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BLACK OR BROWN? (diamonds)

Updated on May 26, 2011
BROWN DIAMOND AND WHITE DIAMOND RING
BROWN DIAMOND AND WHITE DIAMOND RING | Source

The hottest two fashion statements in the diamond business today. Black diamonds and Chocolate Diamonds (chocolate) that’s the buzzword isn’t it ‘CHOCOLATE’. Wouldn’t you rather have a “Chocolate” Diamond than a brown Diamond? High Fashion, radically new colors of Diamonds with some famous designer names behind some.

DESIGNER BLACK DIAMOND RING
DESIGNER BLACK DIAMOND RING | Source
BLACK DIAMOND RING
BLACK DIAMOND RING | Source

Well this whole thing to me is a clever marketing scheme by someone in the CSO (Central Sorting Office) known as DeBeers to boost the bottom line. Because, they had and have literally tons of this material that they sell for in the neighborhood of $1 -$10 per carat for the blacks and a little bit more for the browns. So wouldn’t it be great to get $100’s of dollars instead? Of course, so all we have to do is some marketing campaigns to convince the buying public that these “frogs” are actually “princes”, they’d done it many times before, everyone believes 3 months salary is what you should pay for an engagement ring, a “Diamond is Forever”. A little mass advertising and boom people are actually buying black diamonds!


Let’s look at the brown diamonds first. They have always been on the lower end of the diamond market but do sell well. They are an economical alternative to the white higher priced stones. There were designations for them like TTLB, top top light brown, or TLB, just Top Light Brown. But they had life and sparkle to them because the light passed through and reflected back like a white diamond. If the light does not reflect back the stone is dead and should be saved for a saw blade not a ring. Now the new buzz word “Chocolate” doesn’t mean it should look dull and matte brown like milk chocolate. It should have the brown body color but still allow light to pass through and reflect back out the crown of the stone. That is the stone to buy if it is brown. They are considered a “fancy” colored diamond. But are the lowest in price. Other fancy diamonds are much more and some like the red diamond is the most expensive gem per carat in the world.

BROWN DIAMOND NECKLACE AND PENDANT
BROWN DIAMOND NECKLACE AND PENDANT | Source
ROUGH BLACK DIAMOND
ROUGH BLACK DIAMOND | Source
BROWN DIAMOND PIN GUCCI
BROWN DIAMOND PIN GUCCI | Source

As a matter of fact I like brownies, I think they are distinctive and pretty. Now a black diamond is another story. Sometimes referred to “Carbonado” Black diamonds are more than just carbonado. Most of the black diamonds are not carbonado they are just very low quality stones that are so included or malformed that light cannot pass through them. Carbonado is interesting because it is a porous form of diamond and is not found in Kimberlite the host rock of most diamonds. And most unusual it is only found in two areas Brazil and Central Africa in alluvial deposits. There is a theory that these diamonds were formed when a supernova occurred in our area of the universe a couple of million years before our solar system was even formed and after our solar system was formed this cloud of black diamonds fell to earth as a meteorite(s) before the continents formed in the area that spit into Brazil and Africa.

Well a fascinating theory but the fact remains black is black. If we considered the white purest diamonds a symbol of everlasting love then what is the black diamond a symbol of? Hate? It is a down color and is considered “Goth” in the modern culture of the west (good, bad?). To me they makes a better drill bit than a ring. The prices are a little high now for them because they are fashionable and in demand. Back in the 20’s and 30’s Jet jewelry became fashionable mainly as mourning jewelry, it was also black. There are some great art-deco pieces from that time in Jet but no one sees Jet today, out of fashion. That is my thinking on what black diamonds will fade into.


So what have we learned ?

  • Brown Diamonds are good if they are transparent and they can effectively reflect light back at you..
  • Brown Diamonds should be way less expensive than white diamonds unless they have a GIA cert stating they are “Fancy”
  • Black diamonds make good drill bits and saw blades.
  • Black diamonds do not make good jewelry, they make cheap jewelry.

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    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
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      PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Yes Lee there is a Santa Claus, and he can sell anything like you say. The largest amount of diamond mined is black or brown and they don't get enough for the drill bits, so they invented a way to sell them, amazing! People are such suckers.

      Peter

    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 5 years ago from Citra Florida

      Hey Peter

      I remember as a child being threatened with "Santa will leave you a lump of coal if you're not good."

      Now it looks like De Beers has convinced some of us that a black stone is a thing of beauty.

      People will buy anything if it is well promoted

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      ANGARA, thank you for commenting and glad I could be a help. I have many more articles on diamond you may like, Thanks,

      Peter

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Will do that's my next project. I touched on it in my HUB

      https://hubpages.com/style/APPRAISALS-WHAT-IS-IT-R...

      I'll add the other points and fill this out. Thanks again. peter

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

      Thanks for asking, Peter.

      I am always amazed that people do not realize that most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover jewelry or collectibles, without adding a rider. Maybe an article explaining what an appraisal looks like (pictures and summary of pieces), how much they are worth, who should you hire, that the appraisal should be kept in a safe deposit box, etc. You know!

      Just so important, I think! Without an appraisal, people end up with nothing and never see it coming--- and maybe the realistic cost of riders. Think an article would definitely educate many people.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Thanks for the impetus for that HUB. I'd been thinking about that one for a while. I wrote it in 20 minutes, I had it all in my head anyway. Any thing else you want to know about? In gems that is. Peace and Light Peter

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

      Dear Peter,

      Thank you! This article needed to be written and definitely needs to be read by anyone contemplating a chocolate or black diamond purchase! People can be talked into buying anything, can't they? So many are ripped off by marketing firms and the 'good ideas' that they come up with.

      Take care, Peter!

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Thank You so much, I just really like gems of all kinds if you look through my Hubs you will see. Please come again soon. I;ll be following you to.

    • orangecountyjill profile image

      orangecountyjill 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great article. I'm a jewelry fanatic and especially love diamonds.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Thanks so much I'm thankful for you comments PM.

      Peter

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      Peter, I have been reading your hubs, but have been just too busy to comment on much of anything. It sounds like you lead a very interesting life, and I loved the one about buying diamonds in Africa. Just keep writing these, I learn from every one of them.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      I'm so glad you came by PM, I to don't use diamonds very much but I've been around them for 40 years so I learn things here and there. I'm always looking for your HUBS SO TAKE CARE AND SEE YOU ON THE NEXT GO ROUND.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image
      Author

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Thanks for commenting and coming by. Hve you read my Hubs on Detroit? Read the one on the Corvette to. come again. Peter

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      Very interesting. I myself am not into diamonds, but I sure learned a bunch reading this hub.

    • profile image

      vinsanity 6 years ago

      I personally like both styles. Black or white diamonds are fine for me, no segregation (haha).