Sunshine Stone: A Guide To Fancy Yellow Diamonds

The niche market of coloured diamonds has been growing in popularity for some years now. The main of which, is the yellow diamond. Also know as canary diamonds, this breed of stone is a potentially stunning alternative to the classic white diamond.

This blog will explore the realms of yellow diamonds which are classed as Fancy coloured stones, rather than graded in the traditional D to Z GIA system.

Although much more popular in modern jewellery, yellow diamonds date back to the mid-17th century, with the first discovery dating to the 1860s. They were incredibly rare, and even in the 21st century, for every 10,000 carats mined only 1 carat is natural yellow.

Yellow diamonds make up about 60% of the coloured diamond industry. The yellow colour is due to the nitrogen levels within the stone, which causes the light to filter differently through the stone.

GIA has created a grading system which allows for the spectrum and variety to be offered to consumers. There are six categories in total:

  • Fancy Light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy Dark
  • Fancy Intense
  • Fancy Vivid

The price between each grade can jump, but with the ever-changing markets it can be difficult to track the cost and price. We rely on a price list for colourless diamonds, however with the almost infinite variations of colour, the exact pricing of yellow diamonds an art. The yellow diamonds can vary from a pure canary colour, to a more brownish hue, making the price differ.

The pricing begins with the colour though, and the closer to the brilliant vivid the better. Clarity is not such a concern when dealing in yellow diamonds, so although important and it does play a role, it is not as critical a factor as colour.

The main issue in pricing is the high demand and low supply of these wonderful diamonds. The rarity makes it hard for suppliers to keep up with the ever-growing popularity – therefore current prices continue to rise in order to accommodate.

A fancy intense yellow diamond can be priced from 25% to 50% higher than a fancy yellow diamond, and they are more highly sort after. However, the top of the range are the fancy vivid yellow diamonds and on average, 1 carat is between $12,000 and $18,000 dependant on the hue. This is triple the cost of fancy light-yellow diamonds.

Given how important the colour is to the grading and pricing, it is important to understand how secondary colours and hues can have huge affects on price. Colour combinations are common, which is also making it harder to find pure canary stones. The mix of orange, green or brown with yellow makes the appearance and price of the pieces vary. The stronger the secondary colour, the lower the price in most cases.

When looking to buy a yellow diamond, we suggest looking for a certificate, with GIA being the most renowned. This will give you a clearer indication of the quality – however, remember you are still buying jewellery, so should be looking for something you love!