Saffron Diamonds: How Rare and Valuable Are They?

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

Ever heard of saffron diamonds?  If you haven't, now's the time to learn about them. 

These stunning and rare fancy colored diamonds are only found a few times in a year.

saffron diamond
  • Where are saffron diamonds found?
  • What’s the difference between yellow diamonds and saffron diamonds?
  • How much do saffron diamonds cost?

Different Fancy Colored Diamonds

Colorless diamonds remain the prime choice for center stones for engagement rings. But we can't deny that more consumers are drawn in by a colorful stones instead of a traditional engagement ring.

Natural Fancy Color Diamonds credited Ellendale2020

Those who do, fault to a colored gemstone engagement ring, like sapphire engagement rings or ruby rings. The problem is, not every colored stone out there is built to last years and years on your hand.

Diamonds are extraordinarily resilient to dust and dirt in the air, so they're great for daily wear. And for our color lovers, they also occur in a variety of different colors. Fancy colored diamonds can be natural or lab-created. They occur in the following colors:

Some fancy diamond colors are more rare than others. Diamond colors may present a single color throughout the stone, but many of them have secondary colors. Saffron diamonds are one of these.

Orange and Yellow Diamonds

Colored diamonds may have defects in the crystal structure that causes us to see them reflected as a different color. Other colored diamonds are the result of impurities entering the diamond as its forming. For yellow, orange, and saffron diamonds, the color is a result of an impurity entering the colorless diamond as it forms.

Since orange is a darker shade of yellow, the two colored diamond varieties obtain their shades from the same impurity: nitrogen.

Read also: Best Place to Buy Lab Created Yellow Diamonds

What is a Saffron Diamond?

If you were to Google "saffron diamond", you'd find a variety of diamonds ranging between yellow and orange shades. Not every one of those diamonds is a true saffron diamond.

Saffron color, but contains brown that doesn't make it a "true" saffron diamond. 

Not saffron color, too much yellow or brown, so would be considered fancy yellow orange diamond.

Though orange and yellow diamonds get their shades from nitrogen, a saffron diamond is a little different. Saffron diamonds are a combination of intense shades of both yellow and orange.

The intense color profile of high quality saffron diamonds is the result of a unique nitrogen atom arrangement. However, analyzing the color grades of a saffron diamond can be blurry and confusing.

There's no definitive guide or color grade that makes a saffron diamond a real one. Your local jeweler probably hasn't heard much about them, because very few gemologists in the world have laid eyes on them.

Saffron diamonds are often confused with canary yellow diamonds. The difference between a canary yellow and saffron diamond ring is the color. Both should be Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid color grades. Canary diamonds should be a pure yellow with no hint of orange. Saffron diamonds should be equal intense hues of yellow and orange.

Saffron Colored Diamond Engagement Ring

Are Saffron Diamonds Rare?

Saffron diamonds are rarely found. It's estimated that only a few gem quality saffron diamonds are found per year. Though some may argue that all different color grades of yellow diamonds can be saffron diamonds, this isn't true. These are not only unique intensities, but finding equality in yellow and orange colors is rare.

Where are Saffron Diamonds Found?

They are usually auctioned off and not available commercially. The value and price of these colored diamonds are very expensive. They are said to come from the now-closed Argyle Mine in northern Australia and a string of mines in South Africa.

Natural Saffron Diamonds vs Lab Created Saffron Diamond

Natural saffron diamonds may be high in value and extremely rare, but many collectors dream of owning one. Regular consumers aren't usually looking for or even aware of the existence of saffron diamonds. And with their rarity and inability to purchase, this stone isn't even available in a carat weight big enough for jewelry most of the time.

Some colors of diamond can be synthesized. There are lab created blue diamonds, lab created pink diamonds, and lab created yellow diamonds. They have all the same physical and chemical qualities as their counterparts. However, the color shades are much more striking than natural counterparts.

Read also: Best Place to Buy Lab Created Pink Diamonds

It's very rare for fancy colored diamonds of a large carat weight to have high intensity and saturation throughout the stone. It can happen, sure. But the price of a colored diamond ring, necklaces, earrings, bracelets or any other jewelry piece can be extremely high.

Lab created fancy diamonds can do that for a fraction of a cost. Typically, a lower quality lab diamond is subjected to the same conditions it takes to create a natural colored diamond. Likewise, the intense orangey yellow shades of saffron diamonds are achievable in a variety of diamond shapes at more affordable prices. However, these don't carry any value or rarity as the color is artificial.

Where to Buy a Saffron Diamond Ring

As I mentioned before, there's not many jewelers that carry saffron diamonds. Their rarity occurs both in store and online. However, there are a few fancy colored diamond specialists that may have what you're looking for.

Leibish and Co carries a huge selection of natural fancy colored diamonds. They don't classify their orangey yellow diamonds as saffron diamonds but you may find one in their inventory. You can purchase the loose stone or select a ring size for your chosen saffron diamond engagement ring setting.

James Allen may carry natural saffron diamonds among their yellow and orange diamond collections. You may even find them in lab created hues. These colored diamonds wouldn't be considered high quality saffron diamonds, mainly because a lot of them don't have the best clarity or saturation.

Note that you will probably not find a true saffron diamond in jewelry inventories, as one color almost always dominates over another. But you can come close. Always buy certified fancy colored diamonds. Never spend the money on a natural saffron diamond unless it is certified. Also note that it won't say saffron on the certificate. saffron diamond is not a widely used term in the trade.

Read also: Why Diamond Certificates are Essential 

Currently, Brilliant Earth carries a few lab created saffron colored stones available to set in one of their stunning ring settings. These are sustainably sourced, certified, and affordable for the average consumer.

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