Fancy Brown Diamonds are the most widely available and surprisingly affordable coloured diamonds. They provide beautiful low cost alternative to pink, blue, gray, green or yellow diamonds. Common names used to describe brown colour include champagne, chocolate, coffee, hazel, walnut, golden, honey, bronze, cinnamon, cognac, drab, copper etc. Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the chief minister of France in the 1600s collected brown diamonds. In 1967, a 115.59 African brown pear shape was discovered. It was reportedly sold in 1983 for $900,000.
The interest in brown diamonds may be in its infancy. In essence, these are some of the only coloured diamonds that are affordable. You can buy coffee coloured diamonds for $2000+ per carat. This is lower than many white diamonds. Unlike other fancy coloured diamonds, the colour is valued for its paleness; very light browns are priced similar to G-I colours, light browns similar to J-M colours, and dark brown similar to S-Z colours.
The brown diamond rough is mined in South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Russia. The colour is caused by atomic scale defects in the structural frame work of the diamond. It is evident through the graining (hair like growth lines) and twining (intergrowth of crystals). The secondary hues and colour modifiers for brown diamonds include yellow, orange, pink, red and gray. These modifiers in most cases enhance beauty of brown diamonds.
Enhance brown diamonds are not plentiful in the market as most of them turn out “Muddy” or “Dull brown” when enhanced. It’s easier to separate them from Naturals as the enhanced ones have saturated tones and appear unnatural to the eye.