What Are Yellow Diamonds?

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The color of a diamond can vary and may not always be clear or white. The yellow diamond, also called a canary diamond, is the colored diamond most commonly seen besides the traditional white diamond. Natural yellow diamonds may be sought after because of their uniqueness and rarity. However, yellow diamonds can be synthetically produced as well. If you're looking to buy a yellow diamond, it's important to understand what yellow diamonds are, and what the differences are between a natural and synthetic one.

Synthetic Yellow Diamonds

Yellow diamonds can be created in a lab, either on purpose for ornamental jewelry or from an error. In a synthetic error, a diamond can turn yellow from a chemical treatment. Although synthetic diamonds make up the majority of yellow diamonds, the synthetic variety is still widely popular due to the value that a diamond has in general.

Natural Yellow Diamonds

Natural yellow diamonds are rare and harder to find for purchase than synthetic yellow diamonds. The color of a natural diamond is caused by nitrogen impurities that are present when a diamond is being formed. Because they are extremely rare, natural yellow diamonds are also extremely expensive, although compared to other colored diamonds, they are one of the less expensive colors. Natural yellow diamonds are more likely to have different shades of yellow ranging from light with specks of white in them to light yellow with no white specks. The less white specks in a yellow diamond, the more rare the gem is, with the most vivid yellow color being the most expensive kind.


There are other yellow-toned jewels, including citrine, topaz and yellow sapphires. However, the difference between these jewels and a yellow diamond is in the jewel's quality. Even if a yellow diamond is synthetically created, the quality of any type of diamond outlasts the quality of other types of jewels because of the clarity and shine that you get from a diamond, which often means less care is needed to keep the diamond looking its best.

Telling the Difference

If you are considering buying a yellow diamond or a piece of jewelry with a yellow diamond, it may be hard to tell if it has synthetic or natural coloring. Even if it doesn't matter to you, you should make sure you are not paying a natural yellow diamond price when you're buying a synthetic diamond. The best way to know what you're getting is to look for an authenticity certificate issued by a registered jeweler that tells you the jewel is a natural yellow diamond. However, keep in mind that the majority of yellow diamonds on the market are synthetic, so it is more common and easier to find a synthetic yellow diamond in a piece of jewelry.

About the Author

Alison Cooksey started her writing career in 2010. She is CrossFit Level 1 and Endurance certified. Cooksey holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast and electronic communication arts from San Francisco State University, where she worked on several projects including an ad campaign and a short documentary.

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