Natural Yellow Diamonds – What Makes Them Yellow?
Yellow Diamonds, also known as Canary Diamonds are considerably more prevalent from other Colored Diamonds. Within the range of rare colored diamonds the yellow diamond has gained tremendous popularity because of its beautiful shine and its relatively affordable prices.
The color Yellow in diamonds is caused by the presence of nitrogen within the stone that filters the blue/violet range of the visible light spectrum and reflects yellow. Some yellow diamonds have been found to contain as much as 1% nitrogen by weight. Nitrogen is so common in diamonds that 98% of all natural diamonds contain nitrogen and account for it.
It is estimated that about 60% of all fancy color diamonds mined each year are fancy yellow. However yellow diamonds are still very rare. Only 1 carat out of every 10,000 carats mined is a natural fancy color diamond. Moreover, the larger the stone, the more rare it is -large diamonds could be possibly found only a few times a year.
Yellow color diamonds are graded on a somewhat special scale. As some of the lighter yellow shades are graded on the lower part of the white diamonds color scale D-Z, the deeper yellows are graded as: Fancy light yellow, fancy yellow, intense yellow, deep yellow and vivid yellow.
Yellow diamonds (like other colored diamonds) often come in unique color combination. Colors often seen are brownish yellow diamond, orangy yellow diamond, greenish yellow diamond and more. In general, natural yellow diamonds with secondary hues are worth less than pure yellow diamonds. However, the truth about all colored diamonds is the same- “Never the same” – each diamond is unique.
Famous Yellow Diamonds
The Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered; its carat weight is 287.42 carats (57.484 g) in the rough when discovered in 1878 in the Kimberley mine in South Africa, and was cut into a cushion shape of 128.54 carats (25.108 g) with 82 facets—24 more than a traditional round brilliant—to maximize its brilliance.
The Sun of Africa diamond which weighs more than 127 carats was unearthed on March 7, 2007 in the Kimberly mines of Africa and then transported to the Netherlands where it was cut and polished by the world’s top diamond craftsmen. The rest of the diamond’s history is vague; the only information known to the public is that the GIA has listed the diamond as Fancy Vivid Yellow with excellent polish and no fluorescence. The measurements, exact weight, etc. remains unidentified, which adds this enigmatic diamond to an exclusive list.
Another diamond whose whereabouts remain unknown is the Florentine Diamond. This is a 137.27-carat double rose cut diamond with 9 sides and 126 facets. Throughout history, it has also been known as the Tuscany Diamond, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the Austrian Yellow Diamonds. These names come from the owners of the stone at the time. The Florentine Diamond has passed through the hands of many people, both legally and illegally. After the decades, wars, and battles, many of the top jewel companies believe the Florentine Diamond has been recut to a smaller, 80-carat stone. The exact location of the smaller stone remains unknown.
The Incomparable diamond is one of the heaviest stones found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, weighing 890 carats in its rough state. It was discovered by a young girl playing in wreckage outside her home. The family later sold the diamond to a local jeweler, and it eventually reached the hands of Donald Zale of Zale Corporation. After over 4 years of analyzing and cutting of the stone, the Incomparable emerged weighing 407.78 carats and with grading as a trilliant cut by the GIA. It holds the current record for largest internally flawless diamond and third largest diamond in the world.