Brown Diamonds Buying Guide

Everything you need to know to get the perfect brown diamond ring

The beautiful thing about brown diamonds (well besides for their color) is their endless shades of colors and affordable prices.

But even brown diamonds are diamonds and making a mistake when buying one can be quite expensive.

Take a look at the above two diamonds for example... Both are just beautiful! But one is a 1.50 carat brown diamond that is worth about $20,000 while the other is a 2.10 carat brown diamond that is valued at $6,000... Would you like to be the one to buy by mistake a $6,000 brown diamond ring for $20,000? (the answer to which is which is at the bottom of the article though I hope by then you can tell it yourself)

In this guide we’ll teach you everything that you need to know in order to buy a gorgeous brown diamond engagement ring without over paying for it (not to mention save a lot doing so).

Here is what we’ll cover:

Brown Diamonds Prices

Fancy Pink Brown Diamond Ring, Radiant, 0.60 carat (0.96 t.w) Fancy Pink Brown Diamond Ring, Radiant, 0.60 carat (0.96 t.w)

For many years brown diamonds were considered industry diamonds. In a very slow moving and old fashioned industry where the goal was to have the clearest and most colorless diamond, these "ugly" not white diamonds were simply undesired.

However, things have changed. As the fashion industry evolved and people were willing to break that boring mold of colorless diamond engagement rings, the demand for colored diamonds increased substantially. First came industry trend setters and famous celebrities but soon after - the rest followed.

In fact, the demand has increased so much that the prices of colored diamonds spiked many times over during the last two decades to the point that colored diamond investment became a "thing". But, for some reason, maybe due to their old reputation, brown diamonds were late bloomers and their price still remains very affordable.

Are Brown Diamonds Rare

Make no mistakes, brown diamonds are still diamonds and they are valuable, but within the niche of rare natural fancy colored diamonds, brown diamonds are among the most common (along with yellow diamonds) and are the most affordable from all colored diamonds (besides black diamonds).

When comparing the prices of brown diamonds with white colorless diamonds you'd easily see that for the mere price of a 1 carat F VS2 diamond you can get two 1 carat brown diamonds...

A 1 carat brown diamond starts from approximately $2,500 and an F VS2 costs approximately $4,000. While you probably don't have what to do with two rings, having an extra $1,500 in the bank account is always welcomed.

Prices of Brown Diamonds vs White DiamondsPrices of Brown Diamonds vs White Diamonds

What Sets the Price of a Brown Diamond?

The most commonly used way to evaluate how much diamonds are worth is by grading them according to their 4 C’s. The 4 C's of diamonds system was invented by the GIA years back in order to standardize the industry. It means to classify the diamond by its main attributes of Cut, Carat, Clarity and Color.

It is said that these four C's live in equilibrium, no criteria is more important than the other since the resulted diamond is the composition of them all. There are those who do claim that cut is the most important C of all because no one cares how big is a diamond (i.e. Carat), if the diamond is dull it is "worthless" - an argument that I can very well relate with.

HOWEVER, when considering a brown diamond, even Cut is negligible when compared to… COLOR. In fact, this is true to all colored diamonds (and within them browns) - the most important aspect (the most important "C") is the color.

This is because on one hand, two brown diamonds can look so different that it doesn't even make sense to compare and on the other hand they can look very similar but may have HUGE price differences.

Confused? I'll explain:

Look at the following pictures of brown diamonds:

Light Pinkish Brown Diamond Fancy Deep Yellow Brown Diamond Dark Yellowish Brown Diamond

All are brown diamonds by definition. When the GIA grades a colored diamond the color description is often composed by two and even three colors. A main color and supporting secondary hues. When you read the GIA certificate the main color is the last one that is mentioned in the color description.

Most cases, when someone is looking for a brown diamond he cares for a specific shade. Therefore it is irrelevant to compare them…

fancy pink brown diamonds brown & pink diamond varations

However, look at the diamonds on the right. Unlike the diamonds above, these diamonds are quite similar… most people would say that they are brown with pink.

But these diamonds are in fact very different. Few are pink diamond with a secondary tone of brown and the others are brown diamonds with a secondary tone of pink. And the price differences are enormous.

Can you tell which is each?

To conclude about what mainly sets the price of a brown diamond - it’s the color.

But color is not only color… Color definition is divided between color hues and its strength (its intensity).

Generally speaking, the stronger is the color, the more expensive is the diamond. A dark or deep brown diamond will be more expensive than fancy brown that is more expensive than fancy light brown.

And… the rarer the secondary color is, the more expensive. Yellow is much more common than pink and therefore a yellow brown diamond (aka champagne diamond) is cheaper than a diamond with similar attributes that has the color description of pink brown.

Same about yellow brown compared to orange brown (cognac diamond). Orange is rarer than yellow so yellow brown is cheaper than orange brown.

Do the Other 3Cs Effect Prices of Brown Diamonds?

Yes, without a doubt.

A 2 carat diamond costs much more than a 1 carat diamond. In fact, as with all diamonds, a 2 carat diamond costs more than two 1 carat diamonds together. Clarity also affects the price but the advantage of brown diamonds is that they are often very dark so the inclusions are hard to see allowing you to "compromise" the clarity in favor of other attributes.

Cut is obviously also important. Would you like a dull diamond or one that sparkles? Not surprisingly everyone wants a beautiful diamond that sparkles and in economics with increased demand comes increased pricing.

What is the Most Important Thing to Check When Buying a Brown Diamond?

My main recommendation is simply to verify that it has a GIA certificate. This is truly the only way to know what you are getting.

The GIA certificate will specify all of the attributes that the diamond possesses.

Its exact weight, cut, clarity, color and more. No one will trick you into buying a champagne diamond that is actually worthless. Most of what you need to know in order to make your wise decision or at least in order to compare with other retailers.

From this point on... you just need to love the diamond!

Guide to Brown Diamond Rings

Fancy Pink Brown Diamond Ring, Radiant, 0.60 carat (0.96 t.w) Fancy Pink Brown Diamond Ring, Radiant, 0.60 carat (0.96 t.w)

Even though we left this section to the end for most it’s probably the most important one since usually people are looking to buy brown diamond rings (or engagement rings) and not loose diamonds.

So why are we getting to this at the end?

Because when it comes to engagement rings, the price of the ring is usually comprised mainly from the price of the diamond.

For proportions, let’s have a look at a 2 carat diamond ring - a 2.00 carat G, SI1 diamond may cost you about $20,000 and the setting about another $1,000… That’s 5% of the cost of the diamond.

True that in most cases brown diamonds don’t cost as much (again – one of their advantages) but still the cost of the setting is usually the smaller part. So…

How Much a Brown Diamond Ring should Cost?

If you are creating your own ring by buying online (simply cheaper and more options) then a classic solitaire ring would cost you around $250-$800. Depending the materials and the details. A Halo ring or a three-stone ring would be anywhere from $500-$2,000 – on these the price is usually determined (again) by how many diamonds are used in the setting and their total weight.

And then the cost of your engagement ring would be combining the two – the cost of the diamond plus the cost of the setting. Simple…

Designer Brown Diamond Engagement Rings

Nowadays, the easiest and most cost effective solution is to create a ring on your own online. That way, 1+1 equals two. Simply, you choose a loose diamond that you like, you choose a setting that you like, add the ring size and about 1-2 weeks later you’ll get your perfect ring.

Since it is done this way, there is a lot of transparency. You see how much the retailer wants for the diamond, how much for the ring and you decide if each is worth its price tag.

When it comes to designer rings, you would be shown a ready ring and you’ll have much harder time to assess its value. One of the reasons is that there is a “designer” fee in it – which is up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not (and many times to my opinion it really does).

But there is no transparency.

With that said, there are not many that offer either of the above services.

We for one offer only loose brown diamonds which you can buy and take to a jeweler near you for mounting. If you are looking to pick a brown diamond, match a setting and get a ready ring than I would recommend looking at James Allen.

But, if you are looking for a "branded" designer brown diamond engagement ring then the most renown option would probably be Le-Vian Chocolate Diamond Rings.

P.S - I still owe you an answer... Which of the Brown Diamonds was worth $20,000 and which was worth $6,000

Well the one on the left (on the top on mobile) is a yellow brown diamond and the one on the right (on the bottom on mobile) is a pink brown diamond. The pink brown was the expensive one...

P.P.S - I didn't pick a 2.10 carat brown diamond just by chance.
A 2.12 carat brown diamond was recently found by a visitor to the Arkansas State Park. After it happened, everybody wondered how much is a 2.12 carat brown diamond worth? So the above diamond is a good example.

But I have to say that this was the wrong question... A 2.12 carat rough would be polished to probably under 1.50 carats. So the answer to the value of the diamond that was found is probably $3,000-$4,000 depending on color, clarity etc.

Still a lot and still fun! You can read more about the find here