Fancy Yellow Diamond

In my previous articles on Natural Fancy Color Diamonds, we learnt about Pink, Green, Blue and Red diamonds. Today, let’s learn about Natural Fancy Yellow Color Diamonds.
Yellow Diamonds are amongst the most common Natural fancy colour diamonds making up around 60% of the coloured diamonds. These diamonds are found almost all over the world but the most intense yellow diamonds come from South Africa, Australia, Canada and America.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Graff & Public Domain.
Images 1: 132.55cts Fancy Intense cushion cut Golden Empress diamond by Graff. This diamond was polished from 299cts rough diamond from Letšeng Mine in Lesotho. The rough stone also yielded another eight smaller diamonds: six pear-shaped Fancy Yellow stones, with the largest at 21.34 carats, and two brilliant round stones.
Image 2: 47.39ct Star of Bombay was purchased by Laurence Graff. This diamond originally belonged to an Indian Maharajas.
Image 3: The Florentine Diamond is a lemon-yellow colour diamond with 126 facets and 9 sides, weighing 137.27 cts. It is also known as Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Image 4: The Cora Sun-Drop Diamond is the largest known yellow pear-shaped diamond, weighing 110.3 cts. It was sold for $10.9 million at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva and set a world record price for a yellow diamond.
Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Public Domain.
Cushion-cut fancy yellow 234.65 cts De Beers Diamond, the largest cut yellow diamond and the seventh-largest polished diamond of any colour in the world. The diamond was bought by the Maharaja of Patiala and set as the centrepiece of the Patiala necklace by Cartier in 1928.

The cause of colour in each Natural Fancy Color diamond is different, for example.
• Green Diamonds – Radiation.
• Blue Diamonds – Traces of boron in the diamond crystal lattice.
• Pink Diamond – Distortion in the diamond’s crystal lattice, created by intense heat and great pressure.
• Red Diamond- Rare occurrence in its atomic structure.

Natural Fancy Yellow diamonds get their colour due to the presence of the Nitrogen atoms within the diamond’s crystal lattice that causes blue light to be absorbed while allowing yellow wavelengths of light to be reflected into the observer’s eyes. Depending on the amount of nitrogen in the diamond, various shades and hues of yellow will be displayed.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Sotheby’s
Image 1: Fancy yellow diamond jewel from the private collection of late Imperial Majesty Sultan Ahmad Shah Qajar, late 19th century auctioned at Sotheby’s 2013.
Image 2: 24.04 cts pear-shaped Fancy Yellow Moon of Baroda diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America’s colour diamond grading system assigns yellow diamonds the following grades: Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: The Gemological Institute of America.

White diamonds are graded on a colour scale of D to Z, with D being a colourless diamond and Z having a distinct yellow or brown tint. Yellow diamonds are graded as “Fancy” when they fall outside the D-to-Z range (colourless to light-yellow). All faintly yellow diamonds (not colourless and not fancy yellow) are called “Cape diamonds, these diamonds are from the lower end of the D-Z colour scale (U-V and Y-Z) and appear yellowish.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: The Gemological Institute of America.

The shape of a diamond also influences its colour. A round brilliant cut is most popular with white diamonds as it reflects maximum light and Fancy Yellow diamonds are often cut in fancy shapes, like the radiant cut, cushion cut as the faceting in these cuts maximizes the saturation of colour in the diamond and maintains high brilliance and fire in a diamond. Sometimes diamonds are even recut into the desired shape to maximize the intensity of the diamond’s face-up colour.

Factors that determine the price of Fancy Yellow Diamonds are:
1. Yellow diamonds are the most affordable and popular of the fancy coloured diamond family, as they are not as rare as other fancy Colors such as Blue, Red and Green.
2. Yellow diamond colours are prized depending upon the intensity of its colour, the deeper the intensity, the higher the price and vice versa.
3. The presence of secondary colours also affects the price of yellow diamonds. A brownish tinge will lower a yellow diamond’s value, while an orange or greenish hue increases its price.
4. The price of Fancy Yellow Diamonds generally remains lower when compared to colourless or white diamonds of similar quality until they reach very high colour intensities.
5. With white or colourless diamonds, the higher the tint of colour, the lower the value of the diamond. However, the deeper the hue on a fancy colour diamond, the more valuable it is.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Public Domain
The Windsor Yellow Diamonds sold by Harry Winston are 40.81cts & 52.13cts pear-shaped originally mounted as lapel clips. In 1868 these were remounted as ear clips by placing the diamonds reversed. These diamonds were later were acquired by Graff in 1987.

A few tips to keep in mind when investing in Fancy Yellow Diamonds:
1. Investors and collectors usually go for rare and valuable Fancy Intense Yellow Diamonds and Fancy vivid Yellow diamonds.
2. The colour of most yellow diamonds may appear noticeably darker and stronger when set in a mounting. A gold setting will make the yellow colour appear deeper, while a white metal setting will make the colour appear lighter.
For eg: A lighter-coloured metal, such as platinum or white gold, create a contrast with Vivid Intense Yellow diamond and a yellow centre diamond with colourless side stones, or in a halo white gold setting can accentuate the main diamond and make it stand out.
A darker setting of yellow or rose gold, make a yellow diamond appear deeper and more intense than its colour grade.
So, if you would like to make a little saving, it’s a great idea to invest in a faint or light-coloured diamond and have it set in a yellow or rose gold setting!
3. Always insist on a certified diamond that guarantees the diamond origin and colour.
4. Yellow diamonds are relatively more common in the niche of fancy coloured diamonds and their prices are close to white diamonds; making them the best alternatives investment to colourless diamonds.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Chaumet
Image 1: Lumières Célestes tiara set in white and yellow gold, with 11.16cts cushion-cut Fancy Intense Yellow diamond and 1.29cts cushion-cut Fancy Intense Yellow diamond along with diamonds and pearls.
Image 2: Chaumet Joséphine Aigrette Impériale Tiara
Image 3: Chaumet Soleil Glorieux tiara.

And lastly, I would like to bring your attention to two common terms used with Fancy Yellow Diamond: Canary and Zimmy Diamonds.
Canary Diamond:
Canary Yellow is not an official term but a casual term used for fancy yellow diamonds with pure yellow colour. These diamonds are the most valuable type of yellow diamonds. Just like the canary-bird, these diamonds exhibit a deep, intense yellow hue, graded anywhere from Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid on the GIA colour scale. Canary diamond is extremely rare and beautiful, and come with a higher price and resell value than most other yellow diamonds.
Zimmy Diamonds:
This name comes from an area in Sierra Leone known for producing diamonds with a beautiful, intense yellow colour. These diamonds can be even more expensive and sought-after than Canary Diamonds.

Yellow Diamonds | The Diamond Talk | Renu Chaudhary
Image Credit: Tiffany & Co.

Featured above is a 128cts Tiffany Diamond, the largest and finest Canary Diamond in the world.
A 287.42cts rough stone discovered in South Africa was purchased by Tiffany & Co. and polished into cushion-shaped 128.54cts with 82 facets. The diamond soon became a representative for Tiffany at international exhibitions. In 1956, Jean Schlumberger set the Tiffany Diamond in the necklace set for the 1957 Tiffany Feather Ball and in 1961, the Tiffany Diamond made a brief appearance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; mounted in Schlumberger’s Ribbon Rosette necklace, it was later set in Schlumberger’s Bird on a Rock design in 1995. In celebration of Tiffany’s 175th Anniversary in 2012, the Tiffany Diamond was set in a diamond necklace with over 100 cts of gems and most recently the necklace was modified for Lady Gaga to wear to the 2019 Oscars!

Stay tuned for my next article on another Natural Fancy Color Diamonds! Would you like to know more about Fancy Brown Diamonds? Let me know in the comments.

Credits: Leibish, Kunming Diamonds, Optimum Diamonds, Graff, Chaumet, Sotheby’s.
Disclaimer: The above images belong to their respective sources, where rights may be held. Usage here is for information/reference purpose only.

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