The investigation and identification of point defects in GaN is crucial for improving the reliability of light-emitting and high-power electronic devices. The RY3 defect with a characteristic emission band at about 1.8 eV is often observed in photoluminescence (PL) spectra of n-type GaN grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy, and it exhibits unusual properties. Its emission band consists of two components: a fast (10-ns lifetime) RL3 with a maximum at 1.8 eV and a slow (100-300 mu s lifetime) YL3 with a maximum at 2.1 eV and zero-phonon line at 2.36 eV. In steady-state PL measurements, the YL3 component emerges with increasing temperature from 90 to 180 K, concurrently with a decrease in the RL3 intensity. The activation energy of both processes is about 0.06 eV. In time-resolved PL, the YL3 intensity abruptly rises when the RL3 intensity begins to saturate. These and other phenomena can be explained using a model of an acceptor with two excited states. A delocalized, effective-mass state at about 0.2 eV above the valence band captures photogenerated holes. These holes transition to the ground state, which produces the RL3 component with a lifetime of similar to 10 ns. Alternatively, they may nonradiatively transition over a 0.06 eV-high barrier to a localized excited state with a level at 1.13 eV above the valence band. Recombination of free electrons or electrons at shallow donors with the holes at this localized excited state is responsible for the YL3 component. The relative intensities of the RL3 and YL3 components are dictated by the probabilities of holes at the shallow excited state to transition to the ground or to the localized excited states. Transition metals and complex defects are considered as the main candidates for the RY3 center.