Why are yellow diamonds so special?
Yellow diamond color is graded on a somewhat different scale than other diamonds. Most fancy color diamonds have a 9-degree scale based on color saturation. With yellows, some of the lighter shades are graded on the lower part of the D-Z color scale (the one on which white diamonds are graded). The deeper yellows are graded on a five step color scale: Fancy light yellow, fancy yellow, intense yellow, deep yellow and vivid yellow.
Fancy yellow diamonds were historically found mostly in the Cape region of South Africa, however several diamond mines around the world produce yellow diamonds in some quantity. Yellow stones have been found more recently in some of the mines in the Kingdom of Lesotho as well. However the market for fancy yellow diamonds has been driven for years by the Ellendale Diamond mine in Western Australia. Until its closure in 2015, it accounted for nearly 50% of the world's supply of fancy yellow diamonds. Since its closure, these diamonds have become much rarer.
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