From fascinating jewellery fans and aficionados to triggering wars, jewellery heists, and gracing the silver screen, few diamonds are as illustrious and fancy as canary yellow diamonds – aka fancy yellow diamonds.
Is it any wonder they are so highly prized, given their rarity? Diamonds that are coloured anything other than white and clear are classified as fancy, and they come in pink, blue, green and yellow. And while fancy diamonds can be artificially manufactured, only one in 10,000 are naturally coloured, making them ultra rare.
Fancy yellow diamonds
Yellow diamonds are created when nitrogen is present during the formation phase. Colours vary from champagne and golden sunshine all the way through to a warm honey. The more intense the colour, the more valuable the stone, making a canary yellow diamond one of the most expensive fancy diamonds in the world.
Celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Rebecca Romijn, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adele and Heidi Klum have all opted for a sunshine-coloured sparkler, with even Hilary Clinton partial to a golden flash.
Famous yellow diamonds
There have been a number of famous yellow diamonds over the centuries. A few years ago, the world’s biggest yellow diamond, the Sun Drop, was sold for more than US$12 million to an anonymous bidder at a Sotheby’s auction.
The cushion cut Allnat diamond comes in at more than 100 carats and is currently on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, while the uncut 250+ carat Oppenheimer diamond is also on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
One of the most well known yellow diamonds is the Sancy diamond. It has been around since the 15th century and was involved in wars and jewellery heists, and even worn by Lady Astor on her wedding day at the turn of the 20th century. These days it lives peacefully at the Louvre in Paris.
Then there’s the world famous yellow diamond worn by Audrey Hepburn in the cult classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Before it became part of Hollywood legend, the jaw dropping fancy diamond was found in the mines of South Africa in 1878 and was originally 287 carats.