Is a Yellow Diamond Ring Worth MORE than a White Diamond Ring?

If you are in the market to buy a diamond ring, you may be asking yourself, “are yellow diamonds cheaper than white diamonds?” You may have heard conflicting information about the subject, and you want clarity on the subject of diamonds before you hand over your wallet. We can certainly help you with that question and more. 

Real, naturally occurring fancy yellow canary diamonds are not cheaper than white diamonds. Fancy yellow diamonds are worth more than white diamonds. Canary diamonds are rarer and more sought after than white diamonds. 

However, the price of any diamond depends on the 4 Cs, and we can teach you more about that in the following sections. First, let’s discuss what yellow diamonds are, what the difference between yellow and white diamonds, and where you can buy them. 

What are Yellow Diamonds? 

Regarding terminology, there are two types of “yellow” diamonds on the market. There are is the color grade of “yellow” which applies to white or colorless diamonds that have a slight amount of impurities. They may have a yellow or brown sheen. The other “yellow” refers to fancy yellow diamonds or canary diamonds. Whenever people talk about yellow diamonds, they mean the fancy canary color diamond. 1.01 Carat Round Diamond Fancy Deep Yellow SI1 Clarity

The yellow color is caused by nitrogen in the crystal structure of the diamond. The nitrogen absorbs the blue light allowing it to only reflect back yellow to the observer. The amount of nitrogen determines how faint or bright the coloring of the diamond will be. 

Often canary yellow diamonds will have a secondary tone such as orange, green, or brown. Depending on which color is the secondary tone can change the pricing dramatically. A pure yellow or canary yellow diamond can be much harder to find. An even rearer color is saffron which is a unique mix of yellow and orange.

Are there Differences Between Yellow And White Diamonds?

The difference in white and yellow diamonds lies in the color grading scale. White diamonds are graded from D to Z. With D being the purest, colorless varieties as they become ever so tinted with impurities at the Z end of the scale. Z is the most colored of white diamonds and if the color is more saturated than this, the diamond is considered a colored diamond.

Colored diamonds are graded on a different scale than their white counterparts. The fainter the color, the cheaper the diamond. 

Fancy Diamond Color Grading Scale

Colored diamonds are graded on a scale from faint to vivid. Where it falls on the scale will depend on the color that exudes when the diamond is face up against a light. The cut of a diamond can have a significant impact on how pigmented it appears in the light. 


There are three varieties of Fancy color diamonds. They come in Fancy Light, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid. Fancy Light is low saturation and low tone. Fancy Intense is high saturation but lighter tone. Fancy Vivid is both high saturation and darker tone. 

What is the difference between Hue, Tone, and Saturation? 

Tone and saturation are not to be confused with hue. Hue is the actual color of the diamond. Tone is the lightness or darkness of the hue. Saturation then is the deepness of the color. For example, a pale pastel yellow has a light tone and light saturation. A mustard yellow has a dark tone and a deep saturation. Sunshine yellow is somewhere in the middle. 

Are Fancy Yellow Diamonds More Expensive Than White Diamonds?

While lower grade white and faint yellow diamonds might share similar pricing. Naturally occurring Fancy Vivid yellow diamonds can be much more expensive than pure colorless white diamonds. This is because they are rarer than both white diamonds and other colors of diamonds. 

See Yellow Diamond Prices

Diamonds lower on the color grading scale however can be much more affordable because yellow is the second most common color among diamonds behind brown. It’s also becoming more popular to manufacture colored diamonds in labs with treatments that make them appear more saturated. These diamonds are the most budget-friendly of all the yellow diamonds. 

With the proper cut and setting, yellow diamonds can be just as expensive if not more than other colors. 

Which is Better For an Engagement Ring? A White or Yellow Diamond?

Yellow diamonds have been increasingly popular with the public as celebrities and Hollywood have brought them back into fashion, but white diamonds are timeless. Deciding on which color to choose is based purely on taste. Many people adore the traditional white diamond, but a yellow diamond elevates your engagement ring to another level. 

Yellow diamonds are much more special and will set the wearer apart from conventional brides. If your partner prefers something fancy, a yellow diamond might be the choice for them. 

Can You Have The Best of Both Worlds by mixing yellow and white diamonds?

Many people choose to have the best of both worlds. Often you will find canary yellow diamonds surrounded by white or black diamonds to showcase their brilliance. Against the purity of a white diamond or the darkness of the black one, the yellow shines more exquisitely. Yellow diamonds also look impressive when blended with chocolate diamonds. 

18K White Gold Oval Halo Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring

In years gone by, there have been many old fashion rules. What was once taboo has now gone mainstream. Long gone are the days that you can’t mix different color jewelry together. Today, people mix and match their favorite colors and pieces to perfect their own style. You can too. 

Where to Buy a Yellow Diamond or White Diamond Ring?

There are generally three ways to buy your diamond ring: online, department stores, and specialized diamond retailers. Online cuts down on the hassle, department stores allow you a variety of brands, and diamond retailers allow you to talk to a professional. No matter where you choose to shop for your ring, you should ask for an independently verified report from GIA to be assured you are getting the quality of diamond you are paying for. 


Buying online, you get the entire diamond shopping experience from the comfort of your home. You can browse through thousands of selections at your leisure. When you have chosen a diamond you love, the product ships right to your door. 

Department Stores

Choosing a department store with a jewelry section allows you to have someone nearby in case you have any questions. You can see the jewelry in person which allows you to get a more personal feel if it is right for you. You can test each piece one after the other. 

Specialized Jewelers

By far the best option, if you have one nearby, is a dedicated jewelry store. The staff will likely have decades of experience. They can walk you through each step of the process. They will make sure you get exactly the right fit. They will know all the ins and outs of the entire industry. 

A professional will be prepared to answer any questions you have and will be well versed on the 4 Cs of the diamond industry. Many qualified professionals will provide maintenance and lifetime warranties. Some will even partner with jewelry insurance providers to ensure that you enjoy your jewelry for the decades to come. 

The 4 Cs

The 4 Cs, sometimes 5 Cs, are the standard by which the industry defines diamonds. Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carats are a method you can use to figure out how much you should invest in the fifth C: cost. 


Color is graded on 2 scales. D to Z and Faint to Vivid are the two most popular scales used to determine color throughout the world. International diamond trade has depended on them for decades, and any experienced jeweler will be versed in both of them. 


A diamond’s cut affects the way light passes through and creates the sparkle that everyone holds so dear. A precise cut will do wonders for the way it is perceived. This is why this is one of the most important facets of judging its quality. The way a diamond is cut determines the way it shines in different settings. A traditional cut is round, but you can also choose a more trendy cut. Heart, pear, and emerald cuts are also popular. Many people choose the princess shape as it has become an iconic wedding symbol. 


Clarity determines how pure the diamond’s composition is. The more blemishes a diamond possesses, the less clear or pure it is considered to be. Internal imperfections are called inclusions. Most diamonds sold to a wide consumer base are known as what is called “eye clean”. They contain only blemishes that cannot be seen with the naked eye. There are many different kinds of blemishes and inclusions that will affect the clarity rating of a diamond such as clouds, feathers, cavities, nicks, scratches, chips, and spots. 


You have probably heard of carats, but you may be confused because there are two types of carats. Karats with a K are units of purity used when measuring gold whereas a carat of a diamond signifies its weight. 200 milligrams is 1 carat. Unlike with gold, for every carat a diamond has all of that carat is pure diamond. With gold, all karats are diluted by the number of alloys that had to be mixed into the metal.

This allows jewelers to be incredibly precise when determining how many carats any given diamond has. They will often go into the hundredths of a decimal to be as clear as possible. 

Which Would You Choose – A Yellow or White Diamond Ring?

Any diamond ring would be fantastic, but a yellow diamond is truly unique and bright. They evoke themes of golden sunshine. White diamonds are conventional, but yellow diamonds are a statement piece. There are also many other colors to choose from if neither white or yellow suit your partner.

You can choose pink or red, orange, green, blue or even black, and they will all look fabulous. Every color of diamond has its own special qualities and level of rarity. There are exquisite designs for every type of person that you can imagine. 

Choosing a Trusted Brand

At the end of the day, only you can decide if you and your partner are a good fit for a yellow diamond. After you consider the price, the styles, and your preferences, you will be better equipped to decide. Whichever you choose, you will have a beautiful piece of jewelry that will last you a lifetime as long as you choose a reputable dealer and obtain the proper paperwork. 

You should educate yourself as much as you can before you purchase diamonds. Although most sellers are legitimate, there is the possibility of being taken advantage. Most jewelers would not dare squander their reputation, but you must operate with caution. Only buy from reputable dealers, know your background information, and insist on getting the correct forms. A jeweler should be ready to provide you with a report from any well-known gem society such as GIA. 

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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