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The Definative Guide to Natural Yellow Diamonds

Step into the Radiant Glow of Yellow Diamonds at Icestore!


Welcome to our Yellow Diamond Guide, where the extraordinary world of vivid hues awaits. Uncover the secrets of these rare and captivating gems, from the subtle warmth of Fancy Light to the intense brilliance of Fancy Vivid yellows. Our guide is your passport to understanding the unique characteristics, grading criteria, and exquisite beauty that yellow diamonds possess. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a first-time buyer, our Yellow Diamond Guide is your trusted companion on the journey to finding the perfect yellow diamond.


Let the enchantment begin, and embark on a dazzling exploration of the world of yellow diamonds with Icestore!

Yellow Diamond Valuation

Yellow diamonds are valuated on many of the same criteria as colorless diamonds but with emphasis placed on different characteristics.

Yellow Diamond Color on Valuation

The most important factor is the color of the diamond. The more saturate the color of the stone, the more valuable the diamond is. A Vivid Yellow will cost more than an Intense Yellow which costs more than a Fancy Yellow which costs more than a Fancy Light Yellow. We'll discuss and illustrate the differences between these color grades in Yellow Diamond Color Grades section below.

Carat Weight on Yellow Diamond Valuation

The weight of the diamond plays a major role in valuation. The larger the diamond, the higher the cost per carat for otherwise similar diamonds.

Clarity on Yellow Diamond Valuation

Clarity does play a role in valuation but the effect is much smaller. Any yellow diamond with a clarity grade between VVS1 and VS1 should be valued the same from the perspective of Clarity. The clarity level does not affect the value of the diamond within the aforementioned range which is a range that suggests that the diamond is completely free from eye visible imperfections. Once the clarity level drops below VS2 there is a discount on the value of a yellow diamond and as the clarity level decreases, that discount increases. In the case of the top clarity grades of FL (Flawless) and IF (Internally Flawless) yellow diamonds will often have a premium attached.

Shape on Yellow Diamond Valuation

The shape of a yellow diamond can dramatically affect the value of the diamond.


Shapes like the Radiant and Cushion cuts are very commonly used for cutting yellow diamonds because the shape naturally lends itself to the maximization of color in the crystal which also providing maximum levels of brilliance, dispersion and scintillation, all the good visual effects that we desire in a diamond. Other fairly common shapes are the Oval and Pear.


Uncommon shapes for yellow diamonds would include the Round Brilliant, Emerald, Asscher and Princess cuts. The reason that these shapes are less frequently employed is that the very high brilliance tends to interfere with the body color of the diamond and since the strength of the color is the primary driver in diamond valuation diamond cutters will usually choose to maximize the color saturation by cutting into one of the more common shapes. There are of course certain special stones, specimens whose color saturation is simply beyond the norm, that are cut into these less common shapes and you should expect to pay a large premium for them.

In Conclusion

The valuation of yellow diamonds is not as simple as just looking at the Color, the Clarity and the size.

There are many other, often subtle, factors that go into the valuation of each yellow diamond on a case by case basis. It is important to have a grading report which provides you with the basic technical information regarding the stone and gives you a ballpark approximation of what you can expect from this diamond but it is by no means an infallible source of absolute truth and each and every diamond should be considered based on it's actual visual and physical characteristics.

Yellow Diamond Color Origins

The yellow color of a yellow diamond comes from the presence of nitrogen in the formative environment of the diamond which can be as far down as 150–200 km below the surface of the earth. This nitrogen is incorporated into the carbon crystal structure of the diamond over a billion years and these nitrogen atoms imbue the diamond with it's yellow color by absorbing the blue light of the visible spectrum.

Science lesson over, now let's get to the good parts.

Yellow Diamond Color Grading

The first thing to understand is that the evaluation of color is performed manually by human beings and that color grading is a subjective process. There is no single color in the universe that fully represents any yellow diamond grade. Essentially this means that there are a range of tonalities and intensities for each color grade and even some overlap between the grades.


Understanding this concept is intrinsically important to being able to effectively choose from among the available options when you want to maximize the quality and value of your yellow diamond purchase. However, theoretical comprehension is not enough to be able to put this knowledge into practical use. That ability comes from the experience of actually looking at and comparing real diamonds over the course of many years. For this reason we advise that you work with someone that has this extensive knowledge of the niche yellow diamond market that can use their experience to help you find the perfect yellow diamond.

Yellow Diamond Color Grades

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has six primary color grades for natural yellow diamonds.

In order from the lightest shade to the most vibrant shade, the color grading of yellow diamonds are classified as follows:


Fancy Light Yellow

Fancy Yellow

Fancy Intense Yellow

Fancy Deep Yellow

Fancy Dark Yellow

Fancy Vivid Yellow

Of these six color grades, four are considered to be desirable jewelry quality and two are considered to be of less desirable quality. The four desirable colors of yellow diamonds are:

Fancy Light Yellow

Fancy Yellow

Fancy Intense Yellow

Fancy Vivid Yellow

The remaining two color grades, Fancy Deep Yellow and Fancy Dark Yellow are far less desirable and should sell at a discount when compared to the four desirable yellow diamond colors, all other elements being equal.

This color gradient fairly represents the range of colors within the yellow diamond color scale with the Fancy Light Yellow color range starting at the left end and moving across the spectrum to a Vivid Yellow on the far right side.

We intentionally left the color graph devoid of partition to emphasize the lack of any real, objective delineation between the color grades. The point of that is to let you know that not all diamonds with a specific color grade are equal. For example, a Fancy Yellow diamond whose color is just barely above the Fancy Light Yellow grade is not as desirable or valuable as a Fancy Yellow diamond whose color is just below the Intense Yellow color grade.


This variation in color with any given color grade is most often responsible for disparities that can be observed in pricing between two seemingly similar diamonds based on the grading specifications.

yellow diamond color scale


Fancy Light Yellow is a captivating shade found in yellow diamonds. This delicate hue exudes a gentle and luminous charm. With a soft and subtle tone, Fancy Light Yellow diamonds radiate a warm and inviting glow, reminiscent of a sunlit afternoon. Their understated elegance makes them a sought-after choice for those who desire a touch of brightness with a touch of sophistication.


The Fancy Yellow color of yellow diamonds is a stunning display of vibrant brilliance. Radiating with a rich and intense hue, these diamonds capture the essence of sunshine and joy. Their bold and captivating color creates a striking presence, drawing attention and admiration. Fancy Yellow diamonds exude a sense of confidence and individuality, making them an exquisite choice for those seeking a statement piece that embodies both beauty and personality.


The Fancy Intense Yellow color of yellow diamonds is a captivating burst of brilliance. With its stunning hue, these diamonds emanate a mesmerizing intensity that commands attention. The color is bold and vibrant, radiating an electric energy that symbolizes warmth and optimism. Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds possess a rare and coveted charm, making them a true showstopper in any jewelry collection. Their remarkable beauty and allure make them a perfect choice for those seeking a distinctive and unforgettable piece.


The Fancy Vivid Yellow color of yellow diamonds is an awe-inspiring display of pure magnificence. With an unparalleled saturation and brilliance, these diamonds exude an extraordinary vibrancy that is unmatched. Their intense and radiant yellow hue is both captivating and breathtaking, resembling the golden rays of a summer sunset. Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds are the epitome of luxury and prestige, representing a rare and coveted treasure that stands out with its remarkable beauty. Adorned with one of these diamonds, one can truly make a bold and unforgettable statement.

Secondary Colors in Yellow Diamonds

A yellow diamond is defined as any diamond whose primary color, the last color listed in a GIA colored diamond grading report, is listed as yellow. Some yellow diamonds exhibit strong overtones of secondary colors like orange, green and brown. Examples of such color descriptions might be things like "Fancy Vivid Green-Yellow", "Intense Orange-Yellow" or "Fancy Light Brownish Yellow" with many additional possible variations.

The intensity of the overtone is denoted by the use of the nomenclature of using the name of the color itself as in the cases of  "Green-Yellow" or "Orange-Yellow" which means that the split between the colors is almost equal but that the diamond is still a primarily yellow diamond. When the overtone of the secondary color is distinctly weaker than the primary yellow color of the diamond then the color classification will use terms like "Greenish-Yellow" or "Orangy-Yellow". There are also yellow diamonds with more than one secondary color like a "Fancy Brownish Greenish-Yellow".

Yellow diamonds with a secondary color tone (or more than one) are not valued equally to pure yellow diamonds. Some color combinations may be valued higher than an equivalent pure yellow and some may be valued lower.

For example a diamond with a color grade of "Fancy Intense Orange-Yellow", in this case denoting an almost even split between the orange and yellow in the diamond, may be considered more valuable than an equivalent Fancy Intense Yellow. The same may be said for diamonds that have the "Green-Yellow" combination. As usual it is difficult to generalize and each diamond should be evaluated on a case by case basis by an experienced fancy color diamond professional.

However, "Brown-Yellow" and "Brownish-Yellow" are considered inferior quality and less valuable than pure yellow color diamonds. In most cases this will also hold true for yellow diamonds with a trinity of colors in the grade such as "Fancy Brownish-Greenish-Yellow" or other trinary color combinations.

Yellow Diamond Shapes

As we touched upon in the yellow diamond valuation section of this brief yellow diamonds are cut into every shape that ordinary colorless diamonds are cut. Some shapes are much more rare than others and the most common shapes also tend to be the best shapes for yellow diamonds in terms of maximizing the saturation of color while maintaining high levels of brilliance.

Radiant Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Radiant cut yellow diamond is an absolute masterpiece of brilliance and beauty. Its exquisite fusion of elegance and vibrancy is truly unmatched.


With trimmed corners and precisely arranged facets, this cut magnifies the diamond's natural radiance, resulting in a mesmerizing play of light and color. The bold and joyful yellow hue of the diamond is further enhanced by the cut's ability to maximize its brilliance, creating a captivating spectacle that exudes both glamour and warmth.


The versatility of the Radiant cut makes it an ideal choice for creating breathtaking jewelry pieces that embody both sophistication and a radiant glow.

Cushion Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Cushion cut yellow diamond is a magnificent testament to timeless elegance and sophistication. Its gently rounded corners and large facets create a captivating play of light, allowing the diamond to radiate with a soft yet intense glow.


The cushion cut beautifully enhances the yellow diamond's inherent warmth, lending it a captivating and inviting charm. This classic cut is known for its versatility, making it a perfect choice for creating stunning jewelry pieces that exude both refinement and a vibrant, joyful aura.


The Cushion cut yellow diamond is a true embodiment of grace and beauty, captivating all who behold its enchanting allure.

Oval Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Oval cut yellow diamond exudes a captivating and graceful allure that is simply irresistible. Its elongated shape and symmetrical facets create a stunning play of light, resulting in a diamond that shines with exceptional brilliance.


The Oval cut elegantly accentuates the yellow diamond's vibrant hue, allowing it to radiate a warm and joyful glow. This timeless cut is renowned for its ability to elongate the finger and create a sense of elegance when set in jewelry.


The Oval cut yellow diamond is a true symbol of sophistication, combining the classic appeal of an oval shape with the vibrant beauty of a yellow diamond, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a blend of glamour and charm.

Pear Shape Yellow Diamonds

The Pear cut yellow diamond is a captivating masterpiece that effortlessly combines elegance and uniqueness. With its distinctive teardrop shape and brilliant facets, this cut showcases the yellow diamond's inherent radiance in a breathtaking way. The pointed end and rounded curve of the Pear cut create a sense of grace and sophistication, while the wide end offers a dazzling display of light and sparkle.


The Pear cut's versatility allows for various jewelry designs, from stunning solitaire pendants to eye-catching earrings. Its ability to elongate the finger and create a sense of refinement makes the Pear cut yellow diamond a truly mesmerizing choice, symbolizing both individuality and timeless beauty.

Princess Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Princess cut yellow diamond is a dazzling epitome of modern elegance and brilliance. Known for its square or rectangular shape with pointed corners, this cut combines a contemporary aesthetic with the vibrant allure of a yellow diamond.


The Princess cut's faceted design allows for an incredible display of fire and scintillation, creating an exquisite play of light that radiates from every angle. The clean lines and geometric precision of this cut emphasize the diamond's intense yellow hue, resulting in a stunning and eye-catching gem.


The Princess cut yellow diamond is a testament to sophistication and style, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a bold and contemporary statement piece that exudes both glamour and joy.

Emerald Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Emerald cut yellow diamond is an exceptional treasure that showcases both rarity and sophistication. Renowned for its sleek, elongated shape and step-cut facets, this cut is a testament to timeless beauty and elegance. When applied to a yellow diamond, the Emerald cut accentuates its stunning color, creating a mesmerizing display of warmth and radiance.


The unique and rare nature of the Emerald cut makes it a highly sought-after choice for those seeking a truly distinctive piece. Its clean lines and understated glamour evoke a sense of refined luxury that is unparalleled.


The Emerald cut yellow diamond is a true rarity, offering a captivating combination of rarity, elegance, and breathtaking beauty.

Asscher Cut Yellow Diamonds

The Asscher cut yellow diamond is an exquisite rarity that exudes timeless elegance and allure. With its distinct square shape and mesmerizing step-cut facets, this cut is a true testament to both craftsmanship and rarity. When adorned with sublime color of a yellow diamond, the Asscher cut magnifies its captivating hue, showcasing a harmonious blend of warmth and sophistication.


The precisely aligned facets of the Asscher cut create a mesmerizing play of light, captivating the eye with its exceptional brilliance. The rarity of the Asscher cut adds to its allure, making it a coveted choice for those seeking a truly unique and remarkable piece of jewelry.


The Asscher cut yellow diamond is a stunning testament to the beauty of rarity, effortlessly combining vintage charm and contemporary sophistication in a single gem.

Round Yellow Diamonds

The Round Brilliant cut yellow diamond is a timeless marvel that embodies a perfect harmony of elegance, brilliance, and rarity. Renowned for its symmetrical shape and expertly crafted facets, this cut is a true masterpiece in the world of diamonds. When applied to a yellow diamond, the Round Brilliant cut amplifies its captivating color, creating a breathtaking display of radiance and fire.


The Round Brilliant cut yellow diamond is a sparkling treasure that captivates with its timeless beauty, offering a rare gem that will be cherished for generations to come.

Yellow Diamond Proportions

We evaluate the proportions of yellow diamonds of all shapes a little bit differently than we do colorless diamonds. The cutting and shaping of three dimensional crystals like a diamond is a complex undertaking. Computer modelling is used to plan out the optimal outcome from every rough diamond and precision cutting forms the shape of each stone. Each diamond has a maximum value potential in regards to how the finished diamond will grade and the certification will eventually be the deciding factor for the final value of the diamond. It is toward this value maximizing cut (total proportioning) that every stone should, in theory, be cut.


However, this is not always the case. Many diamonds are cut for weight retention and this is often signaled by a higher than acceptable Depth percentage. A high Depth percentage will have a negative effect on the physical size of the diamond as well as the overall beauty in terms of Brilliance, Fire and Scintillation. 

Different sets of proportions, which include such measures as the Depth and Table percentages, Crown angles, Pavilion angles, the size of Star and Kite facets, the Girdle thickness and even more variables, will produce different results in terms of Weight, Color and even Clarity from the same rough diamond.

Yellow diamonds are distinctly different from colorless diamonds in so far as they increase in value based on the saturation of color achieved by the final form of the crystal. More color equates to higher value. Colorless diamonds are quite the opposite, the less color in the crystal (D thru Z color scale), the more valuable the diamond. So the perfect theoretical cut for yellow diamonds and colorless diamonds should not be, in fact cannot be the same since the goals relating to color perception in each type of diamond is antithetical.

The perfect cut for any yellow diamond is that set of proportions that maximizes the saturation of color in the stone while balancing that color with Brilliance, Fire and Scintillation, all the stunning visual effects that make diamonds so attractive.

We make the process of choosing a beautiful yellow diamond easier by pre-screening every diamond listing to make sure that the proportioning of the diamond is of the highest quality. Our proprietary algorithm checks all of the information available on each diamond and eliminates any diamonds that have more than our designated allowable variations for any of the relevant proportioning factors. Our baseline is the International Fine Cut standard for fancy shaped diamonds. Now have a look at the stunning 30X magnified 360° videos that we present for every yellow diamond in our inventory and you can bank on getting a top grade, stunning yellow diamond.

Yellow Diamond Search

Now that you understand the basic principles of yellow diamonds come shop our exclusive, curated inventory of 100% natural GIA certified loose yellow diamonds.

Contact Us

Icestore diamond and jewelry professionals are available for consultation to answer your questions and address your concerns during normal business hours Monday thru Friday 10:00am thru 5:00pm.



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