How Much Is a Yellow Diamond Worth?

August 29, 2023

From bold and bright canary yellow hues to rich, deep honey colors, yellow diamonds are always eye-catching and highly sought-after in the colored diamond family. Many people find themselves captivated by the beauty of these gems, yet they often wonder, "How much is a yellow diamond worth?"

When it comes to evaluating the price of a yellow diamond, the factors you need to consider differ from those associated with traditional colorless diamonds. Understanding these unique pricing variables can help you make an informed decision when buying a yellow diamond.


What Are Yellow Diamonds?

Unlike the traditional colorless or white diamonds, the mesmerizing color seen in natural yellow diamonds results from nitrogen trapped inside the stone during the formation process. This infusion of nitrogen imbues the diamond with its unique and vibrant yellow hue. While traditional diamonds are often graded on a color scale where colorless is the ultimate goal, yellow diamonds take a different trajectory. When a diamond's prominent color is yellow, it ventures beyond the realm of colorless diamonds, earning its place among the illustrious colored diamond category.

It's worth noting that not all yellow diamonds are created equal. Some boast a pure, unadulterated yellow hue and are often called canary diamonds, a nod to brightly colored birds; others exhibit a secondary color – either green, orange, or brown – creating an intriguing interplay of colors.


Are Yellow Diamonds Expensive?

Yellow diamonds, like their colorless counterparts, are priced per carat. While the same conventional 4Cs come into play, you'll need to think about them a little differently. Let's look at which of the 4Cs is most important and how they all influence how much a yellow diamond is worth:

Color:The color of a yellow diamond is a primary factor in its valuation. Yellow diamonds are classified into various categories based on their color intensity, with deeper and more vibrant hues commanding higher prices. Yellow diamonds are graded as follows:

  • Fancy Light: pale yellow
  • Fancy: a brighter yellow hue
  • Fancy Intense: a bold yellow hue
  • Fancy Vivid: an extremely vibrant yellow color
  • Fancy Deep: a deeper yellow with a slightly usually brownish-yellow hue
  • Fancy Dark: a dark yellow with deeper overtones

For a side-by-side comparison, examine the distinct characteristics of these two yellow diamonds:

 Fancy Light Yellow Diamond

fancy light yellow diamond

Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond

fancy vivid yellow diamond


Clarity: While clarity is essential in all diamonds, it plays a slightly different role in yellow diamonds. The inherent color of these gems makes inclusions and blemishes less conspicuous to the naked eye. If you were to compare a 2-carat fancy yellow diamond with an SI1 clarity next to a 1-carat fancy yellow diamond with a VS1 clarity, the main thing you will notice is the size difference, not the difference in clarity.

Cut: Traditional diamonds are cut to maximize fire, brilliance, and scintillation, but colored diamonds are cut to maximize the color intensity. A well-cut yellow diamond accentuates its vivid hue, enhancing its visual impact. When evaluating a stone, look for a good cut with excellent symmetry and polish. Radiant cuts, in particular, are known to intensify the color, making them a popular choice for yellow diamonds.

Carat: Finding high-quality yellow diamonds below two carats is relatively easy, but the rarity and price escalate as the carat weight increases. Larger fancy, intense, and vivid yellow diamonds have become increasingly sought-after, further influencing their value.


How Much Does a 1-carat Yellow Diamond Cost?

The price of a 1-carat yellow diamond can vary widely based on several factors that come into play when evaluating a diamond. Generally, a yellow diamond with decent color and clarity can range from $3,000 to $5,000 per carat. However, this estimate can fluctuate significantly depending on the specific attributes of the diamond. For example, a fancy vivid yellow diamond might cost triple or even quadruple the amount of an average yellow diamond due to its exceptional color saturation. Factors such as secondary hues, market demand, and supply dynamics also contribute to the final price of the diamond.


Are Yellow Diamonds Worth More Than White Diamonds?

That's another tricky question without a clear-cut answer. Determining whether yellow diamonds are worth more than white diamonds depends on the specific comparison being made. Lighter-colored yellow diamonds are generally less expensive than their colorless counterparts of the same carat weight. However, when comparing against the upper echelons of colorless diamonds (D, E, or F grades), the latter can command significantly higher prices. Interestingly, fancy, intense, and vivid yellow diamonds, especially those in larger sizes, can surpass the value of average-grade colorless diamonds due to their rarity and unique appeal.


Buying A Yellow Diamond Ring

When it comes to yellow diamond rings or any jewelry piece featuring these captivating gems, the choice of metal and setting can significantly influence the overall aesthetic. Each metal choice imparts a distinct character to the diamond:

Platinum or White Gold: These metals create a striking contrast that amplifies the brilliance of the yellow diamond. The stone appears even more vibrant against the backdrop of these cool-toned metals.

Yellow Gold or Rose Gold: Opting for yellow or rose gold settings can have a transformative effect on lighter yellow diamonds. The warmth of these metals can intensify the diamond's hue, making it appear richer and more saturated than its graded color.

yellow diamond ring

Enhancing a yellow diamond's allure can also involve encircling it with a halo of colorless stones or accentuating it with colorless side stones. Situating a yellow diamond between pink diamonds can create a striking look. If you want a yellow diamond to appear larger, consider enhancing it with a yellow diamond halo.

As the popularity of yellow diamond jewelry continues to rise, there are various ways to purchase them. High-end jewelers offer an array of pre-made pieces that showcase the exquisite beauty of yellow diamonds. Alternatively, working closely with a skilled jeweler allows you to select an ideal stone and create a bespoke piece tailored to your individual preferences and specifications. 

Whether buying a pair of yellow diamond earrings for yourself or planning to propose to your significant other with a yellow diamond engagement ring, these radiant gems never fail to captivate hearts and turn heads.

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