All About Yellow Diamonds

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Quick Facts

About Yellow Diamonds

  1. Diamonds naturally occur in many colors

  2. An increase in nitrogen present during the formation of a diamond gives it it’s yellow color

  3. Yellow diamonds are often called “canary” but this is not an accurate term

  4. For yellow diamonds the cut, clarity, and carat are all graded on the same scale as colorless diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds have their own color grade scale

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How To Shop

For a Yellow Diamond


It might be hard to see the nuanced difference in color of a natural yellow diamond. Especially if you are looking at diamonds that are already set into jewelry. I’m sharing a couple of trade secrets to help you through purchase the perfect yellow diamond.

Yellow diamonds are often in yellow gold settings. The belief is that a white setting could reflect through the stone making it appear more pale than the stone actually is. This is common practice and if a vibrant yellow diamond is set in 18k yellow it looks fabulous!

Sometimes, when a fancy colored diamond is set into jewelry the back of the stone is enclosed. In the case of yellow diamonds the back of the stone would be enclosed in 18k or 22k yellow gold to enhance the color of the stone. I have seriously mixed feelings about this method. I really like this idea, why not use what you have to make the stone shine it’s brightest? On the flip side, if this isn’t disclosed you can’t get a feel for the actual color of the diamond. If the back is fully enclosed dirt can be trapped and be a nightmare to get out causing your diamond to look like it has inclusions or dark spots that it doesn’t have.

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How yellow is your yellow? The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Color Scale for fancy colored diamonds is incredibly complicated compared to the traditional D-Z scale of colorless diamonds. Colored diamonds are graded by their hue, and the tone and saturation of that hue. They are then further broken down by warm and cool then finally into Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep.

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Yellow diamonds are fabulous. Color grading, pricing, and shopping for natural yellow diamonds can be complicated. It doesn’t have to be. As with any diamond, find a Gemologist you trust. Choose the stone you fall in love with, but if it is a natural yellow diamond check the back of the setting first.

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