Top 10 Facts About Yellow Colour Diamonds You Didn’t Know

Fancy yellow Shimansky diamond ring

Although white diamonds have captivated mankind for centuries, yellow diamonds are becoming increasingly popular due to their unique nature. Extremely rare and beautiful, yellow diamonds are also the most popular of all the natural fancy colour diamonds.

Here are 10 fascinating facts about yellow diamonds that you didn’t know…

1. Only 1 out of 10,000 carats mined is a yellow diamond

Natural yellow colour diamonds are extremely rare, with only one out of approximately 10,000 carats mined being a natural fancy colour diamond. Yellows are the most common, making up around 60% of the coloured diamonds.

2. Yellow diamonds are originated all over the world

Fancy Yellow Diamonds

Fancy yellow diamonds

While most of the intense yellow diamonds come from South Africa, yellow diamonds are found all over the world. They are typically found in the ground and not in diamond mines. Today, you are able to view a range of stunning yellow diamonds for sale in South Africa at premium diamond jewellers, such as Shimansky.

3. Nitrogen gives yellow diamonds their colour

Yellow diamonds get their colour through the presence of nitrogen during the formation of the stone. The intensity of the yellow is dependent upon varying amounts of nitrogen. The difference between yellow diamonds and white diamonds is that white diamonds have little to no nitrogen, and therefore do not show colour.

4. Yellow diamonds come in unique colour combinations

Fancy yellow diamond colour grading chart

Each diamond is unique in every way, including its colour. A yellow diamond’s colour may range from brownish yellow to orangey-yellow to greenish yellow and more. Yellow diamonds are sometimes called Canary Yellow Diamonds; however, not every yellow diamond is a canary yellow diamond. This specific name is only given to the vivid and intense yellow diamonds.

5. The deeper the hue, the more valuable the diamond

With white or colourless diamonds, the higher the tint of colour, the lower the value of the diamond. However, the deeper the hue on a fancy colour diamond, the more valuable it is.

6. Yellow diamonds are often set in yellow gold

Colourless and fancy yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds are an exquisite choice for engagement rings, especially when set in yellow gold, which complements its warm, golden hue wonderfully. A white setting such as platinum or white gold could reflect through the yellow gem, making it appear less vibrant than what it is.

7. The first yellow diamond was discovered in 1867

The first yellow diamond to be discovered was also the first diamond found in South Africa. A teenager came upon the rough stone in the grass, and his mother gave it to their neighbour, not realising its worth. The diamond travelled all over Europe before it was bought by De Beers in 1967. Known by then as the Eureka Diamond, it was donated to the people of South Africa and is now on display at the Kimberley Mine Museum.

8. The largest natural diamond is a yellow diamond

Fancy yellow diamond loose and set in a ring

The Kimberley Octahedron was discovered in 1972 and is the largest natural diamond in the world, weighing a massive 616 carats. It is on display at the Diamond Vault at the Big Hole in Kimberley.

9. Yellow diamonds are the most affordable of coloured diamonds

Yellow diamonds are the most affordable and popular of the fancy coloured diamond family, as they are not as rare as other fancy colours such as blue, red and green.  A common question is if yellow diamonds are more expensive than white diamonds. Their prices generally remain lower when compared to colourless or white diamonds of similar quality until they reach very high colour intensities.

10. Oval shape is most popular

Oval fancy yellow diamond being examined with a loupe

While a round brilliant cut is most popular with white diamonds, this is not the same for yellow diamonds. A round shape reflects a lot of light, which reduces the effect of the yellow colour. This is one of the main reasons you will usually find oval shaped yellow diamonds, which maximises the potential to present its colour.

Visit the Cape Town Diamond Museum at the V&A Waterfront for a private tour to learn more about yellow diamonds as well as see replicas of the world’s most famous diamonds. Open daily from 9am to 9pm.