This dramatic announcement is actually in direct continuation to our brown diamonds buying guide.
But first thing first…
What are Champagne Diamonds?
Champagne diamonds is an unofficial naming convention that refers to brown diamonds with a secondary tone of yellow. Diamonds that (as their name) resemble the color of Champagne. The intensity of the yellow can be weak (yellowish) or strong and same goes about the general intensity of the color. Here are examples of the color description as would be defined in the GIA certificate: fancy light yellow brown, fancy yellow brown etc. For lighter shade yellow it would state yellowish instead of yellow.
GIA graded as Fancy Light Yellow Brown, Fancy Yellow Brown and Fancy Dark Yellowish Brown
What are Cognac Diamonds?
Cognac diamonds are also brown diamonds. However, unlike champagne diamonds that has a touch of yellow in them, cognac diamonds are considered darker and deeper browns and often come with a touch of orange in them. An example of GIA color descriptions that can be considered cognac diamonds: fancy orange brown, fancy deep orange brown, fancy dark orange brown, fancy dark brown.
Why the nicknames?
There are those who claim that this is an elaborate scheme to help retailers sell these "lower quality" diamonds - associating them with sophisticated and exclusive drinks (long ago brown diamonds were considered industry diamonds).
In fact, a while back Jezebel posted an article about how jewelers are lying to people with these names to sell poor and low quality diamonds. An article that echoed the community and got responses all over including "In Defense of Chocolate Diamonds" and "The Truth about Chocolate Diamonds, iPhones & Cars".
I believe that the reason for these names is far simpler…
Brown diamonds come in a vast ray of shades. Either pure browns or combined with yellow, orange and even pink and purple. Considering the fact that not every potential customer is a certified gemologist that can describe a colored diamond using a three shades composition methodology, what is more suitable that associating it with a product that everybody is familiar with? And in that case, do you have a better association than champagne for a yellow brown shade or cognac for orange brown diamonds?
Not only in Browns
To prove the wrongfulness of the conspiracy theory mentioned by Jezebel, one can also look at the other colored diamonds that earned nicknames over the years –
- Canary Diamonds - Strong pure yellow colored diamonds.
- Pumpkin Diamonds - a combination of orange and yellow.
- Turquoise Diamonds - Blue green and green blue diamonds.
Those are among the most expensive and desired colored diamonds out there. Diamonds that do not need any sort of assistance in marketing.
So, Why not buy Cognac and Champagne Diamonds?
I do not believe that every jeweler tries to manipulate their customers, I do believe however that the professionalism and color interpretation is not always the same (most jewelers are NOT gemologists) and that as a customer you should know what you are paying for. Especially when you are paying big bucks buying a diamond (whether for yourself or a loved one).
The only way to do so is to buy a diamond with a gemological certificate - and our recommendation - specifically a GIA certificate.
The most important thing is to LOVE the color of the diamond you are buying. But you need to be aware of what you are paying for.
This means that it is ok to let your jeweler know that you are looking for a cognac colored diamond if you desire a deep brown or champagne colored diamond if you want a lighter shade with a touch of yellow but at the end of the day, check the GIA certificate - know what you're getting - not only color wise - but also the exact weight and origin of color - make sure it is natural.
With that at hand – you can definitely buy a cognac or champagne diamond!