You may think of citrine when asked to recall yellow gemstones, but did you know many other gemstones are also available in shades of yellow?
Agate – Agates are often found in affordable sterling silver or costume jewelry. Yellow agate occurs naturally, but can also be dyed. The color ranges from a pale, creamy yellow to brighter shades of lemon. It is also found in banded varieties with other colors mixed in. Agate is quite durable and makes beautiful jewelry.
Amber – Amber is actually fossilized tree sap. The most valuable amber comes from the Baltic sea where the sap ended up in the water and was conditioned by the ocean for thousands of years. Amber comes in many shades, including egg yolk, lemon and butterscotch yellows. It was once traded as a form of money.
Apatite – Apatite comes in several color variations, among them a lovely yellow. It can be opaque or transparent, depending on the quality of the stone. It is a fairly soft stone (5 on the Moh’s scale) and is easy to break. It does make beautiful earrings and pendants.
Aventurine – Aventurine is a form of opaque quartz. Known for its common green color, it also comes in a lovely lemon yellow. It is an affordable stone that is often paired with sterling silver.
Chalcedony – Yellow Chalcedony is a type of quartz stone. Chalcedony comes in many colors, among them a lovely golden yellow. It makes a lovely cabochon-cut stone and is very pretty in sterling silver jewelry.
Citrine – The most common yellow gemstone, citrines are one of November’s birthstones. Citrine is the color name for yellow quartz. Affordable stones, citrines look lovely in both silver and gold settings.
Chrysoberyl – Chrysoberyl comes in several shades. The transparent stone color varies from a light yellow green to a darker yellow with golden hues. This hard stone holds up well to everyday wear. It also comes in a cat’s eye variety that is translucent.
Diamond – The most popular diamond color is white, but yellow diamonds are also popular. The darker the yellow, the more valuable the stone. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone and hold up well to everyday wear in rings and other jewelry.
Fluorite – Fluorite is a beautiful stone that is very soft (4 on the Moh’s Scale) and should be worn carefully. Also called fluorspar, this stone is typically used in chemical applications, but some stones are transparent enough to use as gemstones. There are many colors of fluorite available, including yellow.
Jadite – Green is the most common and popular color of jade but it can be found in blue shades with green undertones. There are actually two kinds of jade, nephrite, and jadeite. Jadeite is considered higher quality and more valuable but it is difficult to tell the difference.
Moldavite – A form of tektite, moldavite was formed by a meteorite that hit southern Germany about 15 million years ago. It comes in yellow, forest green, olive green or blue-greenish colors. Collectors like to acquire natural formations of moldavite but it can also be carved or faceted.
Moonstone – Most moonstones are white or white with rainbow iridescence, however, some moonstones are naturally pale yellow. It can be solid in color, or iridescent. The name comes from the mythical belief that the stone was formed from the light of the moon.
Opal – Opals come in many colors including pink, green, orange and white. Yellow opals can be translucent or opaque. Mexican yellow opal is nearly transparent. Ninety percent of the world’s opals come from Australia but they are found on all continents.
Pearl – Pearls come in many natural colors, among them the common white or ivory, but golden yellow pearls are particularly beautiful. Many yellow pearls are dyed, but the color is found naturally in South Sea oysters. Golden pearls with good luster and no blemishes cost thousands of dollars.
Sapphire – The most popular and well-known of the blue gemstones, sapphires also come in gorgeous yellows. They have been worn by royalty for millennia. today Sapphires are known as September’s birthstone. Yellow sapphires are often confused with yellow diamonds. Both are very hard and durable stones.
Sphene – Sphene is the gemstone name of the mineral Titanite. It is known for its brilliant fire. The dispersion of Sphene exceeds even that of Diamond. However, the stone has a low hardness which makes it difficult to use in jewelry. It comes in several shades, among them a bright lemony yellow.
Spinel – While not as valuable at its natural blue counterpart, yellow spinel still makes lovely gemstone jewelry. At one time only the red varieties were used as gemstones but in modern times all colors of spinel have value.
Topaz – Known for its bright tropical blue color, most topaz actually starts out as a yellow gemstone. The blue color is only achieved through heat treatments. Imperial topaz is the name used for natural yellow topaz stones.
Topazolite Garnet – Garnets are typically thought of as red, but other color varieties do exist. Topazolite garnets are greenish-yellow in color. Named for its similarity to topaz, topazolite is mined in North America and parts of the Middle East and Europe.
Tourmaline – Yellow is one of the rarest of all tourmaline colors. It varies in shade from pale yellow to canary to gold, often with a touch of green. Most yellow tourmalines have significant inclusions. Tourmaline is mined in many places around the world but the most valuable stones come from Africa.
Vesuvianite – Also known as idocrase, Vesuvianite was originally found on Mount Vesuvius, the famous Italian volcano that erupted during the Roman empire. Rare stones are transparent and can be faceted for gemstones. Most Vesuvianite is translucent and can mimic jade. Colors range from bright green-yellow to bright deep green.
Zircon -Zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia. Zircon is a natural stone whereas CZ’s are man-made. Blue and white are the most common naturally occurring colors of zircon but you can also find beautiful yellow stones. Zircon is a soft stone that wears best in necklaces and earrings where it’s less likely to be damaged. It also comes in other shades, including pink.