Yellow diamonds are common.
In fact, most of the diamonds mined from the Earth have either a slight yellow hue to them, or a strong yellow hue. This coloring is caused by Nitrogen.
A yellow cast is undesirable to most people. It starts to become obvious in diamonds colors of J, K, L, M and down (J-Z).
As seen in these color charts here:
There are some good pros and cons to having a yellow diamond, let’s look at them.
The PROS to yellow diamonds:
- They’re cheaper. You can save a ton of money by buying a diamond with a lower color grade.
- You can often mask this apparent yellow color if you set the diamond into a yellow gold mounting.
- Some people prefer a slight yellow hue, they say it adds warmth to a diamond.
- Yellow diamonds (K-Z) are often heat treated to enhance and change the color of the diamond. They can turn an unwanted yellow or brown diamond into a wonderfully beautiful blue, pink, green, colored diamond. Colored diamonds like this are highly popular in jewelry stores today. Just like these diamonds shown below:
The CONS to yellow diamonds:
- Larger carat weights show color off more. The bigger the diamond, the more you will see that yellow hue.
- Yellow makes a diamond look old, antique, yellowed, aged, used… Not very pretty or attractive.
- Yellow in a diamond also makes the facets and cut seem less crisp. They don’t pop like they would in a white diamond.
- Yellow makes a diamond appear darker and smaller in size. While white diamonds tend to look bigger and brighter.
- Yellow diamonds are hard to sell. Jewelers can sit on them for many years before finding a buyer. Which also means, if you buy one and want to trade it in, or sell it later, you’ll have a hard time as well.
So you see, there are good and bad points to yellow diamonds. Luckily, most diamonds you find on the market are mostly white in hue; D, E, F = Pure White. G, H, I, J = Near Colorless (G, H are called ‘Fine White‘ diamonds). I always recommend G-H or higher in color.
Most of these stones will face up perfectly fine, and most people would never detect the off color or slightly faint hue of yellow in the stone (which is more apparent from a side view)… Unless they actually put them side by side with a pure white diamond (my favorite). Then they would easily see the difference (it’s like night and day).
G, H or higher color will brighten a diamond, make it look whiter, bigger, and even more brilliant.
Fancy yellow diamonds:
On the other end of the spectrum of diamond colors, you’ll find yellow diamonds that are vivid, rare, and quite expensive. These are called ‘fancy‘ colors (fancies). They are beyond the letter Z on the grading charts; Z+, and their colors can be intense and stunning. Just like these fancy yellow diamonds below:
These fancy diamonds would be a definite PRO. They are rare in nature (given the name ‘Canary‘), are not heat treated (those are the real colors that will never fade or diminish), but the prices for the vivid diamonds is enormous; much, much more than any of the best white diamonds with the same carat weight and clarity.
Fancy diamonds can also come in green, blue, orange, brown, black, purple, red, pink… and even gray.
But if you prefer ‘white diamonds‘, then check out the prices of white diamonds here.
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