Brown Diamonds: From Unthinkable to Unforgettable

March 19th, 2014 by Noam Flint

When most people think of colored diamonds, gemstones in shades like blue, pink, green and even purple tend to come to mind. However, one colored stone that has only recently gained popularity, both among jewelers and consumers, is brown or champagne-toned gems. According to The New York Times, these beautiful natural brown, or champagne diamonds, weren’t even on the market until the early 1990s.

Brown Diamonds ParcelParcel of Natural Brown Diamonds – From Industrial to Fashionable

Brown diamonds dubbed unsellable

In the 1990s, a large discovery of brown diamonds was found at the Argyle mine in Western Australia. Due to their imperfections and small size, many of these gemstones were used for industrial purposes – especially since retailers didn’t like their look, the news outlet reports. Much of the disdain for brown diamonds came from how jewelers and buyers were trained.

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Elizabeth L. Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing, said training from the Gemological Institute of America drilled into retailers’ minds that when it comes to diamonds, “whiter is better.” With this way of thinking, brown diamonds were instantly labeled “off-color goods,” Chatelain told the news outlet.

A change of heart

Fancy Dark Orangy Brown Diamond 1.55ct
Fancy Dark Orangy Brown Diamond

Despite the struggle mining companies faced in marketing these darker gems, the jewelry industry began to see the value of these diamonds at the turn of the millennium. At this time, brown diamonds were priced between 15 and 25 percent lower than white diamonds (even less today), giving retailers and interested buyers the opportunity to purchase these shimmering stones for a reasonable price. In fact, many designers began to realize that they could create more extensive designs with brown diamonds, while marketing to a much wider array of clients.

“It gave designers a way to do quite exuberant and elaborate diamond designs at a lower cost,” Sally C. Morrison, director of the Diamond Information Center, told the news source. “There are so many shades to create nuance and texture using browns. It’s a way to paint in color.”

Champagne diamonds continue to grow in popularity

With a mix of marketing campaigns and creativity, champagne diamonds started to take off within the jewelry industry. Not only do these natural gemstones boast a unique color, but they’re also becoming rarer than other fancy diamonds, making them even more desirable. Champagne Diamond Center reports just 1 in 10,000 diamonds are of natural color, meaning owning one is a true treasure.

different shades of brown diamondsThe Different Shades of Brown Diamonds

Many stars, including Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and style icon Gisele Bundchen have be known to don these spectacular gemstones, meaning you’ll be in good company with the purchase of a breathtaking brown diamond.