The History Of Brown Diamonds

Characterized by their light to dark earthen appearance, brown diamonds are growing in popularity thanks to savvy marketing and an interest in giving seemingly worthless diamonds a second chance.

Brown diamonds have an interesting history that was largely affected by De Beers, a large international corporation that specializes in diamond exploration, mining, trading, and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. In the 20th century, De Beers maintained the helm of the diamond industry. With colorless diamonds booming in popularity, De Beers didn't see a real use for brown diamonds in the diamond market, as their color was seen as too imperfect. Because of this, these gemstones were sent off to be used as abrasive granules in industrial uses. The brown diamond's popularity would rise in the late 20th century, when advertisers began working with Australia's Argyle Mine (one of the largest suppliers of brown diamonds in the world) in the 1980s. A simple shift in phrase, from 'brown' to more appealing names like 'champagne,' 'cognac,' 'clove,' and 'cinnamon' gave the gems a totally new feel. They now took on a more sophisticated, worthy air that made them a hot commodity in the jewelry industry, thwarting the conclusion De Beers once drew about them. As jewelry designers began to incorporate brown diamonds into rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other types of fine jewelry, the perception of them dramatically shifted. Now, brown diamonds are sought out for their earthy, natural look.

The "Chocolate Diamond" is one type of brown diamond that exists under trademark. Le Vian, an international fine jeweler that has a history dating back to the 15th century, began acquiring Argyle Mine diamonds in a very small range of browns. After trademarking the name for these, which they deemed Chocolate Diamonds®, this particular type of brown diamond soared in popularity. While Le Vian only selects a narrow percentage of these diamonds to be inclusions in their exclusive collection, the name itself has been widely generalized by the public. Many use "chocolate diamonds" when searching for brown diamonds.

Even as the most common form of diamond on Earth, brown diamonds have a special allure that cannot be found in other naturally colored stones.