Among the natural diamonds brown diamonds are the most common. 15% of the production in diamond mines is accredited to brown diamonds at a global scale. These gemstones were found to be less glamorous owing to its lessened glimmer, and were used only for industrial operations. Lately improved technology and marketing campaigns have particularly jacked up the value and demand of the brown diamonds especially in the USA and Australia. Here they are also referred as chocolate variety owing to its hue matching the color scheme of chocolate. The demand now has spread over to Asia, Europe and other American countries as these stone have now become considered as valued gems. 

Brown stones are the major outputs from the mines of Australia. The color brown is hugely owed to nickel impurities, irradiation treatment, and plastic deformation based lattice defects. The last one is the most compelling cause especially in the case of pure diamonds. The brown stones however can be converted in to yellow or colorless stones if applied with high-pressure and high temperature treatment procedure.

How The Stones Gained Popularity?

In the50s and 60s diamond cutters and fine jewelry importers Baumgold Bros., in order to increase sales of brown stones rebranded them. The brand names included amber, cognac, champagne, and chocolate. Other merchants did the same and followed it with names such as coffee, clove, caramel, mocha, espresso, cappuccino and even tobacco. Initially the ploy worked and gained some success, but in the long run it confused the customers with so many brand names, and left the indecisive about the brownstones. 

1986 witnessed incidents of large amount of brown diamonds being introduced in to the market. Argyle Mine was opened in Australia by Rio Tinto whose major production became brown stones amounting to 80% of the whole output. The trend was later followed by DeBeers and in 1996 they brought in enormous quantity of brown diamonds to be sold in the market. Previously these brown stones were only used for the purpose of industrial processes. At that time value of these diamonds was hard to determine, because GIA (Geomological Institute of America) and other third party evaluators did not assess the diamonds. GIA incidentally developed the grading system of diamonds for international stones and they were classified as Four Cs namely cut, color, clarity and carat weight and the grading system was used to assess the value of diamond quality. To resolve the situation a new evaluation method of diamonds was invented by Rio Tinto where C1 represented the lightest hue of the brown diamond and C7 the darkest. 

Le Vian, the fine jewelry company in 2000 branded and traded it as Chocolate Diamonds and a new jewelry line of diamonds was born. The company combined with Rio Tinto, the supplier and Signet Jewelers, the retailer to supply the diamonds to the consumer market. The diamonds were popularized by huge TV marketing campaigns and duly rewarded with grand success. From the pits of 2007, where no one wanted brown diamonds, it accounted for 400,000 a year by 2014.

How Brown Diamonds Are Used In Jewelry?

Now the market is flooded with the variety and is used in a huge segment of jewelry making. Brownstones are used in creating masterpiece earrings, wedding and regular rings, bracelets, and necklaces and are highly valued stone jewelry sought out by consumers. Diamonds naturally occur in a variety of colors including yellow, green, orange, blue, and shades of red, pink, gray, brown and black. Before the introduction of Argyle mine in Australia, brown diamonds were rejected as worthless by consumers and industry for making jewelry. Even the diamond scale was not used to evaluate them but the scene changed drastically in the 80s which was largely owed to the large supply produced by the mines. A stupendous amount of 7,000kg was produced and introduced in to the market and brown diamonds became popular. This amount one third production of the entire globe for natural diamonds and Argyle produced most of them. Compared to other natural diamonds especially the white diamonds, brown stones are cheaper but equally beautiful in appearance and quality. Being cheaper also increased the number of customers vying for diamond jewelry and brown stones have arrived to stay in the market permanently.