Yellow Diamond Pricing

The diamond color scale used for white diamonds goes from D to Z. As the letter is closer to Z, the diamond is less colorless and starts to be a bit yellowish in tone. Therefore, colorless diamond prices decrease as you get closer to Z.

However, the color doesn't look like a faded yellow at a certain point. Instead, it becomes a beautiful yellow shade - this is when the price increases again, and the diamond is considered a yellow diamond.

Several factors attribute to a diamond's price. Unfortunately, there is no one rule for evaluating a diamond's price; diamonds are as unique as you are! When it comes to colored diamonds, evaluating their price becomes even more complicated with all the different color combinations. But, even though a significant level of knowledge and expertise is required to assess a colored diamond's price, keep reading, and you will learn some basics.

Yellow diamond prices vary greatly depending upon the intensity of their color and hue. In general terms, the more intense the yellow color, the higher its price.

Depending on several factors, fancy Yellow Diamonds can cost anywhere from around $2,500 per Carat to $20,000 or more per Carat. For a decent quality yellow diamond, you can expect the price to be at least $3,000 – $3,500 per Carat

Fancy Yellow Diamonds from James Allen

  • Fancy Light Yellow Diamonds: Diamonds with a light yellow tint are not as valuable as colorless diamonds. 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, giving them the name, "canary diamonds". They are more expensive than their colorless counterparts. 
  • Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamonds: These yellow stones are very rare and extremely pricey for the same reason. 
  • Secondary Hue: Another thing that significantly impacts pricing is the presence of a secondary hue. The presence of even a slight brown hue can dramatically 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 a flaw and reduces a diamond's price. This rule does not apply to 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.
Comparing Fancy Yellow Diamond Colors

Comparing Fancy Yellow Diamond Colors on

Apart from these, various other factors make up the valuation of a particular yellow diamond, including the 4 C's of diamond grading.

How the 4C's Affect Yellow Diamond Prices


Color is the most crucial aspect of the pricing of colored diamonds. Prices go up with the color intensity of yellow diamonds. Yellow diamonds graded as intense or vivid are considered to be most valuable. 

Color can be divided into two areas - The first is the color strength or color intensity. Second is the existence or nonexistence of secondary colors and which colors they are. 

Color intensity is graded by the GIA as follows:

  • 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 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.

Watch a Quick Review of Yellow Diamond Color Intensities:

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Secondary Hues

Most fancy colored diamonds are found with other secondary hues that significantly impact the stone's value. For example, yellow diamonds are often found with secondary hues of orange, green, or brown. 

The most common color combinations found in yellow diamonds are Brown Yellow, Green Yellow, and Orange Yellow. The last color mentioned in the color description is considered the dominant one. So, for example, if a diamond is graded as a green yellow diamond, then it is a diamond that is yellow and has a secondary tone of green. And a yellow green diamond is a green diamond with a secondary tone of yellow. It is important to understand that there is a vast difference in appearance, rarity, and pricing between the two diamonds mentioned here.

It is complicated to compare the prices of impure yellow diamonds. But generally speaking, if the secondary color is one of a more expensive colored diamond, then the price goes up. For example, green-yellow and orange-yellow diamonds are more expensive than pure yellows. On the other hand, if the secondary color is of a more common diamond, the price goes down - just as in the case of brown-yellow diamonds. Diamonds graded as brownish-yellow or brown-yellow diamonds are the cheapest forms of yellow diamonds. Color intensity still plays its role – intense orange-yellow is more expensive than fancy orange-yellow.


With yellow diamonds, the price increases exponentially with the carat size. The cost of a 1-carat yellow diamond will be a much higher price-per-carat than a half-carat yellow diamond. 

It is important to note that carat weight does not mean size; it means weight. So, to get a better idea of the size of a diamond, you should look at the mm measurements and not just Carat weight. 


Yellow diamonds can be found in nature with a comparatively high clarity grading.

The clarity of yellow diamonds is graded using the same scale as that used for white diamonds. Generally, the fewer flaws in the stone, the higher its clarity grade and the more valuable the diamond is. However, clarity is not as crucial for the value of fancy-color diamonds. One of the reasons for this is that color tends to hide flaws, so even stones with lower clarity levels can still be sold for high prices.

When you are shopping for yellow diamonds, look for eye-clean stones. Pick diamonds that do not have flaws visible to the naked eye. There is no need to buy the highest clarity grade because the difference between such stones and lower-clarity eye-clean ones is not visible without special tools (and the price differences are pretty tangible).


For fancy 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 yellow diamonds are cut in fancy shapes. Quality Asscher and emerald cuts may fetch 50% more than a comparable radiant or cushion. A nicely cut pear shape will get a 5-15% premium over radiant or cushion cuts. 

Shape for Yellow Diamonds

The most popular shape for colorless diamonds is the round brilliant cut as it exhibits the highest sparkle. However, in yellow diamonds (or 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 aspects, i.e., color saturation and a high level of sparkle with ease. Oval and Pear shapes are also preferred for yellow diamonds.  

Radiant Cut

The vast majority of fancy color diamonds are cut into Radiant shapes. The Radiant cut faceting maximizes the saturation of color in the diamond (where the value of the diamond comes from) while maintaining the highest levels of Brilliance and Fire possible. The Radiant cut is available in square to rectangular shapes and is an excellent choice for a yellow diamond.

Cushion Cut 

The Cushion cut is very similar to the Radiant cut regarding how the faceting system and shape balance the most vibrant color possible with the highest Brilliance achievable. As a result, it is the second most popular cut for fancy diamonds.

The difference between Cushion and Radiant cuts is the softer, rounded edges of the Cushion shape. Cushion cut yellow diamonds can vary from square to rectangular and make for stunning yellow diamonds.

Emerald Cut 

Emerald cuts employ a step-cut faceting system. This system of long, broad facets maximize the return of white light or Brilliance and profoundly interfere with the perception of body color. For that reason, Emerald cut yellow diamonds are infrequent. However, when a yellow diamond is cut to an Emerald shape, the diamond will often command a significant premium over similar Radiant or Cushion shapes.

Asscher Cut  

The Asscher cut is similar to the Emerald cut, and while it is not the ideal shape for a yellow diamond, it can be an attractive option. If you find the repeating pattern of concentric squares created by the Asscher diamond's unique faceting mesmerizing, then have no hesitation to go with this cut. 

Oval Cut  

Oval Brilliant cut yellow diamonds offer excellent color retention/color display coupled with high levels of Brilliance and Fire. However, the Oval can be problematic because of its elliptical and asymmetrical shape.

Sometimes the Oval cut will exhibit a 'bow-tie' (dark/light area in the center of the diamond that is either black or without color); this is an unattractive feature. Extremely well-proportioned Ovals can minimize or virtually eliminate the bow-tie.

Princess Cut  

The faceting pattern of the Princess negates the stone's color, and the result is often a washed out and unattractive yellow diamond. If you are interested in a square-shaped yellow diamond, consider a square Radiant cut instead.

Pear Cut

The pear shape is a variation on the Oval and has the potential for very high brilliance while retaining and showing off excellent color saturation.

A visual inspection is required to determine the extent of 'bow-tie' present in the diamond.

Round Brilliant Cut

Usually, Round Brilliant cut yellow diamonds appear washed out and poorly proportioned. However, there are exceptions, as some diamonds have such a rich body of color that they can be successfully formed into a Round Brilliant shape and appear to hold their color. These stones are rare indeed, and you should expect to pay an exorbitant price for a Round Brilliant shaped yellow diamond.

Emerald Cut Fancy Yellow Diamonds from JamesAllen

Emerald Cut Fancy Yellow Diamonds from

Settings for Yellow Diamonds

Yellow is the color that symbolizes sunshine, hope, happiness, energy, optimism, and much more. Settings, the ring style, and metal color can impact a yellow diamond's appearance.   

  • Yellow gold: Yellow diamonds will look more yellow when set in yellow gold. A money-saving option would be to buy a lighter shade yellow diamond and put it in yellow gold for an overall warm look.
  • White metals: Yellow diamonds set in white metals such as white gold or platinum create a contrast effect that exudes a very sophisticated look.
  • Rose gold: Yellow diamonds and rose gold create a warmer contrast effect.

Halo settings with surrounding stones, pave settings with embedded side stones, and side stone settings are famous settings for yellow diamond engagement rings. These settings bring more attention to the yellow diamond, highlighting it perfectly.

How Fluorescence Affects the Price of a Yellow Diamond

One of the many attributes we consider when we grade and evaluate a diamond outside the 4Cs is fluorescence.

Fluorescence is considered a flaw and reduces the price of colorless diamonds. Most of the time, there is an exception when it comes to colored diamonds, except for in the case of yellow diamonds. Unlike other colored diamonds, fluorescence does reduce the value of yellow diamonds, even dramatically.

Fluorescence in yellow diamonds is usually blue. So if you look at a yellow diamond with strong blue fluorescence, it may affect the color (not always). Faint blue fluorescence will only be noticeable if you put the diamond under UV light. The fact that faint fluorescence lowers the price but isn't visible in most circumstances means you can take advantage of that knowledge to buy a more affordable yellow diamond. 

Faint fluorescence reduces the price a bit (up to 10%), Medium or Strong reduces a lot (even 15%-30%). 

Yellow Diamonds for Engagement Rings

Yellow diamonds make an excellent engagement ring stone because they are unique and colorful. Diamonds have more brilliance and sparkle than other gemstones, so opt for a yellow diamond if you love the color yellow and you love to shine. 

A con of yellow diamonds is they are rare, and finding stones with intense color and a good quality cut are hard to find. Also, quality is more complex to navigate than colorless diamonds, so purchasing from a reputable source is necessary. 

Diamonds symbolize love and devotion, and yellow is symbolic of everlasting love, hope, optimism, and passion. It is a fun, uplifting color that evokes a sense of cheerfulness and optimism. A yellow diamond ring symbolizes the beginning or continuation of a life living happy and in love.

Yellow diamonds are diamonds, so they have the same level of durability; with a rating of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, a yellow diamond engagement ring has no problem withstanding the test of time. 

If Yellow Diamond is Beyond Your Budget

Since yellow diamonds are expensive, the budget could be an issue. But there are other gemstones that are a great alternative to yellow diamonds.

  • Yellow Sapphires: If you are on a tight budget, an ideal alternative will be yellow sapphire. Yellow sapphires are quite durable (rated 9 out of 10 on Mohs scale of hardness) and come in various 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 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 permanent under normal conditions of wear and tear. Treated diamonds are cheaper than diamonds that are not treated.   

Where to Buy Yellow Diamonds

James Allen

It is highly recommended to buy diamonds from reputed sellers who provide GIA certificates with their diamonds. One of the most trusted and reputed 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!

Blue Nile

Another excellent online seller is Blue Nile. Blue Nile provides customers with exceptional diamond buying tips and unbiased diamond and jewelry education guides. In addition, diamond and jewelry experts are available 24/7 to answer all questions.

Blue Nile stands behind its products with industry-leading Diamond Certification, secure delivery, 30-day returns, and lifetime guarantees.

Visit Blue Nile today!

What is your favorite fancy diamond color? Let me know in the comments! 

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8 thoughts on “How to Buy Yellow Diamonds – An Informative Guide”

  1. I must confess to the rarity of this particular diamond because I have never seen it in my life here. A yellow diamond is really good and considering that it has a very flashy colour too makes it to have much more sparkling feeling to the structure of this. Thumbs up for sharing such here because I will actually suggest this to my friends and colleagues too.

  2. You have taught me some things about diamonds I never knew.  How beautiful!  Too bad they are ‘way beyond my budget, but how nice to learn a bit about them.  Can you imagine how exciting it would be to find these stones?  

    It would be even more exciting to find such a stone set in jewelry that is hiding away in a second-hand store.  What a dream that would be!  

    I went to the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson a number of times, and in their convention center there was always an aisle down the middle with cases on both sides displaying the rarest stones found around the world.  The earth creates some stones that are pure magic, and yellow diamonds are high in the ranks.  

  3. Thank you so much for sharing with us a beautiful and informative article. The main content of this article is How to Buy a Yellow Diamond. It is truly remarkable that you have presented this topic so well in your article. I have learned a lot by reading your article and gained a lot of knowledge about Yellow Diamond. Of the points mentioned in your article, I like 4C’S OF YELLOW DIAMOND. I give my wife a yellow colored diamond as a gift at my wedding. It looks beautiful and fits in her hand.
    Lastly, I really enjoyed reading your article, so I would like to share it on my Facebook group to let everyone know about the Yellow Diamond if you allow me.

  4. I enjoy the way you describe how the diamond is formed, and also on how the nitrogen amount in the creation of the diamond creates the different hue´s of the diamond. It was new to me that there are so few diamonds as 1 in every 10000 that has natural colors. That explains why they are expensive.

    I appreciate how you explain what is considered when setting a price on a diamond and which factors are considered in the process. Further, giving some alternatives if your budget is not enough to buy a yellow diamond, is great. I think either lab-created diamonds or yellow sapphires could be an alternative on my part.

  5. Well, nitrogen influence on the creation of a diamond is in theory less concerning than radiation exposure. The yellow diamond is a beautiful color. It is also my mother’s favorite. This diamond is very rare a lot like the green diamond in your other article. Apparently, the more pronounced the color in the diamond the rarer and more expensive. The clarity of the helps determine the purity, thus giving us an idea on what is real and what might be fabricated. I didn’t know that fluoresce diminished the value. I can see why based on your photo example. one looked faded in comparison to the other more full colored diamond. Do you have a specific color diamond that you favor more?

  6. Can you use this ring as a proposal ring? Maybe it is something I would use to propose to my partner one day haha. I never really knew that people like yellow diamonds like that. I always thought that it was white diamonds only. Well, you learn something new everyday 

    • You can definitely use this as a proposal ring! Many people nowadays are stepping away from white diamonds and embracing color! 


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