Buyer’s guide to yellow diamonds
We use many descriptive terms for Fancy Yellow diamond rings. The most prominent that come to mind include Saffron, Canary, Buttercup and Lemon – each one describes the intensity of citrus yellow exhibited by this exquisite colour.
Yellow diamond engagement rings make a unique alternative to white diamond engagement rings. However, many buyers struggle to understand the complex topic of fancy coloured diamonds.
Yellow makes the perfect diamond colour for Summer, and we thought this would make an excellent addition to the blog.
Furthermore, the connection with warmth, sunlight, citrus, and warmth associate with this vibrant, bright diamond colour.
Double halo yellow diamond ring set with a fancy intense yellow diamond. Created via the Serendipity Diamonds bespoke design service.
How are yellow diamonds graded?
The Gemological Institute of America classifies yellow diamonds with varying levels of intensity in the following grades :
- Fancy Vivid Yellow
- Fancy Intense Yellow
- Fancy Yellow
- Fancy Light Yellow
Other diamond grading laboratories use similar terms but with subtle differences; HRD laboratory, for example, omits any reference to the word “vivid” within their classification.
Diamonds exhibiting a greater depth of colour than Z on the colour scale tend to be classified as fancy coloured yellow. Canary yellow diamonds describe yellow diamonds with the greatest intensity of colour.
We created the following ring design with a combination of white diamonds, small yellow diamonds and a fancy intense yellow diamond in the centre of the ring.
Why are some diamonds yellow?
The presence of Nitrogen in the diamond usually results in Yellow colouration. Carbon atoms within the crystal structure, during the formation process, are replaced by Nitrogen atoms, changing the way the diamond interacts with light.
Nitrogen absorbs blue and violet light resulting in Yellow light reflected in the eye. Even a low concentration can result in a significant colouration in yellow diamond rings.
Since many Yellow diamonds originated from the Cape Province of South Africa, the term “Cape” relates to Yellow diamonds. Interestingly, we still use this term today.
Within the diamond Industry, we use other terms denoting lesser shades such as Light Cape (LC), Top Light Cape (TLC), Silver Cape (SC) and Top Silver Cape (TTSC), to name a few, although these are not fancy colour descriptions. Top-Top Silver Cape (TTSC) describes a very light shade of natural non-fancy yellow colour.
Yellow diamond facts
- It is possible to mimic fancy yellow by irradiating and annealing cape diamonds to intensify colour.
- Famous examples include the Tiffany Yellow Diamond (128.54cts) cut into a cushion cut diamond.
- Yellow diamond rings are especially complimentary for Olive and darker skin tones.
Best precious metals for yellow diamonds
We advise many of our clients to choose Platinum or 18ct Yellow gold settings for their yellow diamond. Yellow gold helps to intensify the colour of a yellow diamond. Our bespoke ring example shows a combination of Platinum with 18ct Yellow gold used in this way.
Conversely, many white diamond rings work best with platinum settings above a yellow gold band.
Popular ring styles
One of the most popular designs for yellow diamond engagement rings includes the halo setting. For example, the Tiffany yellow diamond ring. Their website includes the following description
“Once reserved for queens and maharajahs, yellow diamonds burn with pure, high-energy color.”
How much are yellow diamond engagement rings?
We price all yellow diamond rings based on the cost of the materials. Owing to the variation in colour intensity, and size, all rings vary in price.
Within reason, we often work around our client’s budget. But, to begin with, we offer help and guidance with a realistic idea of price.
The following double halo yellow diamond ring shows a fancy intense yellow diamond at the heart of the ring. We crafted this ring by bespoke design through our design service. Please reach out to us for more help and information on any of our bespoke jewellery commissions.
About Mark Johnson
Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.