Over the past few decades, girls imagining their dream engagement ring have been ditching the plain colorless diamond and wishing for the glowing colors of a fancy yellow diamond instead. They have become so prevalent in engagement rings and jewelry, that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that yellow is the new white!
Yellow diamond engagement rings have become wildly popular with celebrities and famous personalities such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Heidi Klum, Rebecca Romijn, Paris Hilton, and Adele, who all celebrated their love with unique and exquisite yellow diamond engagement rings. Cate Blanchett captured the media’s attention when she wore 3-carat yellow diamond earrings and a tiffany yellow diamond necklace to the 2011 Oscar Awards.
The lightest of the yellow diamonds, called “Cape Colors” are actually just colorless diamonds in the color range ofU to Z. Fancy yellow diamonds are available in the most delicate “cape” shades, which can be enhanced by the right setting, to the more intense “Canary Yellows,” named after the cheerful songbird. A fancy yellow diamond will brighten up any room, with shades ranging from pale and subtle to the vibrant yellow of the sun. Unlike many other fancy colors, yellow diamonds are accessible to the average consumer, seeing as they are much more commonly mined and therefore more affordable.
Fancy yellow diamonds are graded on the same scale as all fancy colors, beginning at the delicate Fancy Light Yellow, to the deeper and brighter Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Dark Yellow, and Fancy Deep Yellow, and finally the most valuable and beautiful Fancy Vivid Yellow. As with all other fancy colors, yellow diamonds can be found with secondary colors such as brownish yellow and orangey yellow.
Fancy yellow diamonds are mined anywhere in the world that colorless diamonds are mined, but the largest and most intensely colored yellows that have been discovered come primarily from mines in Central and South Africa.
Fancy yellow diamonds, along with their fancy champagne cousins, are unique in the world of fancy colors, ironically enough, for their close relationship to colorless diamonds. Yellow diamonds are colorless diamonds that have been touched with the perfect mix of nitrogen and carbon in their atomic structure to result in an array of stunning shades of yellow.
Considering the relative prevalence of yellow diamonds in comparison to other fancy colors, there are a number of yellow diamonds that have become noted worldwide for their rare beauty and size.
The Incomparable, perhaps the world’s most famous brownish yellow diamond, also happens to be the third largest diamond in the world, weighing in at a stunning 407.5 carats. It was painstakingly cut from its original 890 carats in the rough, to earn the grade Internally Flawless. This colossal stone was found by a little girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo while she innocently played in a pile of rubble. After being cut down to less than half of its original weight for ideal clarity, the rest of the rough diamond was cut into 14 satellite stones, all of varying colors and shades. The Incomparable diamond first set a record by appearing on internet auction site eBay in November of 2002 but did not sell. Today it sits on Mouawad’sL’Incomparable diamond necklace, featuring 91 diamonds totaling 637 carats and priced at $55 million USD, making it the most expensive necklace in the world, according to Guinness World Records.
Another beautiful yellow diamond, the De Beers diamond, discovered in 1888, brings with it over a century’s worth of history. The stunning light yellow diamond carries the honorable title of being the seventh largest faceted diamond in the world, weighing 234.65 carats. In 1928, the De Beers became the center stone of the ceremonial Patiala Necklace, created by Cartier of Paris. In what may just be the most opulent piece of jewelry ever created, the necklace contained a total of 962.25 carats of diamond, as well as other rare precious stones.
One of the world’s most famous diamond companies, Tiffany and Co., prides itself on the ownership of the beautiful Tiffany Yellow Diamond, a cushion shape brilliant, weighing 128.54 carats. In Tiffany’s signature style, they cut the stone from its original 287.42 carats, with fire and brilliance in mind as opposed to size. Audrey Hepburn famously wore the Tiffany Yellow set in a breathtaking diamond necklace for a publicity shoot for her celebrated 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The stone now finds its home at Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York, set in a necklace that was especially designed for Tiffany’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2012.
The Allnat Diamond, weighing 101.29 carats, and with its GIA grade of Fancy Vivid Yellow and VS2 clarity, it is truly a ray of sunshine. The Allnat was displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Historyduring their “Splendor of Diamonds” Exhibition, from June - September of 2003, alongside such beauties as the De Beers “Millennium Star” and the “Heart of Eternity.”
The Red Cross Diamond, a cushion-shape “stellar brilliant” cut yellow diamond. The 205.07-carat Red Cross is so called for the unusual design of a Maltese cross that is clearly visible on the table facet of the diamond. The Cora Sun Drop Diamond, at 110.30 carats, is the largest pear-shape yellow diamond in the world. It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2011 for $10.9 million, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a yellow diamond.
The Oppenheimer Diamond is one of the most unique fancy yellow diamonds in the world; the 253.70-carat diamond has never been cut! Diamonds of this size are rarely left uncut, but being practically flawless in clarity and shape, the Oppenheimer remains in its pure state, just as it came from the earth.
Yellow diamonds are the most popular fancy color diamond investment, not only for their affordability and relative prevalence, but also for their stunning beauty and appeal. A high quality yellow stone with vivid coloring and good clarity will steadily rise in value, making for a secure and savvy investment. Unlike other fancy colors, yellow diamonds are relatively easy to acquire, and therefore more accessible to the average person. Many experts recommend yellow diamonds as a great beginner foray into the world of color diamond investments because they are much more available, yet hold consistently high market demand.