Only about one in every 10,000 diamonds is naturally yellow!
Some white or off-white diamonds are treated or "enhanced" to become yellow - they look different from natural yellow diamonds. This post covers natural yellow diamonds.
Yellow diamonds color and clarity
Color is the most important characteristic when selecting a natural yellow diamond. The deeper the color, the more rare, and therefore more expensive. Deeper colored yellow diamonds are sometimes called canary diamonds.
A yellow diamond will usually have an undertone that is orangey or greenish. Orangey color that gives the diamond a warm or golden color, while greenish color gives the diamond a cool or lemony color. Neither undertone color is more valuable; it is a personal preference.
Clarity in a natural yellow diamond is not as important as for a white diamond. This is because clarity inclusions tend to be masked by the yellow color.
White versus yellow diamonds
Yellow diamonds are cut to maximize their color, while white diamonds are cut to maximize their brilliance. The most brilliant cut is a round, and therefore most white diamonds are cut in a round shape. But the round shape usually lessens the color in a yellow diamond, so consider a square or cushion shape, which maximizes the yellow color.
In white diamonds, fluorescence is usually looked upon as a negative (with certain exceptions, where fluorescence can net you a deal). But fluorescence in yellow diamonds can add to the color intensity, giving you a nicer diamond at a lower price.
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Prices of white diamonds are based upon a far larger supply with very active trading. Yellow diamonds are much rarer, and prices aren't comparable in the same way.
Generally, the deeper the color, the higher the price. Very yellow natural diamonds, known as vivid yellow diamonds, can fetch prices that greatly exceed prices of white diamonds. On the other hand, light yellow diamonds are less than white diamonds.
How to make a yellow diamond look more yellow
- Set your diamond in yellow gold, choosing a high karat metal such as 18 karat or 22 karat yellow gold. Custom settings give you more options.
- If you like bezel set diamonds, this setting style increases the color intensity.
- Contrast your yellow diamond with white or other colored diamonds.