Diamonds can be cut in many different shapes with some sparkling more than others however one factor we can not improve naturally by hand is the colour of a diamond.
When a diamond has a yellow hue due to the presence of nitrogen then it is known as a Yellow Diamond. Nitrogen molecules absorb blue light which allows the diamond to reflect as yellow.
Often poor quality white (correctly termed colourless) diamonds can be confused and mislabelled as yellow diamonds. These diamonds have their colour graded on a scale of D to Z, the more colour present (yellow dingy colour) the lower on the scale they are graded.
Where are Yellow Diamonds Found?
Yellow diamonds, like many other coloured diamonds, can be found in mines all over the world. Most commonly, yellows can be found in Australia, Central Africa, Angola, Borneo, Brazil, Congo, and Sierra Leone. The sheer number of locations can explain the yellow diamond’s commonality compared to other coloured diamonds like pinks, blues & reds.
How rare are Yellow Diamonds?
Natural coloured diamonds, in general, are rare. Out of 10,000 carats, typically only one carat is a natural coloured diamond. However, in terms of coloured diamonds, yellow stones are the most found. Gem experts estimate that they make up 60% of all the coloured diamonds in the world. Still, in terms of all the diamonds (coloured and colourless), these sunny stones are still considered rare.
Why does each Yellow Diamond look so different?
While natural yellow diamonds are, for the most part, yellow, they can be made up of a mixture of different shades. Most popularly, yellow diamonds may contain hints of brown, green, or orange. However, if a stone does not contain any other colours, it is considered pure. Pure yellow diamonds are oftentimes called canary yellow diamonds.
The most important consideration for the value of yellow diamonds is the colour’s intensity. These diamonds can range from faint to fancy vivid; the closer one gets to fancy vivid, the higher the value. This is because the more intense the colour, the rarer the diamond is to find in nature. However, pricing these special stones, and coloured diamonds in general, requires a trained diamond expert. For these fancy coloured diamonds alone, there are hundreds of colour combinations, and different secondary colours can affect the diamond in different ways. For example, adding green or orange to a yellow diamond will increase its value, whereas adding brown will decrease it.
How to spot a good Yellow Diamond?
Whereas the 4 Cs used for evaluating diamonds – cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight also apply to coloured diamonds, the priority changes. Whereas clarity is often the most important factor in determining the value of a colourless diamond, colour is the most important factor in determining the value of a coloured diamond. The rarer and richer, or more saturated the colour, the more valuable the stone.
As expected colour is a huge consideration when sourcing the perfect yellow diamond. The majority of yellow diamonds in the jewellery industry are either graded Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid. In general, the more colour a coloured diamond has, the better. Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid diamonds, for example, have more colour than Fancy Light diamonds—and are usually more valuable. However, tone (the degree of darkness or lightness of a colour) is also important. For example, a diamond that is extremely dark (Fancy Dark) may be less desirable than a lighter stone graded Fancy Intense.
It is not unusual for a yellow diamond to have a hue modifier, such as orangy yellow or greenish-yellow. A modifier does not indicate that the colour is any less strong or pure.
What about Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings?
Today’s engagement ring trends encourage a pop of colour and uniqueness. Rings featuring these rare stones have quickly risen in demand. In the past decade, they have been able to make quite the impression on fashion. Although much of this can be contributed to the beauty of the stone, celebrities who sport their yellow diamond jewellery also help to increase the stone’s popularity. Yellow Diamonds offer the wearer a fun and colourful way to express her character and personality. Mixing yellow stones with different metals can develop interesting combinations. Paired with yellow gold, these golden stones look especially regal.