You may have heard or read about chocolate diamonds and you may also have come across the terms Brown diamonds, Fancy Brown diamonds, Orange Brown diamonds, Fancy Dark Brown diamonds, Yellowish Brown diamonds and so on. But what are they and what’s the difference between the different names?
What are we talking about?
We’re talking about Fancy Colored diamonds that fall into the category of a color that has a main color brown or a secondary hue brown. These brown colors can be wonderfully rich with different intensities of color and also have beautifully yellowish or orangy hues to them as well.
The overall effect when setting a diamond of this nature in a ring or piece of jewelry can be quite startling and eye catching.
Is there such a diamond color grade as chocolate diamonds? Actually there isn’t. The term chocolate diamonds is a marketed brand name and holds no official grading value what so ever. In fact it’s easy to market a slew of diamonds with differing brown color grades under the term ‘Chocolate Diamonds’ because it sounds really cool and aptly describes the color. However, one should be aware that there are stark differences in the value of brown diamonds of varying intensities and hues of brown and one needs to be careful about what they’re paying for as a ‘Brown Diamond’. The official laboratories GIA and IGI do not recognize the term Chocolate color and in fact have their own grading systems.
How are Brown Diamonds graded?
GIA and IGI grading laboratories give color grading for natural fancy colored diamonds with brown colors as having a Brown main color, or use of the word ‘Brownish’ as a secondary hue/tone. With ‘Brown’ as the main color, the diamond can often have a secondary hue of Orange, Orangy, Yellow, Yellowish, Pink or Pinkish and so on. A color intensity grade is also given e.g. Light Fancy, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep etc. These points as the specific grade can really impact on the value of the stone.
In their educational literature, both GIA and IGI recognize that over the years that these colors have been marketed as Cognac or Champagne colored diamonds. However they seem to avoid altogether the use of the term Chocolate, maybe out of fear of adopting a privately owned brand name and risk litigation.
The use of Fancy Brown Diamonds in Jewelry
Brand names have become popular for Fancy Brown diamonds, however a much more significant issue is how these diamonds are used in jewelry. A fancy brown diamond can either look Wow! Or Oh! depending on the design of the jewelry its mounted in; the styling, combination of other diamonds its mounted with; the gold color and even the quality of jewelry in how its made.
For example you can take an expensive Fancy Deep Orangy Brown, which can be an expensive stone, and place it in an all white gold ring with a poor execution of design and styling, and completely destroy the look of the stone.
Alternatively you can take a straight colored Fancy Brown diamond with standard intensity and no secondary hues, at a much lower price and mount the stone in a rich colored Rose gold mount with pristine collection colored white pave diamonds around it and you’re looking at a masterpiece. The setting doesn’t have to be complicated, it can simply executed with great Taste, and that’s the keyword.