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How Susceptible Are Chocolate Diamonds to Color Manipulation?

Updated on September 16, 2016
chocolate diamond
chocolate diamond | Source

The marketing geniuses of diamond jewelry led by Eddie LeVian have made chocolate diamonds something to crave. The once thought of flawed gemstones found mostly beneath Australian soil, belong to the brown category of colored diamonds known as fancy diamonds. The brown color is the most common diamond impurity. The word fancy makes us more likely to purchase them than if they were labeled flawed or imperfect. Unlike their white or colorless counterparts, desirability is determined by the intensity of their darkness. The deeper, stronger or richer the brown color, the more valuable they are. But such naturally-occurring stones are rare and quite expensive. So an entire industry devoted to color manipulation has developed.

Through a number of processes, an expert gemologist can take a simple brown diamond and make it deep chocolate. The most common processes used are irradiation, high pressure, and high heat which create changes in the mineral’s configuration. Other processes or treatments include coating the diamond with dyes and binding it with intense heat or painting on dots after the stone is set in jewelry to mask its true color.

The worth of a pure diamond is determined by carat, clarity, cut, and color. Guidelines for the valuation of colored diamonds have only recently been established. In addition to being eye-clean (when it is viewed by the naked eye, clouds, spots, knots or other impurities should not be seen) the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a grading scale of one to nine where one is the lightest and nine is the deepest or darkest chocolate. A chosen colored diamond is compared with preselected standard ones of similar hue, color intensity, and fluorescence.

Colored or fancy diamonds tend to be more affordable than white or colorless unless the carbons, the fundamental material in all diamonds, were subjected to intense pressure, heat, and nitrogen atoms while they were being crystallized in the earth. As stated earlier, this natural event is uncommon. With Valentine’s Day upon us, you may be tempted -with the help of commercials- to purchase one of these popular chocolate beauties. Be certain of what you are actually purchasing. If you want to give your loved one a naturally-colored precious stone, seek recommendations, deal with trained professionals, and ask for a lab certificate of authenticity.

Are These Colored Diamonds Worth the Fervor?

Some experts believe that once the chocolate diamond trend runs its course, so will the value. In the meantime, they do make rather appealing, unique pieces of jewelry especially when set with stones of contrasting colors as white or colorless diamonds in rings, pendants, and bracelets.


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