July 03, 2022
8 min read

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are
What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

A professional guide to yellow diamonds, our compilation of the most frequent questions.

Today, Yellow Diamonds are in phenomenally high demand, being the most requested in the gemstone market. The desire to possess these bright sunny treasures has not diminished for a decade. Moreover, celebrities are increasingly giving preference to jewelry with Yellow Diamonds, constantly showing them on red carpets. This only fuels the already high demand.

Yellow Diamond is an interesting solution that will not only diversify your collection, but also make the jewelry more playful, bright and unusual. However, many people face difficulties when choosing fancy colored diamonds – it seems that it is much more difficult to navigate through them than through classic white diamonds. To help you make the right choice, as well as to introduce you to the amazing worlds of Yellow Diamonds, we have compiled this guide.

What are Yellow Diamonds? 

Yellow Diamonds are the most common fancy color diamonds (along with the Brown ones). 

While classic white diamonds are mostly colorless and clear, fancy color stones – like Yellow ones – are an alluring alternative. Yellow Diamonds take their beautiful color from nitrogen. Therefore, the intensity of the yellow hue depends on the amount of it. 

Sometimes white diamonds have a yellowish tint – such stones are located at the very bottom of the white diamond color scale. For instance, the colorless grading scale goes from D to Z, while Yellow Diamond scale starts from Y, Z grades. Slight yellow inclusion in white diamonds is considered as a negative trait. However, as soon as the yellow color becomes the dominant color, the value of a stone rises – it is beginning to be considered fancy colored.

It is worth saying a few words about lab-grown Yellow Diamonds. These are artificial stones. They are very similar to natural ones, however, their real value is nonexistent. Not being a natural miracle, they cost a little less than natural real stones, but they will not bring any profit in the future.

Yellow Diamonds’ color chart 

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

Yellow Diamonds can fall into six categories: Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid. These categories reflect the level of saturation and color intensity within a stone. 

Fancy Light yellow is the least intense color of a diamond. Such stones  are between colorless and yellow stones. They are less expensive than more intense color shades.

Fancy yellow stones are darker than Fancy Light ones. They are valued higher per carat due to the strength of shade.

Fancy Dark yellow gems move us even further along the scale of color saturation and, accordingly, the price level per carat. Such Yellow Diamonds are less common.

Fancy Deep category demonstrates a full yellow hue with several undertone possibilities – such as brownish-yellow, orange or even greenish. 

Fancy Intense is the second deepest color of this color grade. According to the GIA statistics, they range in price from $6,500 to $8,000 per carat. 

Finally, Fancy Vivid is the most intense and saturated category to gen in Yellow Diamonds. Such stones are rare and, therefore, extremely expensive. However, if there are greenish, brown, orange, or brownish yellow tints, the price decreases. 

As you can see, Light Yellow Diamonds are not as desirable as Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid ones. The stones of pure and intense color command the highest price per carat. 

Undertones of Yellow Diamonds

The most desirable yellow stone is the one that demonstrates pure color. However, several Yellow Diamonds have traces of different secondary colors. The most common secondary colors are orangy yellow and greenish yellow. 

Such diamonds can be acquired at lower prices. These stones are considered a little less valuable, but many prefer them – some like the presence of a different shade in the stone, and some are attracted by the affordable price. 

Special names of Yellow Diamonds

The most valuable and sought-after Yellow Diamonds are called Canary diamonds as they resemble a canary bird. These stones demonstrate stunning pure yellow color – a true must-have for serious collectors and gem lovers. Officially, Canary diamonds are those from Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid shades on the GIA color grade. 

Sometimes gem lovers also use a special word Zimmy to describe Yellow Diamonds. This term refers to extraordinary vivid yellow diamonds from the Zimme mine, located in Sierra Leone. This mine produces such saturated diamonds that make other gems look pretty unimpressive in comparison. 

Yellow Diamonds prices

Although fancy colored diamonds are – as a rule –  more expensive than white stones due to their scarcity, Yellow Diamonds are quite affordable. 

The diamond with lighter yellow shade is less expensive than the one with a more vivid or saturated color. However, Yellow Diamonds of Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid color hue could cost more than a colorless one. 

Yellow Diamonds cost from around $2,500 to $20,000 or more per carat, depending on a number of factors such as yellow color grade, its overtones, cut, clarity and carat weight. Typical 4C set. 

Yellow Diamonds’ mines 

Did you know that only 0.0001% of all mined diamonds are fancy colored ones? Among them, the yellow ones are the most popular and common. 

Although Yellow Diamonds are found at different points of the globe, the most popular mines are located in Australia, Central Africa, Angola, Borneo, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone.

The most famous Yellow Diamonds

Let’s have a look at the most famous Yellow Diamonds! They impress with their extraordinary color – and, as a rule, with their non-trivial biography. We are sure you are definitely familiar with some of these diamonds.

The Tiffany Yellow

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

The Tiffany Yellow is the most prominent diamond of Hollywood. Discovered in 1877, it was acquired by Charles Lewis Tiffany himself. Originally weighing 287.42 ct, today it weighs 128.54 ct, has “unprecedented” 82 facets in a cushion shape and boasts Canary yellow color. 

This gem was worn only by four history-making women: socialite Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse,  Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. 

The Incomparable diamond

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

The Incomparable diamond weighed an impressive 890 ct in its rough state! It was once found by a young girl playing in wreckage outside her home. Her family sold the finding to a jeweler and it later fell into the hands of Donald Zale of Zale Corporation. After the cutting and polishing, it emerged as a 407.78 ct trilliant cut stone. 

Today, it holds the record for the largest internally flawless diamond – and third largest diamond in the world.

The Red Cross diamond

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

The Red Cross diamond has reminded the world of itself again quite recently. It is also one of the world’s largest diamonds. This 205 ct canary yellow gem of a cushion shape has a pavilion design that forms a Maltese cross. It is believed to have been discovered by De Beers in South Africa in 1901 – and originally weighted about 375 ct.

The Cora Sun Drop

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are

The Cora Sun Drop once set the world record as the most expensive Yellow Diamond ever sold at an auction. In November 2011 this 110.3 ct gem was sold for $10.9 million to an anonymous telephone bidder. 

Found in South Africa in 2010, this diamond is the largest known pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world. One more record! 

Yellow Diamond engagement rings

What are yellow diamonds: how rare and expensive they are
Yellow Diamond rings by Harry Winston and Graff

Considering the fact that Yellow Diamonds are constantly gaining popularity, more and more modern brides prefer to add colors and unusual features to such a romantic and seemingly traditional thing as an engagement or wedding ring.

See for yourself: Paris Hilton, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Haidi Klum, Megan Fox, Nicki Minaj and Jessica Alba once said “Yes!” to Yellow Diamond engagement rings.

One of the most famous engagement rings was demonstrated by Victoria Beckham. She wore a truly huge emerald-cut Yellow Diamond ring, set on a triple band of yellow gold. They say, Victoria’s love for fancy colored precious stones began with this ring.

Heidi Klum also caused a stir by appearing at a social event in a ring with an impressive Yellow Diamond. 10 ct of this stone shone boldly, attracting everyone’s attention. Heidi has repeatedly said that a Yellow Diamond is a symbol of a happy marriage for her.

Yellow Diamonds vs Yellow Sapphires

Natural diamonds are unique stones, the demand for them has not fallen for more than a century. Many are eager to possess such stones, to have them in their collection or to wear them on their finger, inserted into a beautiful ring. 

However, sometimes they are too difficult to attain. In this case, some advise to pay attention to the  Yellow Sapphire.

A Yellow Sapphire can be a worthy alternative for a Yellow Diamond if you plan to save your budget, but want a stone filled with the sun. Yellow Sapphires, of course, will give less luster and luxury, and will also be less valuable than Yellow Diamonds. However, they will definitely please their owner with their unquestionable beauty and accessibility.

If it is difficult for you to make a decision on your own and you want to consult with a professional, feel free to contact. We will share the secrets of the world of precious stones, discuss all the pros and cons, and also help you make the final choice.

Subscribe to discover the world of diamonds and gems. If you have any questions, please let us know.

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