Complete guide to chocolate diamonds

Full information to chocolate diamonds

Have you heard about Chocolate Diamonds and now want to find out more? Good news. This article can fill in the gaps!

Written by Benjamin Khordipour

We have long seen brown diamonds sold by names like “cappuccino”, “champagne”, “café créme” and other such names. However, now we have a brown diamond tone known as “chocolate”.

What is a chocolate diamond?

A chocolate diamond engagement ring with a diamond wedding bandA chocolate diamond engagement ring with a diamond wedding band

A chocolate diamond is a real natural diamond that has a brown tint in it. The Le Vian diamond company was the trademark for the term “chocolate” in 2000 when it comes to diamonds.

The difference between chocolate diamonds and the other brown diamonds is actually pretty simple. Almost all white diamonds have a hint of color and are almost always yellow. As the yellow tint gets stronger, some say in the yellow part of the spectrum, others say turn towards brown. This means that we see more shades of yellow and brown in diamonds than in any other color.

The name “chocolate” only applies to a certain color and type of brown diamond. Click here to learn more about colored diamonds.

The color itself is created by nitrogen particles that become trapped in the diamond crystal during formation. This creates a different shade of yellow depending on how much nitrogen is present. Then when there is enough heat the color changes and we get a brown diamond instead of a yellow one.

Where a pure yellow diamond is highly collectible and very expensive, brown diamonds are often only suitable for industrial applications or cheap costume jewelry.

Instead of simply using color to determine quality, Le Vian expanded the grading process to include all 4Cs – cut – color – clarity, carat weight – and selected only the very best diamonds with the right shade of brown. In the same way, all hot tubs are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are hot tubs. All chocolate diamonds are brown diamonds, but not all brown diamonds are chocolate diamonds.

Since Le Vian only selects the highest quality diamonds (usually see below for buying tips), not even all chocolate diamonds are Chocolate ™ diamonds.

The history of the chocolate diamonds

Diamond mine

Brown diamonds have always existed. They just weren’t considered worthy to be included in jewelry.

In the mid-1980s, however, a new mine was opened in Australia, which now accounts for almost 1/3 of the annual global diamond production. Significantly, 80% of all diamonds from the new mine are brown. A major marketing campaign followed, but had limited success. However, the prices are much lower than for diamonds of comparable quality in white or other colors, so a niche market has emerged.

The different tones of a diamond were given their own unofficial names based on the depth of the brown color in each diamond. They were and are so undesirable that the GIA does not even include a scale for their evaluation. To counteract this, the Rio Tinto mining group, the owners of the Australian mine, introduced their own color grading. The scale is deliberately separated from each GIA color scale and uses 7 classes from C1 to C7 in the order of color depth from light to dark.

This distinction between chocolate and the rest has resulted in a serious increase in the demand for chocolate high quality brown diamonds. However, since even the best chocolate diamonds are still brown diamonds, there is still a degree of snobbery that views them as bad relationships of colored diamonds.

Chocolate diamond prices

Chocholat diamond on gray background

Chocolate diamond prices raise a contradiction in terms. Although all diamonds are extremely rare, brown diamonds with a significant color in terms of commodities are rarer than white diamonds in the world. Limit this to high quality stones of excellent clarity and a single shade of brown, and it is easy to assume that real chocolate diamonds will fetch very high prices. But this is simply not the case.

White diamonds can fetch prices between $ 2,000 and $ 60,000 per carat. But even the largest and best chocolate diamonds rarely exceed a price tag of $ 8,000 per carat.

These price differences make them both very attractive and very unattractive depending on your point of view. The diamond industry is rarely very selfless. In fact, more than anything, the industry yells, “Look at me!” As often as possible. The nature of diamonds is such that appearance and money are often all that matters. As a result, many in the industry view brown diamonds as cheap fakes rather than real, rarely colored diamonds.

This stance suppresses the price of chocolate diamonds enormously and shows no signs of change.

Chocolate diamonds as an investment

Investment in chocolate diamonds and jewelry

If you want to buy a diamond as a quick investment for the future, a chocolate diamond is not the right one.

With very few exceptions such as red or pink diamonds, it’s uncommon for a diamond to be under $ 20,000 dramatically increasing price over a short period of time. The only diamonds whose value increases rapidly are usually auctioned and are exceptional in color, quality and rarity. Even the best chocolate diamond has no such respect from auction houses or buyers.

For example, if you buy 2-carat chocolate of the same quality and H-color white diamonds, you can expect to pay around $ 7,000 to $ 8,000 for the chocolate and $ 18,000 to $ 20,000 for the white. Keep in mind that chocolate diamonds have a specific shade of brown, and Le Vian also takes into account the clarity for the chocolate diamond range. In comparison, the H color in white diamonds is actually pretty much in the middle range. If you take a step or two up, you will soon be north of $ 30,000.

If you were to buy a chocolate diamond, you would surely buy it because you fell in love with the color and feel.

Click on the link to learn more about secrets of investing in jewelry.

Why Buy Chocolate Diamonds?

Woman wearing drop style chocolate diamond earrings

If you like the look of a chocolate diamond then this is your best buy. It’s that simple. Most consumers buy chocolate diamonds because they fall in love with their looks.

Given the low prices, they also cater for fairly large stones better value for money than almost any other diamond. You must also overcome any embarrassment you may experience in purchasing a “cheap” diamond. The snobbery associated with jewelry doesn’t make buying a chocolate diamond an easy experience.

Assuming you’ve left all of that behind, the reasons for buying one chocolate diamond are the same as for buying another.

Pear shaped engagement ring

When buying a chocolate diamond, keep in mind that the term “chocolate” in this case is a registered trademark. This means you may see diamonds that are identical in every way to a real chocolate diamond. However, they cannot be called that because they weren’t produced by Le Vian.

If you want a real chocolate diamond, you have to buy it from Le Vian.

On the brown diamond color scale C1-C7 of the mine manufacturer Rio Tinto, a stone must be at least C4 in order to be considered a chocolate color. They must also have at least the SI degree of clarity. And here the phenomenon of chocolate diamonds begins to collapse easily. In reality, SI is not a very good level of clarity. In fact, it is probably the lowest clarity for a white diamond that most dealers have in stock. While fancy colored diamonds rarely have the highest levels of clarity, this is still a fairly low bar.

Because of this, you need to be careful when buying chocolate diamonds. The lowest quality a diamond needs to qualify as chocolate is C4 color and SI clarity. Technically, the best would be C7 and flawless, but these are unlikely to ever hit the market. However, this means that prices can vary widely. Lower clarity is much less noticeable in colored diamonds than in white, because inclusions are less obvious due to the color, even with normal viewing.

Make sure you have good clarity and color qualities to ensure you get at least one good quality chocolate diamond. The low prices for brown diamonds generally mean that the better chocolate diamonds are nowhere near the staggering prices for white diamonds.

Famous chocolate diamonds

When we talk about fancy colored diamonds we usually have a good variety of famous examples to choose from. However, the nature of “chocolate” as a registered trademark and chocolate diamonds as a diamond commodity for the mass market means that museum-quality chocolate diamonds are as rare as they are almost non-existent. However, there are a handful of famous brown diamonds. These may be anything but chocolate diamonds, but since brand owner Le Vian didn’t make them, they will never bear the name.

The golden jubilee diamond

The golden jubilee diamond

The Golden Jubilee Diamond was presented to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his reign in 1996 and is the largest diamond in the world. At 545 ct, it is 15 ct larger than the Cullinan 1, the next larger diamond cut.

In a strong example of the low value of brown diamonds, the Golden Jubilee is worth approximately $ 12 million to $ 15 million. The Cullinan 1, a white diamond, is valued at over $ 50 million. This is three to four times as much as the Golden Jubilee.

The star of the south

Star of the South Brown Diamond

The star of the south was found by a slave in Brazil in 1853 and was a rough diamond of 254 ct. After the stone originally sold for around $ 5,000, 1/10 of its real value, it changed hands several times. Finally, it was cut into a 128ct pillow shape. Although officially a brown diamond, the southern star is technically pink in color. The stone actually shows pink tones when it reflects light.

Ownership of the Southern Star is under discussion after it was sold to Cartier for an undisclosed sum in 2002. The argument is that the seller was not the rightful owner and the problem is still waiting for a solution. It is also unclear where the Southern Star is currently located.

Lesotho III

Lesotho III diamond ring

The Lesotho III is part of a series of 18 separate diamonds from the 601ct Lesotho Brown Diamond. Despite being only 40 ct and only the third largest in the Lesotho collection, it is one of the most famous brown diamonds of all time as it is part of Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring that Aristotle Onassis gave her. The ring was sold for $ 2.5 million in 1996 and is now valued at $ 3.5 million. Lesotho 1, a 72-carat diamond of the same rough tone, is estimated to be worth $ 6-7 million.

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