What about GIA Certified QR Yellow Diamonds?

by Nan
(Lafayette ca)

What about the QR yellow diamonds with GIA certificates are they greatly inferior to fancies? I have the opportunity to buy a large carat QR diamond VVS2 over 4 carats. Will it retain its value?

Hi Nan,

There are a lot of parts to the questions you asked, so I'll start with info about GIA certified diamonds in the QR color grade range and then discuss your diamond specifically.

Find Certified Natural Fancy Yellow Diamonds at Blue Nile

Here is a diamond color grade chart which shows the color grade scale for GIA diamonds.

Yellow or brown diamonds are not considered fancy color diamonds until they pass the "Z" grade - and then their color is graded according to hue, saturation and tone and based on the intensity of the color.

Diamonds that are beyond an "I" color grade will begin to show light color tints which very slowly increase as you move along the color grade scale.

As colorless diamonds are quite rare, they are always valued the highest - with D color grade diamonds commanding the highest prices. Because most diamonds have some type of tint to them - with yellow and brown being the most common color tints - their value will begin to decrease significantly as the color tint intensifies.

But, once the color of diamonds go beyond the "Z" range and into fancy colors, their value begins to increase - and quite dramatically - according to the intensity of their fancy color. And this is because fancies, like colorless diamonds, are quite rare.

To give you an idea of price ranges for diamond color grades and fancy color diamonds, here are some prices I found for 4 carat diamonds of comparable cut and clarity grades:

D color round brilliant: $148,000
J color round brilliant: $60,000
Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond: $300,000

You can see the dramatic difference in prices as the color grade goes down the scale - and then the dramatic increase in value for the fancy diamond.

So, what does this mean for your diamond?

A diamond in a QR GIA color grade is sometimes known as a "tinted cape" diamond. The value of these types of diamonds are much, much lower than fancies and much, much lower than colorless diamonds.

Although, there is a market for tinted cape diamonds. Some people like the warm yellow tones these diamonds yield - especially when set in vintage or antique styled rings. But the value for QR diamonds depends highly on how popular they are at the moment - and may fluctuate from year to year.

Your diamond though has a very good chance of holding its value due to its clarity grade. Diamonds in the 4 carat size range with a VVS2 clarity are quite rare - regardless of their color.

The quality of the cut the diamond has received will also have a huge impact on how it holds its value over time. Diamonds with an Ideal to Very Good cut grade definitely will hold their value much more than diamonds with lower cut grades.

So, a diamond in the lower color grade scale range like yours has a good chance of holding its value based on clarity and cut grades - followed by current demand and popularity for tinted diamonds.

The quality of the overall color of the diamond too can impact its value. The color/tone ideally should be consistent throughout the entire diamond - fluctuations in the saturation, tone and intensity of the yellow tint throughout the diamond can have a pretty big impact on its value.

Keep in mind that the value of the diamond, even with its high clarity, can be dramatically reduced if the cut is poor or if the overall color tint is inconsistent. Use caution, and make sure you are not overpaying for the diamond - especially if the diamond has a medium to low grade cut or an inconsistent color tint.

I hope this info helps - and do write back again if you have any additional questions!

Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

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