Nina’s guide for buying canary and yellow diamonds

Nina’s guide for buying canary and yellow diamonds

Guide for buying yellow diamonds

Nothing makes a statement like a pure yellow diamond. Based on colour psychology, the colour yellow represents strength, loyalty, optimism, joy and delight.

A yellow diamond is like a brilliant drop of sunshine that says, ‘Look at me’, imbuing the wearer with a sense of radiance and confidence. The choice of celebrities, royalty, trend-setters and the discerning few who favour something beyond the ordinary.

Among all the coloured diamonds, the yellow diamond is one of the rarest. It is also one of our CEO’s personal favourites, featured in one of our crown jewel engagement rings, the Valkyrie.

Choosing a fancy coloured diamond adds complexity to the buying experience.  Our coloured diamond experts have put together this yellow diamond guide with everything you should consider when buying canary yellow diamonds.

What are yellow diamonds?

Yellow diamonds have intense hues of pure yellow and are also called Canary Yellow Diamonds or Canary Diamonds. Their unique yellow colour is the direct result of nitrogen impurities present during the crystal structure’s composition.

Blue light is then absorbed by these nitrogen molecules to create the shades of yellow that range from pale yellows to vibrant and vivid shades.  This shade depends on the quantity of nitrogen in each diamond. 

Canary yellow diamonds should not be confused with sparkling white diamonds with secondary yellowish tints, which decrease in value as the yellow increases in intensity. On the contrary, fancy yellow diamonds will usually increase in value the more vivid the yellow becomes.

Don’t forget that obtaining the GIA certificate for your diamond is the only way you can be assured of both the true colour grade of your yellow diamond, as well as an up to date valuation.

What should I look for when buying yellow diamonds?


The colour and intensity of yellow diamonds are both critical aspects to consider when buying these gems, as it will vary from light yellow tints to much stronger and more vivid yellows. 

The GIA colour grading scale for yellow diamonds is:

  • Faint Yellow
  • Very Light Yellow
  • Light Yellow
  • Fancy Light Yellow
  • Fancy Yellow
  • Fancy Intense Yellow
  • Fancy Vivid Yellow
  • Fancy Deep Yellow
  • Fancy Dark Yellow

Many diamonds often also have colour combinations, rather than one pure colour. Although pure colours are usually more expensive, if the diamond also contains a rarer colour like a green, it may end up being more expensive than one with a pure colour.

You can maximise the diamond’s colour by choosing the most suitable designs and the settings for it.


For fancy yellow diamonds, the shapes most often recommended to highlight the colour are oval, pear, heart, and marquise. Unlike with white diamonds, round shapes are not as typical for yellow diamonds because they do not accentuate the unique colour. 

Are yellow diamonds more expensive?

Yellow diamonds can be more expensive depending on their colour and intensity. Yellow is generally one of the more common diamond colours, representing around 60% of all coloured diamonds mined.  Still, canary yellow diamonds with strong saturation and hue are very rare and can be much pricier than colourless diamonds.

It’s also important to note that correctly evaluating the prices of yellow diamonds can be difficult.  The tiniest brown tint can cause a reduction in value. On the other hand, orange or green tints will increase a yellow diamond's worth.

We recommend you always consult a coloured diamond expert like Nina’s Jewellery in choosing a yellow diamond.   



The Valkyrie yellow diamond engagement ring | Nina's Jewellery

Yellow diamond engagement rings

A canary yellow diamond can become a beautiful centrepiece for an engagement ring, especially with a setting that intensifies and highlights its colour. Yellow diamonds are also currently quite on-trend in the fashion world and becoming a popular choice for engagement rings. 

Yellow diamond engagement ring settings

The setting of a yellow diamond can greatly affect its colour. Setting your yellow diamond in yellow gold, for example,  will cause its colour to appear deeper due to the reflection of light. A  white gold setting may cause the diamond to seem a lighter hue.

Popular settings for yellow diamonds include pavé settings, halo settings, as well as side stone settings which can highlight and accent the yellow diamond. Yellow diamonds will often look darker if set in a mounting, enhancing a cheaper and lighter coloured yellow diamond’s hues to above its colour grade.

Natural vs lab-created yellow diamonds

While you’ll only find natural yellow diamonds at Nina’s, there are lab-created yellow diamonds available elsewhere.  These artificial diamonds are made in laboratories under conditions that attempt to mimic the natural conditions of yellow diamond formation, including the introduction of nitrogen.

While lab-created diamonds can be cut and polished the same way as natural diamonds, they are significantly less valuable, much less expensive, and have little resale value.  You should ensure that when buying any yellow diamond that you know how it was sourced and that it has been priced accordingly.

Natural yellow diamond jewellery at Nina's

Nina’s has had a long love affair with these incredible stones, and yellow diamonds have inspired some of our more unique designs. The Brooklyn is a cape yellow diamond set into an intricate band that has been diamond-laced, while the Aurora is a princess cut vivid orange-yellow diamond that contrasts yellow gold with white diamonds and white gold with a yellow diamond. 

Take a look at our current collection of diamond rings, earrings, and loose natural yellow diamonds so you can create the perfect centrepiece for almost any kind of jewellery. 

Need more guidance? Contact our team of coloured diamond experts today.

Fact-checked by: Emma Donovan