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Yellow is one of the most common colours found in diamonds, with white diamonds of a colour grade of J and lower exhibiting yellow tones. However, vivid yellow diamonds, known as Fancy Yellow or Canary Yellow Diamonds, are diamonds with a strong yellow colour that ranges in intensity.
Yellow diamonds are mined in South America, Africa and Australia. Western Australia is home to the famous Argyle and Ellendale mines. Both Argyle certified and Ellendale certified yellow diamonds are among the most sought after coloured diamonds in the world.
The “Cape” series of yellow toned diamonds derives its name from Cape Town in South Africa.
Some of the world’s most famous diamonds are yellow diamonds, including the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, which was mined in South Africa’s Kimberley Mine. Originally weighing 287.00 carats, it was cut to a polished cushion cut diamond of 128.54 carats by commission of Charles Tiffany in 1877.
Fancy yellow diamonds are graded on a different colour scale to white diamonds, which is based on the intensity of colour visible in each diamond. This colour scale has five distinct colours, from the palest — yellow (Y), fancy light yellow (FVY), fancy yellow (FY), fancy intense yellow (FIY) and fancy vivid yellow (FVY).
Natural fancy yellow diamonds are quite rare and quite expensive due to their relative rarity. However, it is possible to purchase yellow coloured diamonds that have been treated to appear yellow, through treatments such as irradiation and High Pressure High Temperature treatment, at a much more affordable price.
Keep in mind that jewellers are ethically bound to declare whether a diamond has undergone any treatments to enhance colour or clarity, and if a natural yellow diamond does not come with a certificate from a reputable diamond certification laboratory declaring that it is a natural yellow diamond it may not be what it appears.
Kimberly Octahedral: Weighing 616cts, this amazing yellow diamond was found in 1972 and is still untouched. It is on display, where it was found, in the Kimberly region of South Africa.
The Cora Sun Drop: This massive, intense yellow diamond was found in South Africa in 2010. After 6 months of careful consideration, the diamond was cut into the magnificent 110.3ct pear-shaped stone form that it is today.
The Incomparable: In it’s rough form, this beauty weighed 890 carats! Found in the 1980s, this stone took 4 years of planning before it’s cutting was undertaken.
Tiffany Yellow Diamond: This enormous 128.54ct antique cushion cut yellow diamond was found in the Kimberly Mine in South Africa. For many years it was on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has been worn by Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
Fancy yellow diamonds are a beautiful option for any type of diamond jewellery, and can be paired with diamonds of other colours, including white diamonds, to create exciting jewellery.