Yellow Diamonds

Yellow Diamonds – Basics

Yellow is the second most common natural diamond fancy color, after brown. Yellow diamonds are also the most popular fancy color due to their availability and price point. Only 1 carat out of every 10,000 carats mined is a natural fancy colored diamond, making rarer colors with high saturation extremely valuable.

PriceScope Pointer: When it comes to fancy colored diamond (FCD) cutting you can throw away the normal cut-quality rules for D-Z colors. The goal with FCDs is cutting with angles which exaggerate the color present – which is opposite the goal for well-cut D-Z diamonds.

Before going on: Check out the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide

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Yellow Diamond Described

Yellow diamonds are the most popular of all fancy color diamonds. They are readily available in a variety of shapes and are often featured in designer jewelry collections. In the last few years, collections from retailers like Tiffany & Co. have popularized the hue, and large yellow diamonds have made headlines for prices garnered at auction. “The Vivid Yellow,” a 32.77 carat fancy yellow diamond, fetched $6.6 million at Christie’s in October 2011. A month later, the 110.03 carat “Sun Drop” sold for a record $12.3 million, the highest price paid for a yellow diamond at auction.


110.03 carat Sun Drop Diamond
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

Weighing 110.03 carats, the “Sun Drop” diamond is known as the largest pear-shaped yellow diamond in the world. For additional images, please visit: 110.03 carat “Sun Drop” Diamond Sells for a Record $12.3 Million

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Yellow Diamond Details

Cause of Color: The presence of nitrogen causes the yellow color in diamonds.

Secondary Colors: Common secondary colors in yellow diamonds include greenish yellow, brownish yellow, and orangish yellow, and sometimes these modifying colors are present in combination.

Rarity: Yellow diamonds are the second most common fancy color. They are second to browns in terms of rarity, but they are the most popular in the marketplace.

Grading: Yellow diamonds are deemed “fancy” when a stone displays more color than the “Z” color grade within the D-Z color grading scale. Fancy yellow diamonds are graded using the terms Fancy Light Yellow, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Dark Yellow, Fancy Deep Yellow, and Fancy Vivid Yellow.

Yellow diamonds that show less color than “Z,” but more color than D-J graded diamonds are called Faint through Light Yellow: K-M Faint Yellow, N-R Very Light Yellow, and S-Z Light Yellow.

If you’re looking to buy loose diamonds online, use our special tools to reveal the best cut quality diamonds! Start your diamond search and choose from over a million loose diamonds for sale. Use our filters to find either natural or lab diamonds, as well as fancy color diamonds. 

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