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Question About Champagne Diamonds


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I don't know where the term "champagne" happened--probably at the same time "canary" was invented for referring to diamonds. They are brown or brownish yellow tinted diamonds from what I can gather. We don't call anything that because it's not referred to in the trade. We just call ours what the GIA calls it. I don't know that I'd refer to champagne diamonds that I've seen as "fancy colored".


I would recommend a light yellow or a light brown yellow if you want some interest or what some refer to as "tint". Fancy colors have become intensely more popular but are still not as popular as the standard issue white round. They are typically for those who want something out of the ordinary. A touch of tint or brown can often make the price come down considerably and can be a very beautiful diamond if well cut.


Yellow diamond grading page


Entire range from colorless to vivid yellow


Orange Diamond grading page


The diamond below is one we sold recently. It is a cushion cut L color. It's not easy to find a diamond in this range that is a gorgeous cut and has tons of sparkle. This one was a killer diamond. It could be a "champagne" color I suppose but it is "tinted" and shows some color.




Another one, this is a 1.58ct M color Pear. You can see the tint but to me and to many others it is not offensive. It is a fabulous organic shape and has sparkle power.




The one below is a 1.85ct Natural Fancy Brownish Yellow Heart. Because it came back from the GIA with the "brownish" someone got a great deal on an impressive diamond. But in this case, I think the brownish is not discernable.




There are beautiful diamonds with a tint, but there are some dog ugly ones. The trick is to find a dealer that can find you one in the lower colors that is well cut and produces immense sparkle power. With a lower color, you get a substantial price break. I think they can be a great deal. U-V is a light yellow color (I have one) and they are pretty diamonds and you can still find these at a great price.


I hope that helps.


If David, our owner, is around he'll probably have more to add since he's had more experience with these diamonds.

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That really does help. Those are some beautiful diamonds you included pictures of. I was mostly asking for academic purposes--I know someone who recently saw 'chocolate' diamonds on television and we were talking about them. She knows I'm kind of a jewelry hound and wanted to know what I knew about them, and I had never heard of them (which I thought was weird) and wanted to know what you guys knew about them. When I saw one of them (they either called it cognac or chocolate, I forget), it was truly brown in color, not just tinted like those pretty stones you showed, but quite dark. I guess they only come from one place--the Argyle (sp?) mine in Australia. The whole thing seems a little dicey to me--like it's an attempt to raise the price of stones with color by making it seem as though they're rare and in demand.


I dunno, what do you all think?

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A key reality for diamond miners is that a mine will produce only what God put there. They can’t request a mine that only produces big white rounds or matched fancy purple stones. Pity. The mining company then has the duty to decide how to make the most money from what they get so they can pay their workers, fuel, taxes, and similar expenses with a bit of change left over for their stockholders. Some will end up in expensive jewelry, some will need to go into cheap junk and some will become drill bits and industrial equipment. The difference is marketing, and unlike miners, marketers success or failure has far less to do with divine providence.


Black diamonds are an interesting example of this. Historically there has been basically no jewelry market for them at all. The prices realized simply didn’t justify the cost to send them to the cutters. Every stone produced went directly to industrial applications. In the last few decades this has changed somewhat with the advent ‘Goth’ fashions. Not only is there now a demand for faceted black diamonds, it’s for more than the miners are producing and to fill the demand they are treating other stones that otherwise would have been sold to industrial customers in order to make them black so that they can sell them as jewelry. They’re a lot cheaper than white ones, but they still go for a lot more than drill bits. Crazy? Perhaps, but that’s the way business works.


Brown has not historically been a very popular color. That’s a problem for the Argyle people because they produce a lot of them. Since they can’t change what the mine produces, they need to change what people like, and they’ve been working on this since the mine opened. Apparently it’s working. Your friend has heard of chocolate diamonds and is apparently considering buying some. ‘All the rage’ is a bit of a stretch but it is certainly the objective of some folks in Australia and stranger things have happened. I long ago stopped trying to forecast fashion trends.



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That is fascinating, Neil!! Thank you so much! I acutally do have a black diamond circle of life necklace myself and earrings to match, and much like you said, I bought them to wear with a black evening dress to a black tie Halloween party. They're much prettier and have more sparkle then black rhinestone jewelry, and really weren't a whole heck of a lot more, like you said, they're pretty affordable. Then, they're really good conversation pieces, as most people have never seen black diamonds. Mine are irradiated. It's interesting to know that, though, they're also used for industrial purposes!! So, now with the demand for black diamonds actually increasing, and industrial quality white diamonds having to be irradiated to make black facetable diamonds, what's that doing for industrial diamonds? Are there enough for them or has the price of industrial diamonds been driven up? I find this whole thing very interesting, I'm glad I asked the question about the champagne diamonds.


Does that hold true for the irradiated other colored diamonds I've heard of--did they start out as industrial diamonds also, or just the black ones?

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I had to laugh when Neil said you can't request the mine product "matched fancy purple stones." I wish!


We actually sell quite a few browns (chocolate is just a marketing name)




Natural Deep Brown




Natural Brown below


We actually sell more fancy colors than white diamonds. So when you mention colored diamonds.......


As for black, we had one not too long ago that really looked like a piece of charcoal. It was BIG. And it was UGLY. Not that all black diamonds are, but this one was.

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Black diamonds are unique among diamonds in that clarity isn’t really a valid concept. They aren’t transparent so there is basically no difference between an IF and an I3. This makes the treatment to black a use for stones that otherwise have severe clarity problems. The rules of cutting also change. Whatever meaning ‘ideal’ had before, it’s completely useless on an opaque stone so stones where the shape of the rough just doesn’t support standard cuts are good candidates for blacks. Any cutable transparent stone of pretty much any color would probably do better sold as a fancy color than as a black but this still leaves a huge numbers of potential candidates for treatment.


The big action in the industrial market is with synthetics. Jewelry customers are concerned about natural origins of their gems, industrial customers are not. In certain cases, they actually prefer synthetics because they’re more standardized. It turns out that very small diamonds, like the ones in your fingernail file, are pretty easy to make. That’s why things like diamond nail files are remarkably inexpensive. This market has pretty much entirely gone synthetic. As they get bigger it gets harder to synthesize diamonds and mined stones become more attractive but the guys in the labs are working hard and this line keeps moving. Going back to my original post, the mines produce whatever God put there while the manufacturers produce whatever is technologically possible. Since technological change is inevitable and only goes one direction, this really gives the miners something to lose sleep over. If it becomes easy to make the diamonds used in oil drilling bits for example, the miners will quickly find themselves needing to slash prices to compete or be left with an unsold and unsaleable inventory.



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