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Yellow gemstones are experiencing a surge in popularity as more and more people turn towards colored gemstone jewelry.
From a color psychology point of view, yellow symbolizes many positive concepts, including freshness, happiness, energy, loyalty, and enlightenment. In some cultures, yellow signifies good luck, wealth, and health. From a fashion perspective, yellow jewelry suits almost every other color. And on the color spectrum, this is the color that is the most attention-getting (hence the reason it’s frequently used for road signs).
With the gemstone world boasting over 100 different types of yellow stones, here are our top picks for yellow gemstones that you can add to your collection.
Diamonds are known for their brilliance and fire, and these can be seen in yellow diamonds as well. Yellow diamonds are ideal for engagement rings, due to their excellent durability. Although diamonds can tend to be somewhat brittle, they have a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, are extremely scratch resistant, and are very easy to maintain.
The best color for yellow diamonds is Fancy Vivid. Most yellow diamonds show tints of a secondary color, which can affect the value of the stone. If the secondary tints are greenish, the value of the stone increases, while brownish tints can drag the price down.
The most expensive and prestigious of all the yellow gemstones, yellow diamond is ideal for you if durability and status are priorities.
Yellow sapphire is second in hardness only to diamonds, with a Mohs ranking of 9. However, they are tougher than diamonds due to their composition and are extremely resistant to breakage and chipping.
The beauty of sapphire is in its color, rather than its play of light. Sapphire comes in a range of yellow tones, from light to intense yellow. This yellow color comes from iron impurities in the stone. The higher the amount of iron present, the more vivid the color and the higher the value of the stone. Sapphires with greenish tints caused by titanium should be avoided as they are not as valuable.
Yellow sapphires are much more affordable than diamonds but have just as beautiful a color. Regular cleaning will keep the stone from getting dirty and cloudy, enabling it to reflect light and sparkle beautifully.
One of Amber’s beautiful characteristics is the many inclusions present in the stone. Some common inclusions include insects and plant matter, and the more interesting the inclusions the higher the price. This is in direct opposition to the general rule that inclusions lower the value of a gemstone.
The flip side of amber is that it is extremely soft, at 2 on the Mohs scale. Amber is also sensitive to chemicals, alcohol, and perfumes and needs extra care.
Citrine is among the more popularly known yellow gemstones. Called citrine after the French word citron for lemon, this stone is known for its beautiful yellow-brown hue.
With a hardness ranking of 7 on the Mohs scale, citrine is relatively tough and can be worn daily with reasonable care. In case of damage, replacing a citrine will not be too costly as citrine is very affordable.
Citrine is generally high in clarity and doesn’t contain any visible impurities. The stone is highly transparent and comes with a vitreous luster. To enhance its brilliance, citrine is often faceted. Due to its color, citrine has come to symbolize positivity, happiness, and contentment and is popular among crystal healers.
Chrysoberyl is a rare gemstone that exhibits a range of yellow tones from light to vivid. A very durable gemstone, chrysoberyl ranks at 8.5 on the Mohs scale and is also very tough, resisting breakage.
Although the extremely rare and highly valuable alexandrite and cat’s-eye chrysoberyl are members of the same family, yellow chrysoberyl is quite commonly found and not very expensive.
This is a good gemstone for engagement rings, due to its durability. When faceted, it exhibits very good sparkle.
Yellow Fire Opal
Opals are generally known for their flashes of color and beautiful milky white or darker body tones. Fire opals are transparent to translucent opals with a dominant red, orange or yellow tone. Of these three, yellow is the most affordable and common. Whether faceted or cut smooth, these stones have a beautiful texture and finish. These generally don’t display the flashes of color for which opals are famous.
Fire opal is relatively soft at 5.5 on the Mohs scale. It is not very durable and is susceptible to scratches. It also has poor toughness and can be broken or chipped easily. While not recommended for rings, fire opals make excellent pendants and earrings due to less exposure. It is a subtle, smooth gemstone that is very pretty to look at.
The word topaz is said to originate from the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning fire, possibly because of its sparkling golden hues. Although yellow topaz is quite common and affordable, the Imperial Topaz variety, known for its dark orange-yellow color, is rare and expensive.
Yellow topaz ranks at a hard 8 on the Mohs scale. It also has excellent clarity and is rarely found with visible inclusions. With its transparent vitreous sheen, yellow topaz is a brilliant stone when faceted.
Sphene might not be a mainstream gemstone, but it boasts brilliance and color to rival any other yellow stone. In fact, a well-faceted yellow sphene is as fiery as a yellow diamond. This is due to the stone’s very high refractive index and ability to play with light.
Yellow sphene is generally found in smaller sizes in nature. These stones often contain impurities and finding eye-clean stones can be difficult. It ranks 7 on the Mohs scale. Yellow sphene is a very rare gemstone and is quite costly. It is a great collector’s item and is sought after.
Known as the Rainbow Gemstone, tourmaline can be found in every color imaginable. Of these, yellow tourmaline is one of the rarest. It’s difficult to come across yellow tourmalines at brick-and-mortar stores because not many jewelers stock them.
Yellow tourmaline is a very brilliant stone with vivid color. Yellow tourmaline has a hardness rating of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and with regular maintenance, can last a long time. Most yellow tourmaline contains visible inclusions. Faceting is popular in order to bring out the brilliance of the stone.
Zircon comes from the Persian word zargun meaning gold color. This is probably because gold is one of the common colors in which zircon is found.
Zircon exhibits a range of yellowish colors from vivid canary yellow to a darker golden-brownish hue. The stone is famous for its brilliance and fire and when faceted into a brilliant cut, the sparkle of this gemstone is beautiful and eye-catching.
Zircon may look very much like a diamond, but it is a much softer stone at 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is also a very brittle stone, and is easily damaged or chipped if exposed to hard knocks and rough wear.
As the name zircon sounds very similar to cubic zirconia, the stone has unfortunately often been confused for this cheaper diamond simulant. This has given zircon a bad rep, but for those who know the difference, zircon is a beautiful natural gemstone, comparable to a diamond.
This is a variety of quartz that is very inexpensive. It is famous for its beautiful golden-brown tones and interesting patterns. Many tiger’s eye gemstones also exhibit chatoyancy, known as the cat’s-eye effect, from which it derives its name.
With a hardness rating of 6.5 to 7, the tiger’s eye is good for regular usage. It sometimes displays iridescence and a smooth shiny luster. It is generally cut in cabochon to enhance the chatoyancy effect and maximize the luster. You can easily find tiger’s-eye to suit any budget.
Golden Beryl (Heliodor)
Also called heliodor, derived from the Greek words for ‘gift from the sun’, yellow beryl is a little-known variety from a famous mineral family. Other beryl varieties include the more widely known stones, emerald, morganite, and aquamarine. Yellow beryl is more affordable than these gemstones, although it is made of the same stuff.
Yellow beryl has vivid yellow hues and a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8. It also has very good toughness. Most yellow beryl has very high clarity, with little to no visible inclusions. These fantastic gems are an excellent substitute for the more expensive yellow sapphire and look near identical.
Although the most popular variety of garnets is dark red, these stones come in every color imaginable. There are a few different yellow garnet varieties, including topazolite, Mali garnet, and andradite.
Yellow garnets are generally eye-clean stones, with high levels of clarity and transparency. You can find them in all shapes and sizes to suit any budget.
Garnets rank 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. They are also the birthstone of January and make excellent gifts for January-born babies.
We tend to associate pearls with the color white, but did you know that there are golden pearls too? These are extremely rare and it is that estimated that golden pearls account for less than 1% of all pearls produced. Because it is so rare, golden pearls tend to fetch very high prices.
Pearls are an organic gemstone and are very soft at 2.5 on the Mohs scale, similar to amber. They have always had a connection to sophistication and class, and always cycle in and out of fashion. Golden pearls come in cream to gold tones and have a touch of iridescence.
High-quality yellow jade is very rare and considered by some to be more valuable than green jade. You can find yellow jade in jadeite and nephrite varieties, although nephrite is the most valued.
Yellow jade ranges from translucent to opaque varieties and has a smooth, irresistible texture. The beautiful colors range from pale lemon to dark gold with an oily luster. Yellow jade jewelry is eye-catching and very beautiful.
When searching for your own piece of yellow jewelry, you will be spoilt for choice!
Take into account your reason for buying the gemstone as this will help you decide on the specifications you require, such as durability. If you’re buying a yellow gemstone engagement ring, then choose a stone with excellent durability. If on the other hand, you want a necklace or pair of earrings, durability doesn’t factor in as much.
Take your search online as you will have lots more options than at brick-and-mortar stores. Most of the gemstones listed above are not generally in high demand, so often, jewelers don’t stock these stones.
Compare prices and always check the after-sales policies, in case you have any issues with your item. Don’t forget to purchase from an honest and reputed seller.
And finally, enjoy shopping for your very own yellow gemstone!