Yellow Diamonds, the facts

The term “canary” color diamonds has been incorporated into the modern term “Fancy Yellow”.  The GIA grades natural Fancy Yellow diamonds into 4 main qualities, Fancy Light Yellow (the lightest grade), Fancy Yellow (a medium grade), Fancy Intense Yellow (a strong grade) and Fancy Vivid Yellow (the rarest and strongest).

The Yellow color of a diamond will also vary from a desirable lemon-like yellow, to one with greenish or brownish overtones.  If these overtone stones are prominent the GIA certificate will add Brownish or Greenish, such as Fancy Brownish Yellow.  Note than this is not the same as Fancy Yellowish Brown, which is much less desirable.  Yellowish Brown means the main color is Brown, as opposed to Brownish Yellow where the main color is Yellow.

The yellow color a of a Fancy Yellow diamond is evaluated face up, and not from the pavilion of the diamond.  This is important to know since often diamonds that look too light to be Fancy Yellow from the pavilion may actually be Fancy Yellow or better face up.

The Cut of a Fancy Yellow diamond is not evaluated the same as a white stone.  For example I’ve examined Fancy diamonds of 50% depth with great color saturation and scintillation, such a a depth percentage would be highly undesirable for a white diamond.  If you work with Fancy Yellow diamonds you also may have noticed that many have wavy or heavy girdles, often ranging from extremely thin to extremely thick on the same diamond.  This is not necessarily a negative and generally done purposefully by cutters specializing in Yellow diamonds to bring out the highest level of color saturation.

Why are Fancy Yellow diamonds rarely Round and most often Radiant or Cushion?  The short answer is that for various reasons, round diamonds do not show color as well as Radiant and Cushion. So a Fancy Yellow diamond in a Round will not look as yellow as the same rough cut into a Radiant or other Fancy shape.  In fact a round diamond from the same rough may actually be graded as a lower grade of Fancy Yellow.  This coupled with the fact that Fancy shapes such as Radiant have a higher yield from the same rough diamond, the rational is quite simple.

Although most Fancy Yellow diamonds are also clarity graded by the GIA, the price will not vary greatly based on clarity unlike white diamonds.   What’s more because of the variance within each of the the Fancy grades, you can have an SI1 clarity Fancy Yellow diamond by more expensive than a VVS1 Fancy Yellow of the same shape and size.

Diamport has been selling Fancy Yellow diamonds for over a decade.  We take the time to select diamonds that allow us to provide our clients with beautiful diamonds and the correct value.  Please contact us anytime with any questions or comments you may have about Fancy Yellow diamonds.