Question about Yellow Diamonds?


Feb 4, 2011

After changing my mind numerous times about the type of ring I want, my fiance and I have started to look at yellow diamonds. Diamonds by Lauren is one of the top places that we've been considering, but my knowledge on yellow diamonds is limited. I was hoping someone could help pinpoint the key things I should be looking for. I believe color is the most important for colored diamonds, and cut. Looking at the finish, the polish has been excellent and the symmetry very good or very good for both polish and symmetry (please let me know if this is not what I need to look at for cut). I'm just not sure what I need to concentrate on, sorry for the generality of this post. Thanks in advance for any information, I really appreciate it!


Mar 19, 2010
I consider polish and symmetry VERY low priority when looking at a diamond. In terms of cut, we are looking for light performance. A well cut diamond performs and reflects a large amount of light back to the eye vs. leaking behind the diamond (and not producing the light show we come to expect from diamonds).

With fancy yellows, one sometimes has to be a little more lenient with light performance because the color and strength of color can be more important to the buyer. Due to fancy color diamond rarity, and the tendency for cutters to retain carat weight (which is worth even more than white diamonds), it may be difficult to find a fantastically cut, high light performing diamond. They certainly can be around, but take your time. David at DBL is a great resource. I liked working with David.

Here's another resource for fancy colored diamonds. I haven't contacted them before but Kenny practically swears by them:


Apr 30, 2005
As you've said, the color is the main thing.
The market dictates what is more expensive but that doesn't mean you have to see the expensive color grades as more desirable.
There are 9 color saturation grades with price peaking at Vivid.
Deep and Dark have stronger appearance than Vivid but are less expensive.
You may personally prefer a Light Yellow to a Vivid Yellow; if so you'll save quite a bit of money, or get a larger stone.
Keep in mind that GIA pure Yellows can come in hues that vary a great deal, at least to my eyes.
I've seen GIA "pure" Yellows that range from a lemon-lime hue to a goldish hue.

Take the color of online pics with a grain of salt.
There are a zillion things that can affect the accuracy of color pics you see online, even when the vendor strives for honest and legit photography.
FCD photography is difficult.
In person FCDs change their color appearance a great deal as you carry them into different environments and light sources.
So what is their "true" color? Hmmm. The answer is not so black and white.

You really have to see the diamond live to be sure of the color and decide if you like it, so make sure you buy from a vendor with a no-questions-asked return policy.
As mentioned above I've bought from around 15 times and have even returned some with no hassles.

I'd only consider FCDs graded by GIA, the most reputable lab for FCDs.

Nature gives us more yellow diamonds than most other colors so your yellow will be larger and more affordable than if your color choice was almost any color, other than brown.
This means you have a larger selection, so if you do want to focus on VG or Ex Polish and symmetry then so be it.
I've not given those two specs too much consideration since the FCDs I've bought have been in hard-to-find colors with very limited selection.

FCDs are cut to maximize the color strength because that brings the best price.
They are NOT cut for the best light performance.
Just because the FCD industry does not put a high priority on light performance does not mean I have to throw my hands up and settle for a diamond that has no sparkle.

I want both good color AND good light performance.
Don't be afraid to return one if you don't find it to be sparkly enough.
I have had possession of 15 FCDs, and the light performance varied a great deal.
If your vendor tells you to not worry about light performance I'd find another vendor.

Certain cut shapes keep the light bouncing around inside the diamond more times than other cut shapes.
The more colored material the light travels through the more color the light picks up, and the higher the color grade and the price.
This is why there are so many pear and radiant FCDs.
Emerald and asscher cut do not keep the light bouncing around so many times; this is why few FCDs will be in those cuts.
That said it IS possible to find them.
I have a Fancy Vivid Yellow Asscher that is only 33 points so those clever color-amplifying cuts are not always necessary if the rough is strongly-colored.


Sep 24, 2009
As a fan of colored diamonds I do have my limits on cut. I refuse to buy a diamond with only Fair symmetry. I try for VG if you can but G works well for me. Polish is always G or above. There is virtually no difference with that.

Color is #1 for me with a good cut very very close behind. Polish is last.

I purchased my Y-Z radiant (in my avatar) from Diamonds By Lauren and I am a big fan of the place. I've been back more than once for small purchases and I've always been happy. Right now my ring is back in NYC being reset.

I find that the photos on the DBL site are really accurate of what you will see in real life. Particularly when you get photos of the diamond in regular every day office lighting, bright outdoor type lighting and then bright "spotlight". David is a dream to work with and is more than happy to take photos and videos of any stone you are interested in. I admit that is what drew me to him in the first place. I like seeing diamonds in all types of lighting and many places only give one type of lighting.

Colored diamonds shift in shade/color depending on the lighting so getting as many photos or video is key to finding the right stone IMO.

I'd give them a call! Good luck with your search!


Jan 23, 2008
We've had quite a few beautiful yellow diamonds come though here of all shapes sizes and colors so I can't wait to see what you end up with! here is a link to one of my all time favorite ones

Its on sale for 18,900 but it's a very small size finger (4.5) and can only be sized a little bit. However I love that 2.46 oval diamond. It's yummy! That one is a fancy light yellow. There are other threads that have more vivid yellows as well. My gf has a .95 fancy yellow princess cut diamond in a halo for her e-ring and she just loves it!

Good luck!


Feb 4, 2011
Thank you so much everyone for your replies! Very informative!! I am located in NYC, so will definitely be going to DBL to check out the rings in person.

I do have a question about fluorescence though- one of the rings I'm looking at has medium blue fluorescence, is this something that I should try to stay away from or does it not really matter in terms of the diamond?

Also, funny you mention vintagelover, that ring is one that I am very heavily considering and is actually big for me, so is a great size! Thanks for posting it! Thanks again to everyone, I plan on posting links to the rings I'm considering when we have a better feel for what we can do!
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