Unbeknownst to most, Chocolate Diamonds® are actually a trademarked blend, crafted and owned by the Le-Vian Group. They describe this patented blend as “natural fancy colored diamonds that are chosen for their rarity and chocolate flavor.”
Le Vian employs experts in the field trained specifically to seek out brown diamonds that meet their high standards. Brown diamonds, like all colored diamonds, come in a range of color. The richer and deeper the hue, the more precious. By GIA (Gemological Institute of America), the gold standard of rating and certifying jewels, a colored diamond increases in value based on depth and richness of its color. Deep, rich brown diamonds are incredibly rare.
Le Vian utilizes something called the Argyle Scale of Color, referring to the Argyle mine in Australia where most brown diamonds are found.
Besides color, the clarity of the brown diamonds is highly significant. Le Vian, maintains an SI or slightly included grade in clarity. An SI means that you cannot see any inclusion when you look at the diamond.
The exceptional rarity of Chocolate Diamonds®, comes from the fact that a tiny fraction of the already small 5% of brown diamonds discovered will be able to meet this standard.
They branded their diamonds for exactly that reason. Their trademark is held across the Americas, in the EU, and even China and the Middle East.
What Are Brown Diamonds?
Brown diamonds similar to regular diamonds are mined from various places in the world. Each country of origin creates its own unique shades depending on the natural elements that surround the diamonds. Mostly found in Africa and Australia, these diamonds are less expensive, an astonishing 50% less, than their counterparts, which make them more accessible to a larger market, than want diamonds but aren’t able to afford the more expensive variety.
Not to be confused then, the trademarked Chocolate Diamonds®, cost more than brown diamonds although they are in fact, the same varient. This is because according to Le-Vian, their brown diamonds have been carefully selected for high quality and boast an excellent color.
They claim their diamonds represent a mere 5% of the brown diamond market, making them rare and more expensive than versions you may find at a local jeweler or online.
The increased price also, of course, reflects the marketing aspect. Much like any brand name, value goes up if something is considered designer, such as Chocolate Diamonds®.
Investment or Keepsake
It is important to make the distinction between purchasing diamonds for investment value or as keepsakes that you wouldn’t be able to sell necessarily for profit. While a Jezebel article relates that the chocolate diamond “would be worthless 20 years from now…” most people do not purchase chocolate diamonds for profit.
In fact, the majority of diamonds purchased are meant as keepsakes, symbols of love such as engagement rings or other sentimental moments. These create a priceless value. For those in the market for investment pieces, there are many colored diamonds that do fit the bill, blue, yellow, and pink to name just a few.
Brown Diamonds or Chocolate Diamonds®?
Just like most people refer to tissue paper as Kleenex®, a branded name can earn a higher price point. Many people assume chocolate and brown diamonds are one and the same. This isn’t to say that brown diamonds that don’t reach the standards of Le Vian are worthless, but once a brand is attached the value and potential investment increases substantially.
This is why it is so important before you purchase to have your diamond certifications in order or to pay for a GIA certification.
In other words, the Le Vian group isn’t misleading anyone, Chocolate Diamonds®, the trademark incurs its own value as a name brand while GIA certification will establish value of the diamond based on the tradition 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight) although one can debate the intrinsic vs. perceived value of brown diamonds.
Do your research and enjoy choosing something unique, precious and affordable.