Yellow is a cheerful and eye-catching shade with plenty of variety, and it always brings sunshine to your life. Like many other elements of fashion, yellow is a significant color in the world of jewelry.
But yellow isn’t just pretty to look at. Yellow gemstones also have specific symbolism and meaning. For example, yellow traditionally evokes feelings of happiness, optimism, and enlightenment. Below, we’ll explore the world of yellow gemstones, including everything from physical characteristics, pros and cons, and prices.
Yellow Gemstone Color and Quality Assessment
Gemologists use criteria called the Four Cs when assessing gemstones to determine their value. The Four Cs are color, clarity, cut, and carat. While all these are important, they hold different values for different gemstones.
Orange, green, and brown are secondary hues often found in yellow gemstones. Orange is the most sought-after. You will usually want to avoid green as a secondary hue. There are exceptions to this rule, though.
When we think of gem color, we usually think of the hue of a stone. Tone, on the other hand, refers to the darkness or lightness of the gem. A gemstone’s gamut limit is its highest tone saturation.
Yellow gemstones are a bit different from most other gemstones in that they reach their gamut limit even when the color is still light. You will find that any yellow gemstone with vivid color will still be a light shade. This lower gamut limit means that imperfections are more visible in yellow stones.
A gemstone’s clarity grade tells you how free of inclusions, blemishes, and fractures it is. Inclusions are bits of debris caught in the gemstone. Compared to other gem colors, a high clarity grade is more important in yellow gemstones.
Clarity is adversely affected by inclusions, which stop light from moving freely through the gemstone. While dark inclusions have value in other colored gemstones, they cheapen yellow gemstones.
Most Popular Yellow Gemstones
Here is our list of the most popular yellow gemstones.
Citrine and Lemon Quartz
Citrine and lemon quartz are two types of yellow quartz. They are fundamentally the same stone but with different shades of yellow. You may even find lemon quartz called citrine quartz.
When you look at lemon quartz, you immediately notice the vibrancy of the color. Citrine, on the other hand, has deeper orange tones. Some compare it to the color of sunsets. Citrine is also one of the November birthstones.
Both citrine and lemon quartz tend to have excellent clarity. They are also affordable, durable, and well-suited for everyday wear.
Danburite ranges in color, and you can find it in different shades of yellow. Danburite is an excellent choice for a variety of jewelry pieces, such as pendants and rings. The Mohs hardness value for danburite is 7, similar to topaz and quartz.
It is important to note that danburite is sensitive to heat, so it can’t be steam cleaned. Still, its hardness makes it a good choice for daily wear.
Opal is a beautiful stone that has been well-loved for centuries. It’s a sedimentary stone, and it has water content. There is variability in how much water is in an opal, ranging from 3% to 21%. If opal gets dried out, it can easily crack and get damaged.
Fire opal is one variety of opal. This kind of opal creates stunning reddish-orange hues when the light hits it.
Golden Beryl (Heliodor)
If you’ve ever heard somebody mention a “yellow emerald,” they mean golden beryl or heliodor. The reality, however, is that golden beryl isn’t an emerald at all. Golden beryl is usually golden yellow or even sometimes a greenish-yellow.
This stunning stone is hard, with a 7.5 to 98 on the Mohs hardness scale. While you can find golden beryl in many shades, check if a stone has been heat-treated to give it a more vibrant color.
The Golden Pearl is also known as the Golden South Sea Pearl. They are expensive and rare, with an average size of 13 millimeters. Golden South Sea Pearls have a strikingly golden color that resembles satin.
The most expensive types of Golden Pearls are the deepest golden color. Some call this the “24-karat” color. Some of the most valuable Golden Pearls cost as much as $100,000 or more for a single strand, prohibitively expensive for most buyers. They are also very delicate and easily damaged.
Scapolite is available in a variety of colors. The price you will pay for one of these stones depends not only on color strength but also on clarity and size. If you find Tanzanian golden scapolite, you will find a darker hue. These stones are also much cleaner. While scapolite is fairly fragile, you can wear it in many different types of jewelry.
Sphalerite is a type of zinc ore stone. If sphalerite has a high iron content, it will discolor the stone. When sphalerite is low in iron, it will be transparent and attractive. This stone tends to need a lot of faceting, so you can find it cut into many different shapes.
You can find this stone in a range of yellow and yellowish hues, such as yellow and orange, as well as a yellowish-brown, often compared to honey. It is a very brittle stone, so it is best suited to occasional wear or collecting.
Tiger’s Eye is not only an impressive and unique stone; it also has rich symbolism and history. It has held significance since ancient times. Gemstone and crystal lovers today still ascribe metaphysical meaning to Tiger’s Eye.
Many believe that Tiger’s Eye gives you a keener perception and inner wisdom. Tiger’s Eye is a type of macrocrystalline quartz. It is usually a combination of brown and gold.
Amber differs from other kinds of gemstones in that it’s not technically a stone. Amber is fossilized tree sap from millions of years ago. Amber comes in different shades, but one of the most popular is honey yellow. When it comes to amber, darker colors are more expensive.
Compared to many kinds of gemstones, amber has accessible pricing. You must be cautious when wearing amber jewelry, though, as it’s prone to chemical damage.
Many chrysoberyls feature a certain level of chatoyancy, otherwise known as “cat’s eye.” Even when the stone doesn’t have a “cat’s eye” look, it has lovely transparency. When the cat’s eye feature is present, the other part of the stone is a vibrant yellow.
Yellow chrysoberyl is a fantastic choice for pieces that need to last, like engagement rings, measuring an 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Yellow diamonds are usually the most inexpensive of colored diamonds. When nitrogen is present during a diamond’s formation, it will become a yellow diamond.
Yellow diamonds come in different shades. The most prestigious shade is “fancy vivid,” and yellow diamonds with green hues are also considered valuable.
The yellow garnet is in a specific branch of the garnet family, called the grossular branch. Yellow garnets are sometimes called hessonites. The topazolite garnet, from the andradite branch of garnets, is even rarer. You can also find mali garnet, which is another type of extremely brilliant stone.
Yellow garnet’s lustrous color and brilliance make it look much more luxurious than its price tag indicates. The one downside is that it is a somewhat soft stone, with a Mohs value of 6.5.
When we think of jade, we usually think of the iconic soft green. But did you know there is also yellow jade? Jade of every color has a significant place in Chinese culture and Feng Shui. In that system, jade represents kindness.
There are two kinds of jade, and they differ by mineral. These are jadeite and nephrite. Yellow jade may be either of these. Jadeite is more translucent than nephrite; nephrite tends to be quite opaque. Jadeite is the costlier variety.
If a yellow diamond is a little too pricey, a yellow sapphire may be the perfect alternative. Sapphire isn’t quite as hard as diamond, but it’s close. They are even more durable than diamonds, which many people don’t realize.
You can find yellow sapphires in a wide range of shades; those with green hues will be less valuable. You can find both light and bright yellows.
This is an exceptionally brilliant stone with beautiful yellow colors. Yellow sphene is quite rare, so if you do track one down, it will be expensive.
Collectors covet yellow sphene for its beautiful color and dispersion. Despite this, it does not make a great addition to your jewelry box. It is very brittle, so you run the risk of breakage.
Another brilliant golden gemstone is the yellow topaz. This stone is known for its clarity. You may find your yellow topaz has not only golden but also brown tones. While these stones are naturally beautiful, it is common for them to be heat-treated. If you prefer a natural stone, be sure to check before you buy.
The word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word for fire. It is also one of the birthstones for November.
Yellow is the most difficult to find among tourmaline colors. If you manage to track down a yellow tourmaline, you will find it has a beautiful color. You will need to be ready for noticeable inclusions in this stone, however.
You should get a yellow tourmaline with a lot of faceting to ensure its brilliance is on full display. Its hardness means that yellow tourmaline jewelry will last you a lifetime.
Many mistake yellow zircon for yellow diamonds, but they are very different stones. Zircon isn’t anywhere near as durable as a diamond. There are many different shades of yellow found in zircon. You can find bright yellow shades as well as darker ones with brown tints. Zircon should be fully faceted. When done right, this creates impressive brilliance.
How to Wear Yellow Gemstone Jewelry
The way you wear yellow gemstone jewelry depends on which gemstone you choose and your taste. Yellow gemstones look lovely set in white metal such as white gold, sterling silver, or platinum. Some have their yellow gemstones set in yellow gold for the best color harmony. The yellow of the gold will help bring out the stone’s color.
Yellow gemstones can be a great way of complimenting contrasting clothing colors, such as blue. Yellow gemstones especially pop when you wear them with black and white clothing. Versatility is one of the strengths of yellow gemstones. You can style them in many ways, and you can wear your yellow gemstones for many different occasions.
Yellow gemstone engagement rings have recently become quite popular. They’re a fantastic choice when you want something more unique than the usual diamond. Find out the care requirements for the gemstone of your choice. Some kinds of yellow stones, such as yellow diamonds, are known for durability. Others should be worn more cautiously. Examples may include pearls and opals.
If you have one of the more delicate or softer gemstones, they may break if you’re not careful when wearing it. If you get a gemstone with a lower Mohs hardness value, consider getting a protective setting.
Yellow Gemstones: Closing Notes
If you decide to buy a yellow gemstone, especially if you choose a more expensive one, do your research and get one that suits your needs. If you want a yellow stone for your engagement ring, you will need something durable. Brilliance, cut, and clarity are other major factors.
Yellow accessories are a cheerful addition to any ensemble, and when you bring this bright color into your jewelry, it’s even more eye-catching. There are numerous yellow gemstones on the market, each gorgeous in its own way.