The chocolate diamond is a diamond that is mostly mined in Australia, Africa, and Russia and is called this because of its varying shades of brown. Another term used for it is “Fancy” diamond. The chocolate diamond is less expensive than a white diamond but contain the same properties such as hardness, brilliance, and chemical content (also called impurities). The Gemological Institute of America recognizes the chocolate diamond as a real diamond despite its fancy tag. However, it is more used for accessorizing than an investment because it doesn’t appreciate in value over time (unless paired with precious gemstones and white diamonds).
How did the chocolate diamond come to be?
The chocolate diamond is actually a product of great marketing and branding. Before the year 2000, no one really paid much attention to this brown bauble until Le Vian, the jewelry house, thrust this into celebrity status by placing it on the red carpet, on Halle Berry’s gorgeous body (and on 100 Hollywood stars since), and changing its name from Fancy to Chocolate. By changing how people perceive diamonds, Le Vian made the chocolate diamond something of a star worthy of well-deserved attention and patronage. Where before it was classified a low C4-C6 rating, the chocolate diamond has found its place thanks to the enterprising marketing effort of Le Vian.
What options do you have if you want to buy chocolate diamonds?
Well, you have three options available depending on your budget and design preference:
- Natural. These are more expensive because they come from diamond mines. The more intense the color, the more expensive they are. For example, Le Vian’s Chocolatier Collection is often displayed with a notice that says “Price available upon request” which actually means you have to fork out wads of money to pay for it.
- Cultured. Otherwise known as man-made gems and is often a combination of Chocolate Diamonds and pieces of quartz or crystals. The nice thing about going for cultured chocolate diamond is that you can have the freedom to have your design executed or custom-made without the exorbitant fees as when you have the real thing made to order.
- Coated. Simply put, this kind of chocolate diamond has not met the standard and is therefore unclassifiable as precious. This is then taken to a lab for enhancement (like plastic surgery) to make it more beautiful and sellable. How does a genuine chocolate diamond look like?
Drop by your favorite jeweler and ask for a chocolate diamond. Chances are you will see diamond shades in deep chocolate, chocolate, champagne, cognac, honey, and cinnamon – the lightest shade of brown in the chocolate diamond category.
How affordable is it?
Apart from the delicious selection on the Le Vian website, you can purchase a chocolate diamond combined with other semi-precious gems with a budget of $1,000. Look for aquamarine and chocolate diamond combos and you can’t help but salivate at its beauty.
Make sure you know your jeweler before purchasing. It is for the very reason that these have become popular that fake chocolate diamonds have found their way into jewelry stores so this serves as your warning.