If you're looking for something fancy and elegant that you can easily wear everyday, yellow gemstones are your ideal choice.
In this article, you'll learn:
- What yellow gemstones are
- Where to buy yellow gemstones
- And your options for yellow gemstones
What Are Yellow Gemstones?
Yellow gemstones have been one of the more popular colored gemstones, especially when discussing colored diamonds. That's because there are many affordable yellow gemstones.
We can give much of that credit to Hollywood. Many celebrities tote a gorgeous yellow diamond on their finger with bright and sunny hues.
The color also symbolizes good luck, health and wealth in some cultures. Yellow gemstones can occur naturally, with or without treatments. There are also lab-created yellow stones too.
There's so many kinds of yellow gemstones to get acquainted with. Many of them don't make great engagement rings because of their softness, but will be great in low impact jewelry.
Buckle up as we find out more on the best types of yellow gemstones for jewelry.
What Metal Looks Best with Yellow Stones?
Yellow is considered a warm color along with orange and red. Warm colored gemstones tend to look better with yellow gold as opposed to white metals. The warmth of the yellow gold color will elevate the color of your yellow gemstone jewelry.
Even if you're not a fan of yellow gold, yellow gemstones will still look fabulous in white gold or platinum settings. Sterling silver will do too, but I don't advise choosing that metal for an engagement ring you'll wear every day.
Darker and warmer skin tones will look best with a yellow gemstone jewelry. But as always, color science doesn't know everything. Any one and everyone can look great while wearing a yellow stone.
Read also: Best Place to Buy Real Gold Jewelry
What Are The Types of Yellow Gemstones?
There are a lot of different kinds of yellow gemstones. There are only two precious stones that are yellow: yellow diamonds and yellow sapphires. Some of them fluctuate between orange and brown shades, while others are vivid yellow. You might find some yellow gems on this list on some of our other gemstones lists.
1. Yellow Diamond
Yellow diamond is a more common form of colored diamonds and usually less expensive. Yellow diamonds are great for people who want an alternative to colorless/white diamonds.
The gem formation of yellow diamonds are the same as all diamonds. However, they're mined from the earth's crust and have high amounts of nitrogen, which give them their intensities.
A yellow diamond is a brilliant stone, like all diamonds. It may have a vivid bright color, or a soft pale color. Yellow diamonds are valued by their intensity, saturation, and tone of the yellow hue. Fancy vivid yellow stones may be referred to as canary diamonds.
Yellow diamonds are precious stones, but they don't cost as much as other colors. Lab-created yellow diamonds cost even less. These may run around $2500 per carat or more.
Read also: Where to Buy Natural Yellow Diamonds
2. Yellow Sapphire
Talk of sapphire and the first thing that comes to mind is blue. There are many colors of sapphire except red (“red sapphire” is actually ruby).
Yellow sapphires are vivid yellow gemstones ranging from light to intense yellow hues. Since sapphires are made of corundum, the yellow tone is a result of iron impurities during crystal formation.
The value of yellow sapphire is highly dependent on the saturation of its color. Deep colors with a higher iron content are more expensive than fainter shades.
Generally, a yellow sapphire is less costly than its blue and ruby counterparts. These yellow stones are quite hard (Mohs 9) and surpass diamond in terms of toughness.
Yellow sapphires are your best bet for everyday wear as they are more resilient to scratching and cracking. However, regular maintenance is required to prevent the stone from clouding.
Read also: Where to Buy Blue Sapphire Jewelry Online?
Citrine is a well-known yellow gemstone, coining its name from the French word citron for lemon. It has a beautiful yellow-orange hue that can light up any jewelry wardrobe.
Citrine is a fairly durable gemstone (7 Mohs) and can be worn every day. It's a form of quartz, hence its abundance and inexpensive nature. It is hard to find a natural-color citrine and heating is a common process in the citrine family.
In essence, smoky quartz can be heated to give a yellow-orange shade of citrine. To further enhance the stone, it is often faceted.
Citrine is highly transparent with a vitreous luster and rarely comes with inclusions. It is a popular stone among crystal healers as it is believed to symbolize happiness and contentment.
4. Yellow Topaz
Probably named after the Greek island of Tapazios, topaz has been a popular choice for jewelers throughout the years. Yellow topaz have a stretched array of colors ranging from orange to dark yellow and finally to bright yellow.
The latter may be common and available but darker varieties like Imperial Topaz are quite rare and much valued. Imperial Topaz was popularly spotted among the Russian royalty.
Yellow topaz is hard (8 Mohs) and suitable for everyday wear. Although there are a few instances of heat treatments, most yellow topaz specimens will come with their natural color.
Yellow topaz has incredible clarity and brilliance with a transparent vitreous sheen.
Read also: Citrine vs Topaz
5. Yellow Tourmaline
Tourmalines are not rare but you’ll have to go through hundreds of retailers to find a perfect yellow tourmaline.
You'll rarely find a yellow tourmaline at a brick and mortar jewelry store. That’s why they can be quite expensive.
These yellow gemstones can run about $100 per carat since they're pretty rare. The cost of your yellow tourmaline will heavily depend on the depth of its colors and size.
Yellow tourmalines are fairly hard yellow gems with a 7 to 7.5 hardness. With regular maintenance, it can last for decades. Most yellow tourmalines have inclusions but it doesn't affect their value much.
6. Golden South Sea Pearl
Golden South Sea pearls are a personal favorite of mine. Pearls are organic gemstones, which mean they come from a living organism. South Sea pearls are occur in a creamy white or golden yellow color. They are the largest variety of pearls, with most of them between 10-14mm.
Natural gold South Sea pearls are extremely rare. Most pearl oysters these days are raised in farms where scientists start the process to develop a pearl. Most natural pearls in the wild have been depleted already.
Not all golden pearls are golden South Sea pearls. It's very common to obtain a dyed golden pearl that started as a white freshwater pearl. While eye-catching, golden pearls are very delicate. Refrain from wearing any golden pearl rings all the time.
Most people choose a strand of pearls, but not everyone will be able to afford a strand of gold South Sea pearls. A pair of earrings can run about $4000 for a 10mm pair.
Read also: Natural Pearls vs Cultured Pearls
7. Mexican Fire Opal
If you checked out our list of popular orange gemstones, you'll find fire opal on there too. That's because fire opal occurs in a mixture or yellow, orange, red, and greenish hues. A fire opal may or may not have a play of color. Their body tones may be yellow or orange.
Opal is normally seen as white with rainbow play of light. It's one of the most popular gemstones today, but it doesn't make a great engagement ring. Opal is a soft gemstone with a hardness rating of 5.5-6. However, that doesn't mean that you can't wear opals in jewelry. Many people take very good care of their opals and they last years and years.
If you choose to wear a fire opal, make sure it doesn't get near very hot or cold temps. Opals are made of 5-6% water. They can dry out and crack in sudden extreme temps.
Fire opals may go for around $100 per carat for both faceted or cabochons. However, most people buying opals go for cabochons.. Opals that are above 2 carats go for $200-300 per carat.
8. Yellow Zircon
Zircon is a gemstone you'll find on all of our gemstones lists. That's because it occurs in just about every color, including yellow. It's also more affordable than a yellow diamond or a yellow sapphire.
Most yellow zircon has bright yellow hues. It also can have orange or brown tints that give it deeper yellow hues. However, you should be aware that most has been treated to enhance its yellow color.
Zircon does pretty well against scratching with a hardness of 6-7.5. However, it's a brittle stone that can chip or crack easily. Zircon rings should be kept in protective settings, but low impact jewelry should be fine.
Yellow zircon may be referred to as "gold zircon" and go for around $25 per carat. A 3 carat stone may go for around $100 per carat.
Read also: Choose a Flush Setting to Protect Your Stone
9. Yellow Garnet
Famous for its dark red hues, some people don't know that there are many different colors in the garnet family. There are also more than one variety per color shade. More people are familiar with the orange variety called spessartite, but not many have heard of yellow garnet.
Hessonite garnet is mainly orange, but it occur as yellow stones too. Topazolite is a variety of andradite garnet, and can also be called yellow garnet. However, topazolite stones are rare to find and a single carat could amount to several ten thousand dollars.
Mali garnet, also a yellow-hued garnet, has a chemical composition that marry up both andradite and grossular combined.
These gems are popular since they exhibit higher dispersion rates than diamond (excellent fire too!). Yellow garnets are generally eye-clean and will rarely have visible impurities.
They rank 6.5 to 7 Mohs on the hardness scale and their gemstones have a wider price range that could fit any size of budget.
Read also: What is an Eye-Clean Diamond?
10. Yellow Beryl
There's a few different names for yellow beryl. You may hear it under trade names like golden beryl, yellow emerald, or Heliodor. Golden beryl is the yellow variety of beryl. You might know other beryl varieties as emerald, morganite, or aquamarine. It is a highly transparent stone free from mineral inclusions.
Some forms of golden beryl may go through irradiation to enhance its color. It is also cut in unique settings to maximize its pristine clarity.
Golden beryl gems can be used as a substitute for yellow sapphire and due to their hardness (7.5 to 8 Mohs).
11. Yellow Chrysoberyl
Chrysoberyl commonly occurs as a transparent to translucent gem in hues of yellow-green to yellow. It has a strong luster and is a very brilliant stone.
Faceted pieces of yellow chrysoberyl aren't usually treated, but cabochons might be. Chrysoberyl cabochons may have chatoyancy, also known as the cat's eye effect. This gemstone phenomena is a favorite of many. The cat's eye yellow chrysoberyl has a golden yellow body color with a bright yellow in the center.
However, these yellow gems stone may lack enough fire to successfully disperse light into the spectrum colors. Yellow chrysoberyl is quite sturdy (8.5 Mohs) This makes is an ideal gem for engagement rings or wedding rings.
Bright yellow and cat's eye pieces usually go around $50 per carat. Gold yellow color chrysoberyl is around $25 per carat.
12. Yellow Jade
Jade’s color is fabricated by the presence of tantalum during crystal formation. Jade can occur as two minerals- jadeite or nephrite, all of which can have yellow shades. Yellow jade comes in varying colors ranging from deep gold to pale yellow.
However, most jade sold on the market is enhanced and has lesser quality. Jade isn't in huge demand in the United States, but very valuable among Chinese culture. China also produces the best jade pieces.
It's an extremely tough gemstone, but you won't come across many yellow jade engagement rings. It doesn't have the crystal structure for faceted pieces, so most jade is either chunky bangles or carving. The cost will depend on the size and detail of the pieces.
13. Lemon Quartz
A lot of people are confused about the difference between lemon quartz and citrine. Rightfully so. because The only difference between citrine and lemon quartz is the saturation and tone of yellow. Either of these yellow gemstones can be referred to as yellow quartz.
There's no exact distinction on what level of color makes it one or the other. It's not the only gemstone to be like this either; both canary diamonds and padparadscha sapphire have similar distinctions.
However, the general rule is that lemon quartz are bright yellow gemstones and citrine is more of orangey stone with yellow secondary hues.
14. Tiger's Eye
Tiger’s Eye is a common quartz form that is very abundant and easy to find. Some may argue that it's more of a brown or orange gemstone. However, golden yellow hues appear in it as well, especially in cabochon pieces.
It is a great stone having unique patterns across its surface. Most tiger's eye exhibits the cat’s eye effect (chatoyancy). Tiger’s Eye has a silky luster sometimes displaying iridescence. It has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 Mohs.
These gems aren't normally faceted and most people use them for metaphysical purposes. You may see tiger's eye more often in pendants or bracelets. The cost of tiger's eye will vary based on the chatoyancy and arrangement of patterns. However, most people aren't looking for high quality pieces and get it for under $50 per carat.
Danburite is a colored gemstone that occurs in a range of colors, but yellow is most common. It's a yellow stone with excellent durability for daily wear. It isn't well-known, but something different. These stones can be confused with yellow diamonds at first glance, but they don't have the same fire.
Danburite can have canary yellow to pale yellow hues.
16. Yellow Sphene
Sphene isn't a popular gemstone, but more of a rare one. Some may know it under the name titanite. It has supreme brilliance and fire due to its high refractive index. Yellow sphene occurs in a few different yellow shades like bright yellow, light yellow, yellow orange, and greenish yellow.
Though considered rare, it's not the most expensive yellow gem on our list. Yellow sphene with fine color goes for around $100 per carat. Yellow sphene has a hardness of 5 to 5.5. Most people who seek these yellow stones are gemstone collectors.
If you do get your hands on a piece of sphene jewelry, make sure you're careful with it or that it has a protective setting.
17. Yellow Sphalerite
Like yellow sphene, yellow sphalerite isn't well-known either. Sphalerite has a lot of similarities with sphene. Both are considered collectors stones mainly because they don't have the durability to be used in jewelry.
Yellow sphalerite is a very brittle stone with a hardness of 3-3.5. Yellow sphalerite from Mexico can be very large and most often occurs in yellowish-orange tones. It also 3x more dispersion than a yellow diamond!
Fine colored gems that are red and vivid orange stones above 3 carats. Typically these go for around $200 per carat.
18. Yellow Amber
Amber is a unique organic gemstone typically made from fossilized tree resin. It is popular for its inclusions such as plant and insect remains, or other unique patterns that make the stone unique.
Sometimes it will go through heat treatment, just to deepen its yellow-orange hue. Amber is normally desired as an orange gemstone, some pieces of amber have deep yellow hues. It might be called yellow amber.
With a mere hardness of 2, the gemstone can easily break or fracture. It is also sensitive to a few chemical solutions like cologne and alcohol. Temperature changes may also cause amber to fracture.
Amber is very affordable, unless you're obtaining collector's pieces. Special inclusions and large pieces can go for large prices. Amber doesn't usually have price per carat since it's used in chunky style jewelry.
Gem quality scapolite can occur as colorless, pink, purple, or yellow stones. The yellow stones can be confused with citrine, but they're entirely different yellow gems. Scapolite is much rarer for one, and it's not great for jewelry with its 5.5 hardness level.
Yes, this is another yellow gemstone that serves as a collector's stone rather than used in jewelry. It should definitely be avoided in rings, but will make a great pair of earrings or a pendant in a protective setting.
Yellow scapolite has a honey to gold yellow hue. You can find these gems going for around $10 t0 $15 a carat. While affordable, it's difficult to find jewelry pieces that have been cut well.
Legrandite is a yellow gemstone with a gorgeous vivid color. Most people haven't heard of this one either. That's because it's not a great gemstone for jewelry because of its fragility. The hardness is a 4.5.
Not only that, but faceted legrandite is a rarity. Most legrandite found is specimen quality found in matrix.
Where to Buy Yellow Gemstones?
Yellow gemstones are very popular and one of the most popular colors. You can find many semi precious yellow gemstones at metaphysical shops, Etsy, and other smaller sellers. You'll want to make sure you pay attention to descriptions and ask about treatments before buying.
If you're looking for precious yellow gemstones like a diamond or sapphire, you've got a couple of great options. Not only do these retailers sell these yellow gemstones loose, they also have many beautiful ring settings.
James Allen sells both of these precious yellow gemstones for an affordable price. If you want more affordable diamonds, you can also choose a lab-created yellow diamond from their inventory.
Brilliant Earth also carries those, yellow tourmaline, citrine, and even yellow moissanite (which isn't listed as a one of the popular yellow gemstones).