Diamonds are forever. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Diamonds are the centerstone of 83% of all engagement rings, according to the Diamond Trading Company.
What makes diamonds so popular? Is it because they come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes? Perhaps it’s because diamonds are the hardest natural mineral or that they dazzle and sparkle so beautifully? Regardless of the reason, it’s no secret that diamonds are a beloved gemstone throughout the world. Of course, the most popular diamonds are virtually colorless with impeccable clarity and transparency.
However, the trend of wearing colored diamonds in jewelry is growing. That’s right—you can buy colored diamonds in beautiful shades of blue, pink, red, green, purple, yellow, and… chocolate?
Yum! Sorry, Chocolate Diamonds are not a snack but a rare, unique and natural gemstone in the shade of rich, dark brown. However, to qualify as a Chocolate Diamond, brown diamonds must meet strict standards.
As you can see, there’s a lot to know about Chocolate Diamonds. But first…
A Chocolate Diamond is a rare, naturally brown colored diamond. While you might think the cute nickname is simply due to its signature color, Chocolate Diamonds are actually owned and trademarked by Le Vian, a fine jewelry group.
Simply put, a Chocolate Diamond is a brown diamond. Brown diamonds are more affordable than colorless diamonds and are sourced from Brazil, Congo, Angola, Borneo and Australia. In a strategic marketing move, the Le Vian jewelry company obtained a trademark for brown diamonds and named them Chocolate Diamonds to generate interest and novelty.
However, Le Vian were not the first to use brown diamonds in jewelry. In fact, 2nd Century Romans first incorporated brown diamonds into jewelry via stone rings.
Presently, using Chocolate Diamonds in jewelry is a bit more complex. Why?
Well, not all brown diamonds are Chocolate Diamonds, and not all diamonds are created equal. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll iron out the kinks.
As with any diamond: clarity and quality vary. While there are a vast array of brown diamonds, Chocolate Diamonds only represent the most elite, hand-picked brown diamonds. Le Vian has extremely strict standards for their diamonds, thus only a small percentage of brown diamonds qualify as Chocolate Diamonds.
Le Vian sources Chocolate Diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, and of all the brown diamonds mined, only 1% meet Le Vian’s color and quality standard.
What does a Chocolate Diamond look like? A vital component and the first thing to consider when buying a Chocolate Diamond is the color. There’s no shortage of brown diamonds available, however there is a limited supply of Chocolate Diamonds. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between Chocolate Diamonds and brown diamonds.
Whereas brown diamonds can be opaque, light, or even yellow-hued, Chocolate Diamonds are deeply saturated and dark brown; the color of chocolate. The darker and richly colorful a Chocolate Diamond, the more rare and valuable it is.
Lighter colored brown diamonds are beautiful, especially when they have good clarity and minimal inclusions. However, if they are light colored they are not a Chocolate Diamond.
Does that matter? Not necessarily. Choosing the color of a diamond is completely subjective, and the name of the diamond is actually irrelevant if you love the diamond itself.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about Chocolate Diamonds. This is because many dealers and jewelers sell brown diamonds without clarifying the quality or details of the diamond. This is why it’s important to always buy diamonds from a reputable dealer. Otherwise, you run the risk of purchasing a low quality brown diamond.
Does this mean brown diamonds are all bad quality? Certainly not. There are gorgeous brown diamonds that aren’t classified as Chocolate Diamonds. Sadly, this is in part why Chocolate Diamonds aren’t as valuable as colorless diamonds.
Truth is, there are exponentially more poor-quality brown diamonds available than high-quality brown diamonds. Remember how rare Chocolate Diamonds are? Well, of the tiny percentage of high-quality brown diamonds, an even tinier percentage become Chocolate Diamonds. So, what happens to the small portion of high-quality, non-Chocolate Diamonds? Unfortunately, they don’t meet Le Vian’s strict clarity and color standard, so they get lumped in with all the other brown diamonds. This generalization process leads to an overall decrease in the market value for brown diamonds.
Any diamond that has been color-treated to appear brown is not a Chocolate Diamond. Often, colorless or white diamonds are color-treated to emulate a naturally colored diamond. Unfortunately, this process occurs because most naturally colored diamonds are opaque and have inclusions that lower the quality.
Buying color-treated diamonds is not generally recommended as you don’t necessarily know the quality of the original diamond. Often, they are opaque and don’t have the shine and sparkle we love about high-quality diamonds. The better bet is to buy high quality, naturally brown diamonds or Chocolate Diamonds.
You can still buy brown diamonds that have a rich color and that glamorous sparkle we know and love. In fact, there are high-quality brown diamonds available that sparkle and shine without the Le Vian trademark. These make especially attractive brown diamond rings.
However, it’s important to be vigilant and inquire about the details of the diamond you’re interested in buying. Chocolate Diamonds are growing increasingly popular, but you can always shop around to find brilliant brown diamonds, too.
No matter what color you choose, diamonds are an investment into your life story that will be passed down through generations as a beloved heirloom. Whether you choose to buy Chocolate Diamonds or high-quality brown diamonds, you’ll love the warmth and novelty of this eye-catching and truly unique gemstone.
Was this article helpful?2 people found this article helpful