Incredibly rare, canary diamonds are characterized by their unique yellow color, which ranges from pale to deep, and can have undertones of other colors, including white or clear, brown, orange, and green. Also known as fancy diamonds or yellow diamonds, natural canary diamonds are the result of nitrogen atoms displacing some of the carbon atoms during the formation of the stone. The nitrogen does not significantly alter the chemical structure of the gem, but it does produce the difference in appearance. Canary diamonds are prized for their beautiful brilliant color and for their rarity. Of 10,000 diamonds excavated, only one will display the distinctive yellow hue. Increasingly popular with celebrities and the public alike, canary diamonds are available in a variety of settings, shades, and cuts.
Canary diamonds are rarely mined. Rather, they are more commonly found in or on the earth. Canary diamonds from mines are typically less brilliant than found diamonds. South Africa is the largest producer of fancy yellow diamonds, although they have also been found in the US state of Arkansas and Australia. Like traditional clear or white diamonds, canary diamonds are certified for clarity, cut, carat-weight, and color. Colors can be graded as pale, very light, light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy vivid, and fancy deep. The color is judged based the presence of white or other colored flecks in the stones. Gems with the highest saturation of yellow carry the higher grades. Canary diamonds that lack certification may have been altered to produce the yellow coloring, or they may have been synthetically produced in a lab.