Value of Brown/Chocolate Diamonds LESS than advertised

%Jeweler NYC %NYC Wholesale Diamonds

One of the more difficult tasks I confront as both a Jeweler, and Diamond Educator is to provide a reality check for clients and referrals seeking to purchase a style, design, or product that I cannot in good faith recommend. Most take the easy way out and provide these products regardless of price. When it came to selling gold at $1,700 and above I refused to do that here at NYC Wholesale Diamonds, and when it comes to Brown Diamonds…I say there are infinitely better values out there for your consideration. Here is why:

WHAT IS BEING ADVERTISED: Chocolate Diamonds are the next fashion statement

THE REALITY: Brown diamonds, the least valuable of the diamond family, are so common and unattractive they were once only used for industrial purposes, attached to blades on cutting machines

Large Jewelery manufactures and Importers in the U.S. have so much power that I had to reach across the Atlantic to provide this well written article by Sadie Whitelocks in today’s Daily Mail. It is both informative and quite accurate.

A $12,000 ‘Chocolate’ Diamond ma’am? How Jewelers are fooling woman by repackaging the common brown diamond as an expensive gem

Brown diamonds, the least valuable of the diamond family, are so common they were once only used for industrial purposes, attached to blades on cutting machines.

But now an increasing number of jewelers are being criticized for ‘pulling the wool over women’s eyes’, by charging the same price for them as their rarer white diamond counterparts thanks to some clever marketing techniques.

Instead of ‘brown’, the gemstones are referred to as ‘chocolate’, ‘champagne’, ‘cognac’ or ‘caramel’-colored by outlets, instantly giving them more of a luxury appeal.

Dr. George Harlow, a trained geologist specializing in mineralogy and crystallography and a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, told  that this ‘upgrade’ trend is becoming more common among jewelers.

‘The thing is with brown [diamonds], there’s an oversupply,’ he said.

‘So there’s a desire to try and change them from industrial diamonds, which is what they generally are, to a gem buyer.’

The fine jewelry brand Le Vian has actually trademarked the term ‘Chocolate Diamond’ in an attempt to glorify the brown gemstone.

One of its ‘bridal set’ rings listed at, which consists of a 2-1/4 carat round-cut brown diamond, surrounded by smaller stones in the same color and 20 clear ones, is priced at $12,300.

At the bottom of the price scale – but certainly not cheap at $950 – is a simple white gold band featuring just over a dozen 1/5 carat ‘richly-hued chocolate diamonds’.

Over at Zales Diamond Store there are hundreds of pieces of jewelry adorned with ‘champagne diamonds.’

‘Earthy’, ‘elegant’ and ‘dazzling’ are among the buzzwords used in product descriptions to sell goods ranging from $70 to $18,000.

One write-up states: ‘Glittering like a glass of the finest Brut.’

Although brown diamonds now retail for the same price as white, Dr. Halow says this should not be the case – even if they are the same size, clarity, cut, and carat weight – as they are far more common.

The majority of the world’s supply comes from the Argyle diamond mine in western Australia, which first opened in 1985.

A large amount of scientific research has gone into understanding the origin of the burnt color.
Several causes have been identified, including internal graining, which results from structural irregularities often in combination with an impurity like nitrogen.

The so-called ‘fancy’ colored-diamonds – yellow, red, pink, green and blue – are the most sought-after and rare stones.

But thanks to jewelers painting the brown diamond in a more attractive light, the demand for them has certainly upped over recent years.

Dr Harlow concluded: ‘It’s up to the individual. Jewelry is a personal expression for adornment. If you like brown, or if it goes with your couture, what’s the problem?

‘That’s what fashion is about . . . It’s just that in the marketing agenda, you’ve got to make sure you’re not being hustled.’





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