How To Choose a Yellow Diamond

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and picking the right one out for an engagement ring, or for any other piece of jewelry demands a lot of thought and care from your end. These gems last a lifetime and they make the perfect family heirloom to pass from one generation to the next.

There is a wide spectrum colors to choose from. Aside from the classic clear white diamond, fancy color diamonds exist in a rainbow of all imaginable shades. These can be a result of trace elements or radiation. If you pick out a yellow diamond, also known as canary for its subtle brilliance, here are the four C’s you may want to consider before embarking on the purchase of a lifetime.

  • Color. The degree of color, or “yellowness”, of the diamond can vary from stone to stone. You will have to know what shade to choose in the color scale from light to dark. The color you pick should be established on complexion: remember, that diamond is meant to be worn and flaunted, so it should look good on whoever’s wearing it.
  • Be extra careful in examining the diamond. It is best to evaluate a loose stone, rather than one already set in diamond. This way, you can look for other flaws which might diminish its beauty – look for hints of undertones, or other colors. An undertone that complements the yellow color increases its beauty and value.
  • Cut. It is important to choose the right cut for your fiancée. That ring is about her, not about you. Remember, she has been dreaming about that perfect ring since she was old enough to dress up her dolls. There are several basic cuts, such as the emerald cut, princess cut, and oval cuts. This is a matter of personal preference, but you should be particular about the workmanship: the diamond must catch and scatter light in a way that brings out its best appearance.
  • If you’re buying a diamond for that special someone, it is prudent to know her particular taste beforehand. Try to wheedle out her tastes through subtle questions, or if you’re hopelessly confused, ask her best friend.
  • Clarity. This is not as important in fancy color diamonds as it is in their clear and colorless cousins. There is set range of clarity, ranging from FL (flawless) to I3 (visible inclusions). For clear diamonds, you would need a clarity of at least VSI (very small inclusions) to keep your diamond from looking like a cheap stone. Color diamonds are more forgiving, and the untrained eye will not be able to notice the inclusions of a fancy diamond with a grade of SI (small inclusions). Don’t forget that color is more important than clarity for fancy diamonds.
  • Carat. Assuming everything else is equal, the bigger diamond will hurt your pocket more. It is up to you to balance the size of your diamond with the other 3C’s (color, clarity, cut). Your budget will become the rate-limiting factor in deciding what diamond to choose.

Remember to buy from a reputable dealer. Unless you have trusted contacts you’ve worked with, it is advisable to approach as many dealers as possible to maximize your options. Ask for the diamond origin report to make sure you’re getting a natural fancy diamond, and not a color-enhanced stone. Taking your time is the key to choosing the best yellow diamond for that very special someone.


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