Colorful engagement and statement rings are becoming increasingly fashionable, as many consumers want special pieces of jewelry that really stand out from more traditional designs and aesthetics of years past. However, many colors like red, green, and blue have become relatively common in their own right, thanks in large part to the increased interest in alternate gemstones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. As a result, less-common colors are highly sought after, especially among diamonds, as they are both unique and rare. One such example is the brown diamond.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding brown diamonds, particularly related to their authenticity. For example, can diamonds really be brown-colored in nature? How does a diamond become brown? Where are these diamonds found? How valuable and rare are natural brown diamonds? Finally, where can you find high-quality brown diamond engagement rings at affordable prices?
In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at how a brown diamond differs from other types of diamonds:
What Is A Brown Diamond?
A brown diamond, also known as a champagne, cognac, or chocolate diamond, is a type of natural diamond that has a noticeably brown color. The intensity of the color can be anywhere between very light to very dark (more on that later), and brown diamonds can also have secondary hues of yellow, orange, or pink. Brown diamonds are less common than white diamonds and can be less expensive, although the value largely depends on factors like color intensity and clarity. The natural process that creates brown diamonds is quite complex, which is why they are only found in a small number of mines worldwide.
What Makes A Diamond Brown?
One reason that some natural diamonds appear brown is an excess of nitrogen. When this happens, specific parts of a rough stone can have deep brown coloration, often known as an “amber center.” As you probably know, diamonds are almost entirely composed of carbon, though other elements can get into diamonds, affecting their color and clarity. Nitrogen is seen as an “impurity” that can create yellow diamonds and, in large enough quantities, brown diamonds as well.
However, this is not the only way that diamonds can naturally turn brown. The way that light is absorbed into the structure of the crystals can also affect color, resulting in brown tones. In more technical terms, a process known as plastic deformation is responsible for many natural brown diamonds. As a diamond slowly moves closer to the surface of the Earth’s crust, it is subject to various kinds of pressure. As diamond crystals move through these forces, they create vacancies (sometimes known as “defects”) in the crystal lattice that cause the diamond to absorb light differently.
Also known as “brown graining,” this process can result in many different shades of brown. In fact, some diamonds do not turn brown all the way through, but instead have brown coloration in localized parts of the diamond. This is why the way a diamond is cut can be so important; it could mean the difference between a clear, yellow, light brown, or fancy brown diamond, even when cut from the same piece of rough stone.
Where Are Brown Diamonds Found?
Technically, brown diamonds can be and have been found all over the world. That said, brown diamond mining sites are generally centered in just a few known locations. The Argyle Diamond Mine in Northwestern Australia has produced the highest number of brown diamonds thus far. Additionally, some pockets of brown diamonds have been found in a few South American mines (Brazil), as well as mines in Africa (Angola and the Congo). Finally, a few brown diamonds have also been mined in Southeast Asia (Borneo).
Are Brown Diamonds Rare?
Even though natural brown diamonds cannot be found in very many places, they are not the rarest colored diamond on the market. In fact, among colored diamonds, brown is one of the least-rare colors (along with yellow). But again, the intensity of the color and clarity of the stone also contribute to its rarity and value. In any case, brown diamonds are still considered rarer than white diamonds, even though you can often buy brown diamonds at lower prices.
Are Brown Diamonds More Expensive Or Cheaper Than Other Colors?
Brown diamonds are often a great value to consumers, as they are less expensive than comparable diamonds of other colors. This is because, historically, brown diamond jewelry has not been as popular as brighter diamond colors like green, red, blue, pink, or purple. Brown and yellow diamonds tend to be the cheapest of all the colored stones, but again, it all depends on the intensity of the color and clarity of the stone.
Before you buy a brown diamond or a piece of brown diamond jewelry, make sure that it has been evaluated based on the intensity of its color using the following scale:
- Faint - A very vague brown coloration with hints of yellow or orange.
- Very Light - A vague brown coloration with hints of yellow or orange.
- Light - A light brown color with almost no other colors.
- Fancy Light - A distinctly brown coloration that is free of other colors.
- Fancy - A bright brown coloration.
- Fancy Dark - A darker brown coloration.
- Fancy Intense - A darker, brighter brown coloration.
- Fancy Deep - A very dark, deep, and bright brown coloration.
- Fancy Vivid - The highest-grade and most intense brown coloration available in diamonds.
Faint diamonds will typically be the least expensive, while Fancy Vivid diamonds will be the most expensive. This is true of any color, including brown. It takes an experienced jeweler to know the intensity of a diamond’s color, though the color intensity of a stone is typically defined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Are Brown Diamonds Valuable?
Even though you can generally find brown diamond jewelry at lower prices than diamonds of other colors with comparable intensity and clarity, brown diamonds are still quite valuable. As previously mentioned, the worth of a brown diamond is directly linked to the intensity of the color and clarity of the stone. On average, you can expect a 1-carat brown diamond to start at $2,500. When purchasing jewelry, this price does not factor in additional costs like a band or accent diamonds. As the clarity, color intensity, and carat increase, you can expect the price to go up accordingly.
Brown Diamond Engagement Rings
Brown diamonds are often used for statement jewelry, but they are becoming an increasingly popular option for engagement rings. Since most people want to find ways to show their own unique style with an engagement ring, brown diamond rings are a great option. Why? Because there simply are not as many out there. Even among colored diamond engagement rings, brown is still the least-common color. So, if you’re in the market for an engagement ring that will be very unique and stand out in a crowd, be sure to look through our collection of brown diamond engagement rings at Liori Diamonds.
We hope you found this guide on brown diamonds both useful and informative! Are you in the market for an engagement ring? Do you want beautiful, certified diamond engagement rings at competitive prices? If so, be sure to check out the luxurious products available at Liori Diamonds today!