The 12 Most Famous Yellow Diamonds in The World
Fancy coloured diamonds make up less than 1% of all diamonds mined on earth. Among the range of colours found, including red, green, brown, black, blue and pink, yellow is the most famous and prevalent. Yellow diamonds come in all shapes, sizes and in various colour intensities. The most intense yellow diamonds in the world originate in South Africa. Since these stones are so scarce, it rarely happens that yellow diamonds are cheaper than white diamonds. In fact, the larger ones fetch sky-high prices. It is easy to see why these spectacular stones fascinate people so much. Read on to discover some the world’s largest, most spectacular and most expensive yellow diamonds.
1. The Kimberley Octahedral
The Kimberley Octahedral diamond, also referred to as the 616 Diamond (a reference to its carat weight) is the largest naturally formed octahedral diamond crystal discovered in the world. As its name suggests, the stone was found in the Kimberley region of South Africa, one of the most renowned diamond producing areas in the world. The diamond was discovered in the Dutoitspan Mine in 1972 – just over a century after the first diamonds were discovered in Kimberley. The spellbinding Kimberley Octahedral is on display at the Diamond Vault at the Big Hole in Kimberley.
2. The Sun Of Africa Yellow Diamond
The Sun of Africa Yellow Diamond is one of the most breath-taking gemstones in the world. The 127-carat yellow diamond was discovered at South Africa’s Kimberley mines in 2007. Shortly after its discovery, the diamond was taken to the Netherlands where it was later cut and polished to a 70-carat pear shape spectacle that displays dancing flashes of light from every angle. The colour of a yellow diamond ranges from light yellow to a vivid canary yellow, the brightest and most dazzling of all. The GIA classifies the Sun Of Africa Yellow Diamond as Fancy Vivid Yellow, the most precious and rarest variety of yellow diamonds.
3. The Florentine Diamond
The Florentine Diamond must be one of the most mysterious gemstones in the world as its whereabouts remain unknown. This 137.27-carat double rose-cut, light yellow diamond with nine sides and 126 facets has a fascinating history that comes close to the plot of a Hollywood film. The stone has been known throughout history as the Tuscany Diamond, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Austrian Yellow Diamond, all stemming from its owners at the time. The Florentine Diamond has passed through the hands of many people throughout the years, both legally and illegally. Legend has it that the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, had been wearing the diamond in battle when it was lost. The story goes that it was found by a foot soldier who sold it for a single coin. Today, decades later, and with many wars and battles having come and gone, many of the top jewellers around the world speculate that the Florentine Diamond has been re-cut to a smaller 80-carat stone. Nobody knows where it is.
4. The Allnatt Diamond
The Allnatt Diamond is a 101.29-carat antique cushion-shaped brilliant Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond that is GIA-certified with a clarity grade of VS2. It is believed that the stone was found in the Premier mine in the South African Republic. The diamond was named after one of its owners, Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt – a soldier, sportsman, art patron and benefactor, who purchased the diamond in the 1950s. Allnatt commissioned Cartier to make a brooch setting for the diamond. The final design was a platinum flower with five white baguette-cut diamond lined petals, a stem and two leaves made up of brilliant cut diamonds. The Allnatt Diamond was resold for a little more than $3 million at Christie's auction in Geneva in May 1996. Its current owner, the SIBA Corporation, had the original 102.07-carat diamond re-cut to its current weight. The cutting process resulted in an upgrade to the diamond’s colour intensity from Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid.
5. The Incomparable Diamond
The Incomparable Diamond is one of the heaviest gemstones ever found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, weighing 890 carats in its rough state. The mammoth stone was found by a young girl playing in wreckage outside her home. The family sold the diamond to a jeweller and it later reached the hands of Donald Zale of Zale Corporation. It took four years to analyse and cut the stone, after which it emerged as a 407.78-carat trilliant cut. It currently holds the record for the largest internally flawless diamond and third largest diamond in the world.
6. The Cora Sun Drop
Due to their rarity, intense yellow diamonds are more expensive than white diamonds – most of the time, considerably so. In November 2011, the 110.3-carat Cora Sun Drop was sold for $10.9 million at Sotheby's auction in Geneva. The anonymous telephone bidder set a world record price for a yellow diamond. As the largest known pear-shape Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world, the Cora Sun Drop was found in South Africa in 2010. The decision to cut the stone into a pear shape, a meticulous process that took six months, was based on the diamond’s intense yellow colour. According to our 10 Fascinating Yellow Diamond Facts, the pear cut is a popular choice for Fancy Yellow diamonds with a very intense colour. Whereas yellow diamonds with a slightly lighter tone are often cut into a square shape to enhance their colour intensity.
7. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond
With an original weight of 287.4ct, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered. After being found in the South African Kimberley mine in 1878, it was polished into a cushion-shaped stellar brilliant cut of 128.54 carats. This antique cut has 82 facets – 24 more than a traditional round brilliant to maximize its brilliance. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond is on display at Tiffany & Co.'s New York City store.
8. The Red Cross Diamond
When the Red Cross Diamond was discovered in one of the Kimberly mines in 1901, it was a rough 375-carat stone. This pale canary yellow diamond was later cut in Amsterdam to a 205.07-carat cushion-shaped stone in a cutting style known as a Stellar Brilliant. This unique cut gets its name from the eight needle-like facets on the pavilion of the stone, pointing outward from its culet facet and resembling a Maltese cross. The original group of firms who bought the stone presented the diamond as a gift to an art sale held in London in 1918 on behalf of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John, hence the double appropriateness of its name, the Red Cross Diamond.
9. The Oppenheimer Diamond
Discovered in the Dutoitspan Mine, Kimberley in 1964, the Oppenheimer Diamond is one of the largest gem-quality uncut diamonds in the world. The stone, weighing 253.7 carats, is a nearly perfectly formed yellow diamond crystal that measures approximately 20 × 20 millimetres. In 1964, the Oppenheimer Diamond was named in his honour by its owner, Harry Winston, who donated the stone to the Smithsonian Institution in memory of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer.
10. The Cross Of Asia Diamond
The Cross Of Asia Diamond was discovered at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa in 1902 as a 280-carat crystal. The first cut was to 142 carats. The diamond was then cut three more times: First to 112 carats, then to a cushion-cut of 109.28 carats and finally, in 1993, into a radiant-cut of 79.12 carats with table facets that resemble a Maltese cross. The current cut has eliminated all flaws. The Cross Of Asia is certified as a Fancy Yellow diamond that is internally flawless.
11. The 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Diamond
Named in honour of the 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, this stone is the largest diamond ever found in Russia or the former USSR. The 342.57-carat Fancy lemon yellow raw diamond was mined at the Mir kimberlitic pipe in Yakutia, Russia in 1980. Since 2016, the diamond has been kept in the Russian Diamond Fund in the Moscow Kremlin
12. The Kahn Canary Diamond
The Kahn Canary Diamond was found by a man of the name of George Steep in The Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas in the US, which is known for its “finders keepers” policy. The 4.25-carat internally flawless stone remains uncut due to its natural triangular pillow shape, or better known as a macle crystal. It is set in an 18K gold and platinum ring designed by Henry Dunay, a New York jeweller. The Kahn Canary Diamond was famously worn by Hilary Clinton when her husband was in office.
Find an Iconic Fancy Yellow Diamond Creation At Shimansky
Some of the most beautiful yellow diamonds for sale in South Africa are found in a Shimansky showroom. We invite you to browse our Fancy Yellow Diamond Collectionand create an everlasting memory with a Shimansky original. Whether you are in search of a Fancy Yellow diamond ring, a bracelet, pendant or a striking pair of earrings, our diamond experts will guide you in finding the perfect creation.