Diamonds with a difference

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Diamonds are special, but a yellow diamond is extra special

In 2007, miners digging for riches in South Africa’s Kimberley mines struck gold…or rather yellow, with the discovery of a spectacular yellow diamond, weighing in at more than 127 carats and subsequently known as the Sun of Africa Diamond.

It’s not the only famous yellow diamond to be unearthed from its hiding place either; the Incomparable Diamond was found in 1984 in the Democratic Republic of Congo which, in its uncut state, weighed around 890 carats. Now cut, its 407 carats give it the record for the biggest internally flawless diamond and is the third largest of all diamonds.

The Florentine Diamond is another famous yellow diamond that – now missing – can trace its provenance back many hundreds of years to at least the 15th century. A nine-sided double rose cut diamond, its 137 carats place it in the top drawer of great yellow diamonds.

But what exactly are yellow diamonds?

Platinum and Yellow Gold Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Nitrogen fuelled

Diamonds can come in a wide range of colours from red, through to purple, green and orange, black and white, as well as yellow. It’s the interaction of trace elements with carbon when the diamond is formed that helps to create the colour with chemical elements such as sulphur, boron and nitrogen defining the colour. In the case of a yellow diamond, it is the nitrogen that leads to a diamond turning yellow and the amount of nitrogen will determine what shade of yellow the diamond will be.

With diamonds graded on a colour scale ranging from colourless to light yellow, they are labelled as ‘fancy’ when their yellow colour falls outside of that range. They often come with a ‘fancy’ cut too, given the impact that a diamond’s cut can have on its colour.

Yellow Gold and White Diamond Halo Earrings

Rare but surprisingly affordable

Very few diamonds mined are coloured, which generally means they will cost more than a white – or colourless – diamond but the good news is, if you’re taken by the idea of a yellow diamond, there are lots of more affordable options. Cheltenham jeweller’s Martin & Co stock a wide range of pieces featuring a yellow diamond including a stunning platinum and 18ct yellow gold double halo ring with a centre rub over set 1.25ct cushion cut yellow diamond encircled by two rows of sparkling round brilliant cut diamonds which set off the yellow diamond brilliantly. Or there are some equally sparkling 18ct white and yellow gold diamond halo earrings. Each earring has a yellow oval cut diamond as its focus and is encircled by two halos of yellow and white round brilliant cut diamonds.

If you’re looking for something different to celebrate a special occasion for a loved one, or you just fancy treating yourself to something exquisitely timeless, a yellow diamond could be what you’re looking for.

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