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Finding/Choosing a fancy yellow diamond

GoldieATX

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
35
So I have questions about diamonds. But the colored variety. So should this go here or in the rockytalk forum? Who can know for sure. I have confidence it will be moved if appropriate.

Anyway. I'm getting close to an e-ring purchase. I started out expecting a VVS 1 carat brilliant colorless diamond. I lost interest. I'm considering a 6.5mm VVS light bluish green sapphire (see other thread). But what really has my attention now is fancy yellow diamonds. Something about an excellent cushion cut yellow with white diamond halo is just drool-inducing. I'm sure we can all appreciate the work from diamonds by lauren. Regardless of sales volume, I can't believe more retailers don't take the time to shoot really good photos (not to mention HD video). Of course, I work for a video ecommerce company, so perhaps I'm biased.

I realize nobody will have a good answer for this, but I'm having trouble determining the appropriate price point for these things. It's hard to buy something online with such a subjective factor to its quality assessment. Colorless diamonds seem easier. There are enough of them that, given a GIA report with known properties and a decent photo, I have a reasonable feeling for what I'm getting. Grading variation among colored stones is greater. It doesn't have to be perfectly cut and perfectly symmetrical to sparkle. It doesn't have to be free of inclusions drop jaws.

I haven't seen any Y-Z diamonds in person, but I believe that the right stone in the right setting is yellow. On the right day, some could pass as fancy light. Saying something is "on the yellow end of 'fancy light yellow'" is totally subjective. So if I'm looking online, how do I really know which FLY stone is worth 25% more than a comparable Y-Z? Just work with a reputable vendor and keep buying them and sending them back until I get one I personally like?

I've looked around at several online shops. I need help determining what's a "good buy." And I don't want to hear "for the right person on the right day in the right situation, each one is a good buy." I'll try to present this without references to the source of each, but I'm sure most of you will recognize the photography and such. In any event, let's try. I thought I could add a table via HTML (or BBCode), but I guess not.


yellowdiamond1.jpg
1.03ct GIA Fancy Yellow
VS1, 5.65x5.41x3.68
68% depth, 70% table
Thin-V.Thick Girdle
VG polish, VG symm
No Fluoro
$4184 ($4062/ct)

yellowdiamond2.jpg
1.17ct GIA Fancy Light Yellow
SI1, 6.24x5.16x3.82
74% depth, 64% table
Ex thick girdle
VG polish, VG symm
Faint fluoro
$4975 ($4252/ct)

yellowdiamond3.jpg
1.10ct GIA Fancy Light Yellow
VS1, 5.99 x 5.46 x 3.69
67.6% depth, 67% table
Sl thick - Ex thick girdle
VG polish, G symm
No Fluoro
$4675 ($4250/ct)

yellowdiamond4.jpg
1.08ct GIA Fancy Light Yellow
VS2, 6.11x5.96x3.61
60.6% depth, 72% table
thin-v thick girdle
VG polish, G symm
Med Blue Fluoro
$4575 ($4236/ct)

yellowdiamond5.jpg
(obviously not the best photo)
1.24ct GIA W-X
VS2, 7.12 x 6.16 x 3.45
56% depth, 66% table
thick-ex thick girdle
G polish, G symm
Faint fluoro
$2239 ($1805/ct)

Ok let's start with that collection. I failed to find any good Y-Z examples with photos. What do you think about those choices, and the associated prices? Which one would you buy for my purpose (platinum shank and halo, both with pavé colorless diamonds, YG basket/prongs)?

What other advice do you have about choosing a fancy yellow diamond in this price range?
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,717
Basically it's all about colour. A fancy yellow will cost more than a fancy light yellow. A fancy vivd yellow will cost more than a fancy light yellow. Then you look at clarity and size. Then you look at cut. It's also important, if the diamond has fluoresence to ask how this affects the diamond. With a yellow stone and strong blue fluor, it can make the yellow look almost white in some lighting conditions. However, you can't predict how fluor will affect FCDs as they react in so many different ways. There are too many variables and thus, unlike white diamonds, it's very difficult to give an accurage ballpark $x per carat.

DBL is a good place to start because he has a number of lovely diamonds and they're reasonably priced. David will also go the extra mile and if you live near NY he's open for visitors. Leibish are another company that sell online and you can compare prices there too.

The most important thing is to look at a variety of yellows and pick the colour you like. Whilst I like vivid colours generally, I also find the vanilla yellows incredibly appealing. Also, with yellows a great setting can make them appear far more yellow than they would unmounted. David is a master at that and if you're looking to set the diamond, he can help. By way of an example, here is a 1.02ct U-V colour VS1 diamond, with no fluor, I bought from him. You'll see that unset it didn't appear very yellow ............. fast forward to the setting and you'll see my heart became yellow!

Diamond UV colour 1.02ct heart.jpg

Diamond UV colour 1.02ct heart (2).jpg

Diamond UV Heart diamond number 26.jpg

Diamond yellow DBTY Necklace3.JPG
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,717
Just to show you that I haven't used any trickery and the heart really does look this yellow, here are a few more photos of it (not sure but I think the first photos may be the same as the one above):

Diamond yellow DBTY Necklace1.jpg

Diamond yellow DBTY Necklace2.JPG
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,717
Sorry to bombard you with photos but I found this and thought you may find it interesting. The long legged radiant in the centre front is a U-V but the pear behind it is an M. The radiant had very strong blue fluor that wiped out the colour in many lighting conditions. The M is a very "yellow" M and I suspect has been graded incorrectly! This illustrates why you have to see them in person I'm afraid.

Diamonds Yellow and Green for PS.jpg
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863
I wouldn't buy a diamond of any kind with only G polish and G symm...there is a reason why it is priced cheaper per carat.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,690
Hi,

I like the fancy yellow the best and it seems to be priced well. There is a woman here that has a 5 ct XyZ(not sure ,but not fancy graded) that looks quite yellow and was a surprise. She said that is why she grabbed it. Beautiful it was. Her name is Amyethist. Perhaps you could look it up here. I don't know how.

thanks,
Annette
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,979
You are right, prices are hard to determine because there just are fewer colored diamonds for sale than colorless ones.
All you can do is find other online vendors that publish prices and try to make some comparisons.
The problem is two FCDs that are perfectly identical in every GIA grade can vary in price a great deal, from the SAME vendor!
That's because each GIA color grade allows a surprisingly wide range of hue, saturation and tone.

In colorless diamonds it is possible for one GIA G to be closer to F and another closer to H.
STILL, both will be VEEEEERY close to each other.
Not so with FCDs.
One GIA color grade (say, Fancy Intense Yellow) can include diamonds that look VERY different - and the price will reflect how desirable each individual diamond is.

Yellow is near the other hues brown, orange and green. (there is no such thing as a Reddish Green because those hues are not neighbors)
GIA's "pure" yellow grade include diamonds that are not absolutely pure yellow.
One Yellow diamond can have a little green but not enough Green to warrant GIA's grade of Greenish Yellow.
The market has determined that some brown lowers the price of a Yellow and some Green usually increases it - again this is in Yellows that GIA calls "pure" Yellow.
Various colors of fluorescence can further influence the hue and the price.

This makes it near-impossible to know if you are getting a "good" price, whatever that is.

Also I'll add that in a colorless diamond there is such a huge selection that I'd never buy a diamond with only GIA polish and symmetry grades of Good Good.
FCDs are so rare that I'd have to reject almost my entire collection if I applied that standard.

BTW, I'm an FCD collector (see pic below) and have bought around 20 and returned around 8 to Leibish & Co. www.fancydiamonds.net
I cannot recommend Leibish strongly enough.
Great service, huge inventory of around 1000 FCDs and right now 216 of those are yellow, great return policy too.
I am a photographer (I took this pic) and feel that Leibish has the most true to life pics of any FCD vendor.
I consider photography ethics hugely important when selecting an online vendor for FCDs.

FFFcd.png
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,418
hi everybody!
Goldie, thank you for the nice words about our site. We work very hard to get it to look like that.

big shout out to loving diamonds :wavey:
For many years, I have loved the lighter yellow diamonds. Interestingly enough, they are sometimes harder to find than the darker, more expensive ones. I find it quite funny… or ironic, that many of the dealers I know refer to an "XYZ" diamond.
Of course, I always mention to them that the grades are either W-X or Y-Z– there is no XYZ. But the lack of information persists, even at the high levels of the diamond business. I attribute this to the scarcity of these diamonds.
Another reason might be is that there is very little difference in price from N color all the way up to U-V. That might cause some dealers to group all the stones together

If memory serves me Amyethist has a W to X color stone.

Kenny made some great points- especially concerning polish and symmetry.
These two grades constitute the basis of a lot of misunderstanding.
A stone possessing EX polish and symmetry is by no means guaranteed to be well cut- or attractive.
While some very well cut fancy shapes are "merely" Good" polish and symmetry.
Remember, many of the attributes that would downgrade the stone to "Good"from "EX" are invisible to the naked eye. In fact, it would take an expert with a loupe to be able to tell the difference in many cases.
Also important aspect of this, is that there are times when doing what it would take to improve the stone from good to excellent would detract from the stones appearance.
Having said all that, of course I like it when the polish and symmetry are VG or EX as a seller– however only because it's a public perception-not because it detracts from the beauty of the stone.
When buying a stone for my wife, I'd never consider "Good" polish and or symmetry a detraction

In terms of the color grades, the fancy colored grades are quite wide. I like to use an analogy: if the distance between D and E color is 1 inch, the distance between Fancy Light Yellow and Fancy Yellow is 1 foot- of course we are referring to GIA grading only
For many years, I think we got away with "murder" on the pricing of the light yellow diamonds– that is, they were underpriced. Lately I have seen sharp increases in the lighter grades, from U-V up to Fancy Light Yellow diamonds, particularly in larger sizes.
Luckily in the one ct. sizes. I have not seen the same movement – they have gone up in price, but not quite as sharply as the larger diamonds or colorless diamonds of all sizes.

Clarity also plays a different role with natural fancy colored diamonds. Part of this has to do with the fact that the body color of the diamond will hide imperfections that might mar the appearance of a colorless diamond.
It is possible for a VS2 diamond to be more valuable than an Internally Flawless diamond of the same grade.
The reason? Sometimes you hold two fancy light yellow diamonds next each other, one looks like a Fancy Yellow, the other looks 2 shades lighter, like a Y-Z.
This can be caused by where the diamond sits within the Fancy Light Yellow grade, or the cut of the diamond or fluorescence.


I hope these general facts help



Best of luck in your search Goldie
 

GoldieATX

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
35
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I think the notes about polish/symmetry and fluorescence are particularly useful. And kenny, your collection is beautiful. As soon as I turned away from colorless diamonds, I confessed to my girlfriend that I may not be able to resist the urge to start a collection of colored stones. She didn't seem upset by the news. :))

So, beyond the vendors known and often discussed here on the PS boards, I keep coming across other FCD sellers that seem intriguing at least. These are sellers that don't seem to be dedicated colored stone experts, or perhaps those that just don't take the time to provide the breadth of imagery and details that some others do. I know each stone is different and regardless of its grade, individual factors can greatly affect its desirability (and price).

But if I consider items with GIA reports from online sellers with good return policies, am I likely to come across a good deal or two? No doubt there's something to respect and appreciate about a vendor who specializes in yellow diamonds and who takes the time to offer advice and opinions to the prospective buyer throughout the process. That's the ideal low-risk scenario. But if I'm willing to do a little more work (patiently exchanging calls & emails, buying & returning multiple stones, etc.), what are my low-cost options? You know, just because I'm curious. Consider these, for example.

From a retailer of mostly colorless diamonds & jewelry
1.20ct GIA Y-Z
SI2, 6.88 x 5.48 x 3.55
64.8% depth, 64% table
thick-ex thick girdle
VG polish, G symm
Med Blue fluoro
$4635($3799/ct)

From a highly regarded seller on an auction site
1.25ct GIA Fancy Yellow
SI2, 6.49 x 6.04 x 4.05
Thin - Med girdle
VG polish, VG symm
No Fluoro
$4600 buy-now, set in a 14k ring ($3680/ct plus a free setting)

From a popular retailer of colorless diamonds & jewelry
1.22ct GIA Fancy Light Yellow
VS1, 6.17 x 5.58 x 3.8
Sl thick - ex thick girdle
No Fluoro
$4886 ($4004/ct)

Plus there are a whole bunch of similar FY and FLY diamonds on ebay in the range of $3,000-$4,000 per carat. They're all natural, GIA graded stones, and most of them have reasonable return policies. What's the general PriceScope consensus on the sellers there?
eBay link: http://bit.ly/qKuFv4

My quest continues...
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,979
One other thing to consider ...
Who is claiming that clarity?

GIA offers two reports for colored diamonds and the cheaper report does not grade clarity.
I'd rather the clarity claim is from a full GIA report and not the seller unless I know and really trust the seller.
 

GoldieATX

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
35
Yep a valid point. I have see a couple of the simple GIA reports that don't show all of the more interesting details. I would certainly be more scrutinizing if I received one lacking a full GIA grade. But at the same time, if I'm willing to accept an SI clarity stone with the right color and cut, I feel like I would notice if it were really worse (i.e., naked eye visible). But yeah, still worth considering when comparing prices online.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,979
The shorter GIA reports are not a deal-breaker for me.
I have bought a few FCDs with them.
It's just another factor to be aware of.
Also GIA does not even offer the full report when the weight is below 0.15 ct.

If the seller suspects GIA would grade the clarity the dreaded I1 or I2 they will often just get the abbreviated report.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,418
Goldie- my general experience is that a stone's price is usually related to how desirable the stone is.
That is to say a given stone that's a lot cheaper than another of the same grade usually can be explained by appearance.
For example, a stone at the lightest end of it's color grade.

My advice to shoppers is that photos are crucial when trying to select Fancy colored diamonds online- for good reason
 

GoldieATX

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
35
And that's why I'm consistently drawn to your website as I search. The photos, video, and individual descriptions are beyond compare. I just have to know what else is out there. That due diligence is wrapping up soon, though. I appreciate the help, everyone.
 
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