Yellow diamonds: from pale yellow to canary diamonds

Not all yellow diamonds are rare, but some tints are. As with all diamond colours you can grade yellow diamonds from a pale hue to a very deep coloring. The more colorful the diamond, the less common it is and its value will rise accordingly.

Grading yellow diamonds

There are many color grades for yellow diamonds varying from faint yellow to fancy deep yellow. This grading system is actually the exact opposite of colorless diamonds. For colorless diamonds, any hue or you could say imperfection will lower the value of the diamond.

The coloring in diamonds is imperfections. You could say the more structural flaws the diamond has, the more intense the coloring becomes. We’re not talking about inclusions of course, but the atoms that make up the basis of the diamond.

Canary diamonds

The chart below shows how yellow diamonds are classified from pale yellow to vivid deep yellow. While the lighter colors aren’t as popular, the vivid ones are. A way to differentiate between these two classes of yellow diamonds is the term canary diamonds only refers to the rare Vivid Yellow and Intense Yellow diamonds. 

Color modifiers

Grading colored diamonds aren’t that simple though. A lot of colored diamonds have more than one flaw and combine two colors within them. The second color is called the color modifier. 

For example, a yellow diamond with a green hue has a green color modifier. In this example, this modifier actually enhances the value of the yellow diamond because green diamonds are worth more than canary ones.

The opposite is true for brown color modifiers. Brown is the most common diamond color and having a brown hue will detract from the value of a yellow diamond.

Tiffany diamond

The most famous yellow diamond is perhaps the Tiffany diamond. Thanks to its 90 facets, which is 32 more than a traditional round brilliant cut. Its brilliance was long unparalleled for such a large diamond. This diamond weighs an impressive 128,54 carats and is valued at $12.000.000.

It wasn’t until late in the 20th century that modern techniques made the risk of cutting such a large stone in a similar manner small enough that other 100+ carat stones could gain such a brilliance.

The diamond is so exceptional that there are only two women known to have ever worn this diamond. The most famous is Aubrey Hepburn who wore it for publicity photographs for the release of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which we can all agree is a classic in the world of cinema. 

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