A Guide to Natural Yellow Diamonds
Yellow is a color that sparks cheerfulness and joy. Being the lightest hue of the spectrum is traditionally associated with positive emotions, and it’s believed that being in its presence is uplifting and can stimulate new ideas. Yellow diamond jewelry is an excellent way to carry this happy color with you.
What are fancy color diamonds? Learn what sets them apart from colorless diamonds and why they are unique.
Discover what causes diamonds to be yellow and where these remarkable stones are found.
Understand the different factors that influence a yellow diamond’s value.
Keep on reading to learn more about the most popular diamond color.
What are fancy color diamonds?
Most diamond jewelry is made with colorless diamonds, the most abundant type. These diamonds are classified by a color grading system that goes from D colorless to Z light yellow. In this case, diamonds with a yellow tint are less expensive than the colorless grades. But once the color is saturated beyond a Z grade, they enter a new category: fancy color. And with this, the value of fancy color diamonds goes up due to their rarity. To put in perspective, only 1 in 10,000 carats of mined diamonds will be a color diamond. Colorless diamonds are widely available but fancy color diamonds are very scarce.
When diamonds formed millions of years ago, some came in contact with other elements, and this caused them to have different colors. Depending on the trace element, diamonds can be yellow, brown, pink, blue, green, orange, red, purple, black, gray, and hundreds of shades in between.
Bespoke spring-inspired flower earrings in 18Kt yellow gold with colorless and natural yellow diamonds.
Fancy color diamonds are often graded by the increased color strength going from Faint to Fancy Deep. Diamonds identified as Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid are considered the most desirable and command higher prices. At Langerman, we identify colors with a system based on the image each shade evokes. You will find names like Canary, Saffron, Vanilla, Gold, Bronze, and Honey for our yellow diamonds. This intuitive color classification makes it easier to communicate and understand the specific color shade of a natural color diamond.
The Origin of Yellow Diamonds
Spectacular 1.93 carat, pear cut, fancy vivid yellow diamond from the Zimmi mine.
The presence of nitrogen molecules is traditionally what causes the mesmerizing yellow hue in diamonds. Natural yellow diamonds are mined in Australia, Central Africa, Angola, Borneo, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But not every yellow diamond is created equally. In Zimmi, a region located between the border of Sierra Leone and Liberia, iron ore helped create vivid yellow-orange diamonds—the rarest of yellow diamonds.
5 Things to know about natural yellow diamonds
Nitrogen atoms are responsible for giving most yellow diamonds their color.
Natural yellow diamonds are the most common color to find, but they are still rare as only 1 of every 10,000 carats mined is a color diamond.
The oldest diamond color-grading system dates back to VI century India, where color diamonds expressed social status. Yellow diamonds could only be worn by Kings and the merchant class.
Natural fancy yellow diamonds have been mined in different parts of the world, but South Africa is the most important source.
Pure color stones are rare; most color diamonds will display different saturation intensities and at least one overtone. For yellow diamonds, shades of green, orange and brown are the most common.
Canary diamond: The Most Coveted Yellow
Oval-cut canary yellow diamond set in white gold with white diamonds.
From light to deep, there are multiple shades of yellow found in diamonds. Canary diamonds are the most sought-after because of their intense and pristine yellow color.
Perhaps the most famous example of a yellow diamond is the renowned Tiffany Diamond. Discovered in South Africa in 1877, the rough stone was 287.42 carat. One year later, it was acquired by Charles Lewis Tiffany who sent it to the Paris branch for cutting. The final stone is a magnificent 128.54 carat cushion-cut diamond with an impressive, fiery brilliance achieved with 82 facets—which was unprecedented at the time. Beyoncé recently made history when she became the fourth woman and first Black woman to wear the gem in a collaboration campaign with the brand.
Also unearthed in South Africa, the Sun-Drop diamond is an exceptional 110.03 carat specimen. The Sun-Drop diamond is the largest known pear-cut Canary yellow diamond. Tests suggest the stone was formed from 1 to 3 billion years ago.
Why Cut Matters In Natural Fancy Color Diamonds
Outstanding matching pair of cushion cut yellow diamonds.
When a master cutter faces a fancy color rough diamond, he or she must decide on a strategy to cut and polish the stone to ensure the best color distribution and even achieve the desired hue intensity. If a stone already has a dark color, cutting it too deep might deepen the color.
Fancy shapes—those that aren’t round—have been found to deliver the best color intensity and value.
How To Wear Intense Yellow Diamond Jewelry
Three-stone diamond ring featuring a saffron yellow diamond set in yellow gold.
When designing your yellow diamond jewelry, you can follow two approaches: contrast or harmony. If you set your intense yellow diamond in 18 Kt white gold, the tone difference will make the saturated color even more noticeable. And if you choose an 18 Kt yellow gold setting, the diamond will blend with the warm metal color. Undecided? Try the subtle blush of 18 Kt rose gold.
Victoria Beckham and Heidi Klum both opted for a combination of yellow gold for their jaw-dropping yellow diamond rings. The yellow diamond embellished band is another feature their rings share, creating a monochromatic warm style.
Langerman’s Yellow Diamond Jewelry
From the Langerman bespoke archives, this intricate 18Kt yellow gold ring is covered with natural fancy vivid yellow diamonds. The delicate, sparkling swirls make this ring an unforgettable statement piece. Contact us to design your own yellow diamond ring.
Flower Diamond Studs
Brilliant round cut yellow diamonds simulate petals in this 18Kt yellow gold design. Combined with white diamonds at the center, these earring studs are a feminine, playful design.
Draw inspiration for a romantic gift from this yellow gold heart bracelet from our bespoke gallery. Adorned with canary yellow diamonds, a piece like this conveys romance and joy.
Explore our website and create the natural color diamond jewelry of your dreams.