Choosing a diamond typically follows the 4 C’s (carat, cut, color and clarity) but when it comes to colored diamonds the color itself will undoubtably affect the other C’s.
Here is a quick guide used by experts in the field on choosing the ultimate yellow diamond, which once realized and discovered in our range, can be set in exquisite Astteria Diamond jewelry.
All diamonds are found on a color scale. For white diamonds, it goes from D through Z, As the scale goes further towards Z the diamond color appears yellowish. Typically, this degrades the diamond, however, once the scale is tipped or we can continue down, the intense yellow diamonds actually increase the price point because of their rarity.
These diamonds, found in the natural fancy colored family of diamonds, are unique finds in nature. Different minerals and other natural elements create the varying colors of diamonds in their environments.
For example, boron will make a diamond blue, while radiation turns diamonds green. Yellow diamonds receive their color through the presence of molecules of nitrogen, that actually absorb blue light.
These naturally colored diamonds are tremendously rare and some colors more than others. For example, out of 10,000 carats of natural diamonds, only one will be a colored diamond. These colors range from blushing pinks, rich purples, ocean blues, and greens as well as intense orange diamonds.
The yellow diamond, however, is more common among all these colors, making up more than half of this family. That being said only 1 yellow diamond out of over 16,000 carats are found, so they are indeed very rare.
Secondary hues explained
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has an in-depth color grade expressing the exact color of the diamonds. Typically, this will include common color combinations found with yellow such as, brown, green and orange. There are pure yellow diamonds, such as canary yellow, although these are quite unusual.
These additional colors are known as secondary tones. A green-yellow diamond is, therefore, a yellow diamond with a green secondary tone. While a yellow-green would mean the opposite.
These nuances are very important in choosing a high-quality diamond. Some of these color combinations can be valuable and others far less so, so it is essential to get an expert to guide you in picking the right ones.
Understanding the Color Scale
Intensity is a major factor in grading. As yellow diamonds can have an intense or faded color, the intensity scale was created to better determine value.
The grading scale goes from faint to fancy intense and vivid. The fainter or lighter the intensity, the lower the quality. These faint yellows are called “Cape Diamonds” as they come from South Africa. These diamonds are at the lower D-Z scale.
A fancy diamond’s first level is called Fancy Light Yellow. Fancy diamonds cannot be dark yellow but when combined with brown and others. For rarity and cost the scale goes with Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid.
Beyond the 4C’s
There are many factors to consider when pricing and placing a value on a diamond that goes beyond the traditional 4 c’s. White diamonds tend to rest solely on a fluctuating price list.
A colored diamond, however, takes a lot more expertise due to the plethora of color combinations. Pricing begins with color and since there are so many variations the price points can be extremely varied. Just as one example, a brown tint decreases the value while green or orange adds value.
Facts about Yellow Diamonds
Interestingly enough, a fancy light yellow has a lower price point than its darker more intense yellow diamond, but can be a beautiful piece of jewelry.
Fancy yellows are the most commonly known yellow diamonds, and the most liked for their clear hue. Finding a diamond in this category with an F-G color will catch a price point of up to $5,000.
Deep Yellow tends to be less popular although rarer and more expensive. It also has a secondary brown hue.
The most popular and highly sought after is the Fancy Intense Yellow Diamonds, more commonly (yet incorrectly) known as the Canary Diamond. These diamonds price even higher than white diamonds, with one carat can be as high as $8000.
Last but definitely not least are the Vivid Yellow Diamonds, ranging in price from $12-$18,000. Some coming from a Zimmy mine in Africa will retail at $30,000.
C’s of Yellow Diamonds
The carat actually refers to its weight, an important distinction. When choosing a ring, the carat and dimensions should be taken into consideration.
Clarity is, of course, an equally relevant factor. Following the GIA chart will help you determine a good quality diamond at the price point you desire.
Cut and Shape are not the same things, a fact that is often misunderstood. Cut refers to quality and shape to the form it was made into. In regards to colored diamonds, the cut is exceedingly important as it will increase value by capturing the brilliance of each color. That being said the right cut should equally be followed by a great polish otherwise the diamond will look dull.
Choosing the Right Shape
The ideal shape choice for a yellow diamond is Cushion, Radiant or Oval. A Round shape is the most difficult one to get right as the shape doesn’t illicit the greatest depth of color. One trick is to change the cut ratio to get a wider oval if you want the rounded look or even a Princess cut mounted with radiant squares.
A sadly overlooked yet equally important point of purchase is having and verifying the certificate.
The GIA, or Gemological Institute of America, is the gold standard when it comes to all gems. They will certify that the color is natural and that all the characteristics (4 c’s), as well as others, are present
Overall, finding the right diamond can be successfully and happily done by following this checklist. We re happy to provide this service to you, as a client of ours, completely free of charge.
Please contact us by email, phone or chat, to get you to your next yellow diamond accessory.