You are probably used to thinking of diamonds as those sparkling stones that are so white as to be nearly colorless. As a matter of fact, however, there are diamonds in all imaginable colors. If you’ve heard of champagne diamonds, or brown diamonds, you most likely have a pretty good idea what a chocolate diamond is.
A Variation of Brown Diamonds
Chocolate diamonds are simply brown diamonds, only at the darkest end of the color spectrum.
Contrary to what some people think, brown diamonds are not stones created in a lab but are formed deep inside the earth under high pressure, which is the cause of their dark color.
This means that chocolate diamonds themselves are gems that have occurred naturally.
But aren’t real diamonds supposed to be white?
Not really. The colorless variety of diamonds is actually a rarity.
Most Diamonds Are Colored
Let’s look at how diamond color is graded.
The G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) has created a chart for grading diamond color, and this system has become a standard in diamond appraisal.
Color is graded using letters, ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).
Colorless diamonds are very rare (and therefore expensive), and the most commonly seen stones have some hint of yellow.
Diamonds with a deep color are graded Z+, and these stones are often called “fancy colored”.
It’s interesting to note that the G.I.A. also grades fancy colored diamonds for their color intensity on a scale from one to nine.
Chocolate Brown: Just a Poor Diamond Color?
Technically, brown diamonds are stones with a color grade past Z, and this is the reason a lot of experts label them as poorly colored.
Chocolate diamonds are considered fancy colored stones by many, and whether you agree or prefer to think of that dark color as poor is a matter of semantics.
Anyway, many people simply like the deep chocolate color of these stones and couldn’t care less about its formal grade.
Shopping for Chocolate Diamonds: What About Clarity?
Colored diamonds are generally less expensive than their white counterparts.
A note of caution: If you have decided that you want a chocolate diamond, do pay attention to clarity when buying.
Whatever the color, the clarity grade will give you an idea of how many inclusions (or internal flaws) are in the stone. If there are too many of them, then the diamond will lose a lot of its sparkle.
At a minimum, take a close look at the stone in a well-lit setting, and check if there are any black spots or other defects inside the stone that are visible with the naked eye.
If you are really serious about buying a colored diamond, though, it is recommended that you inspect it for flaws more thoroughly by using a microscope or jewelry loupe (these tools are usually available at any jewelry store).