Diamond Guide (The 4Cs)
Blue Topaz Guide
Karat Gold Jewelry
Gold Filled/Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold Vermeil/Gold Wash Jewelry
Titanium Jewelry Guide
Chocolate diamonds are low color or brown diamonds, long considered to be the poor stepsister of the beautiful, crystal clear 'traditional' white stones everyone knows and loves. Traditionally, low color diamonds have been viewed as less desirable and far less marketable than their clear diamond counterparts.
QualityRemember that the terms, low color, brown or chocolate diamond refer only to the diamond's color. As with white diamonds, there are additional factors to consider when making your purchase. The remaining three Cs of the "Four Cs" of diamond quality (carat, clarity and cut) still play their role as a measurement of quality. Once you find a low color stone in a shade that suits you, remember to find out how it rates on the remaining three Cs. It’s entirely possible for a high quality, low color diamond to carry a higher value than a lesser quality white one.
perceived value of chocolate diamonds has grown significantly in the last several years thanks to strong marketing campaigns which have essentially opened the consumer’s eyes to the beauty of low color diamond jewelry. Consequently, the use of these stones in fine jewelry designs has escalated and the desirability and demand for chocolate diamond jewelry has grown
As with any other diamond jewelry purchase, the ideal purchase would be a certified piece which carries with it written provenance of quality. The majority of online jewelry retailers will very openly proclaim if they offer certified diamonds - it's a major selling point. The most well-known and widely accepted certifications come from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society (AGS), the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and European Gemological Laboratories (EGL). If a diamond is 'uncertified,' does it mean it's lesser quality? No, of course not. But certification by an acknowledged reliable third-party source helps ensure that your diamond carries the quality, physical characteristics and value that it's represented to be at the time of purchase.
The Evolution of the 'Chocolate Diamond'
The exclusive fine jewelry design house of Le Vian began to heavily market a line of brown diamond jewelry back in 2000, and for all intents and purposes, created a clamoring market for low-color/brown diamond jewelry where there once was none.
Le Vian’s marketing campaign built perceived value and desirability in their low color (C4-C6 on the Argyle Scale) – but otherwise high quality – diamond jewelry in part by branding their brown diamond jewelry line ‘Chocolate Diamonds’.
The following online jewelry stores sell a select variety of brown and chocolate diamond jewelry:
My Jewelry Box - Our search turned up about 40 listings regardless of whether we searched for brown or chocolate. The items are fairly evenly divided between pendants, earrings and rings in both white and yellow gold settings. Though most of the listings are described as 'champagne,' remember that champagne is a color designation on the Argyle scale and considered a 'low color.' (Our search term was 'brown diamond jewelry').
Overstock - Our search turned up a number (100+) of listings that included pretty much all style of pieces - necklaces, earrings, rings, etc. - including a good number of pieces rendered in Sterling silver. (Our search term was 'brown diamond jewelry').
Ross-Simons - Our search resulted in approximately 50 item listings including earrings, pendants, necklaces, rings and even a bracelet or two, in a good selection of price ranges. In addition to the expected 14k white and yellow gold designs, there were also a good number of 18k pieces as well as a couple of more casual designs rendered in Sterling silver and (when available), listings for estate pieces as well. (Our search term was 'chocolate diamond jewelry').
Sea of Diamonds - Our search resulted in about 75 or so listings, with a nice mix of earrings, necklaces and pendants and a nice balance between 10k and 14k gold pieces in both yellow and white gold. (Our search term was 'chocolate diamond jewelry').
Sears - Surprised? Us too! However in recent years Sears' online store has gone a route similar to Amazon, in that it also feautures products from other online retailers' inventories. Consequently there's a wonderful selection of brown diamond jewelry available in designs that are quite impressive. Our search turned up approximately 50 items (pendants, earrings and rings) available in both white and yellow gold. (Our search term was 'chocolate diamond jewelry').
The following online stores routinely stock a select variety of LeVian jewelry:
Macy's - Our search came up with 78 items, everything from earrings to bracelets to pendants, in both white and yellow gold, and a good selection of multi-gemstone pieces too. (Our search term was 'chocolate diamond jewelry').
Reeds Jewelers - Our search turned up 18 items, primary rings, followed by pendants. Though the selection is small, the designs are stunning. (Our search term was 'chocolate diamond jewelry').
LeVian - Though the LeVian website doesn't sell directly, it features a locator so you can find a dealer that sells in-store.
diamonds are found in both
Siberia and Africa, however the majority of the world's chocolate
mined at the Argyle Mine in
Though the Argyle Mine is the largest raw diamond producing mine in the world, only 5% of its diamond yield is considered, "gem quality." In addition to low color diamonds, the mine also produces white, pink, green and yellow diamonds.
The Argyle Scale, the color scale upon which brown diamonds are measured, was developed by the Argyle Mine and is accepted as the industry standard for measuring the color of low-color (chocolate) diamonds:
Scale rates low color diamond quality on a scale that ranges
in designations from C1-C7:
C1-C2: Light champagneThe Argyle Scale is accepted as the industry standard for rating the color of brown and low color diamonds.
C3-C4: Medium champagne
C5-C6: Dark champagne
C7 : Cognac