The American jewelry company Le Vian branded the term “chocolate diamond” in 2000 and registered the international trademark for it in 2008. While chocolate diamonds are brown in hue, the inspiration for the term originated from the passion a friend of the Le Vian family had for eating chocolate rather than from the color of the gemstones. Prior to the 1980s, most brown diamonds ended up in industry for use in cutting, drilling, grinding or polishing tools. They possess less brilliance than other diamonds and were not considered suitable for jewelry. In 1986, this changed due to the opening of Australia’s Argyle mines and a resulting abundance of brown diamonds in the marketplace. The plentiful supply led to increased use of brown diamonds in jewelry and more aggressive marketing of the gem.
Brown diamonds derive their color from multiple sources including pressure during their formation, exposure to radiation and trace elements like nitrogen or nickel present in the stone. The depth of the brown shade ranges from light brown to dark. Chocolate diamond hues include champagne, cinnamon, clove, cognac and honey.
Since they contain less sparkle, brown diamonds are considered lower in quality and value than other diamonds. Famous and valuable brown diamonds nevertheless exist. In 1995, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand received a 545.67 carat stone called the Golden Jubilee Diamond to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his coronation. Aristotle Onassis gave Jackie Kennedy Onassis a 40.42 carat brown diamond cut from the Lesotho Brown, a 601.25 carat gem mined in Lesotho and originally acquired by jeweler Harry Winston acquired it.
When selecting a brown diamond, potential buyers need to consider carat weight, clarity, color and cut as they would when purchasing any diamond. To purchase a true chocolate diamond, though, buyers need to look for gems with the Le Vian trademark.
About the Author:
Julia Lawrence thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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