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    What are Champagne Diamonds? Here is all You Need to Know

    Everybody knows we love the unconventional, the unusual, and the avant-garde, so naturally we're on board with the ever-effervescent champagne diamond. Maybe you've heard of them, maybe not, but today we're here to raise a glass to these under-hyped but incredibly gorgeous golden-hued champagne diamonds.

    Keep reading for:

    • What is a champagne diamond?

    • How are champagne diamonds formed?

    • Why we love champagne diamonds

    • How to choose your champagne diamond

    • Sourcing of champagne diamonds

    WHAT ARE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS?

    Just like our favorite celebratory drink, Champagne diamonds are named for their warm yellow-brown coloring. Also known as brown diamonds or chocolate diamonds, they range from the lightest touch of honey, to seriously sun-drenched, to deep cognac and mocha shades.

    WHAT DOES CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND MEAN?

    Champagne diamonds are yellowish-brown diamonds on the lower end of the GIA diamond color scale. The lightest champagne diamonds start at K on the scale and the colors get deeper and richer as you near the end. They're also called brown diamonds or chocolate diamonds. More on that below!

    oval cut champagne diamond ring

    Champagne diamond ring

    WHAT IS CONSIDERED A CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND?

    Any diamond that has a noticeable brown or yellow undertone to the naked eye. Generally, on the GIA Diamond Color Scale we say "champagne color" starts around KLM. Champagne diamonds can range from a very light peachy golden hue to a dark chocolate tone.

    WHAT GIVES CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS THEIR COLOR?

    While colorless diamonds consist of pure carbon, colored diamonds like champagne diamonds are made of carbon plusanother element. Champagne diamonds specifically are formed from carbon and trace amounts of nitrogen. As the nitrogen level increases, the champagne hue intensifies in the chamapage diamonds. So nitrogen gives champagne diamonds their warm hue!

    HOW ARE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS FORMED?

    And beyond extra elements, colored diamonds can be created by slight defects in a stone's crystal lattice. These defects cause the diamonds to transmit and absorb wavelengths of light more selectively, changing its color in the eyes of the observer.  

    WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS?

    CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS HAVE A BALANCE OF COLOR AND HARDNESS

    Diamonds are rated 10 on the MOHs hardness scale – the hardest substance on earth and super durable for high-value jewelry. Colored gemstones like sapphires, rubies, or amber on the other hand, fall much lower on the hardness scale. This durability is why many color lovers still opt for diamonds.

    Herein lies the appeal of colored diamonds – they marry the character of colored stones with the everlasting hardness of a diamond.

    SUNSHINE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    While white diamonds are prized for their crystal clear, colorless appearance, champagne diamonds are celebrated for their warm, subtly golden ambience.

    And when a champagne color diamond is paired with yellow or peach gold, this bathed-in-sunlight, gilded glow vibe only intensifies.

    CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS ARE MORE UNIQUE

    While most of the world is still fixated on the absence of color, champagne diamonds are a more distinctive, unique choice for us lovers of the path less travelled. And the endless color variations of a champagne diamond mean each stone is a true original.

    CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS ARE LESS EXPENSIVE

    Champagne diamonds cost less than their more popular colorless cousins. And if you love their unique hue, that means more diamond for your dollar.

    Plus, a lower price tag means emerging and independent designers who can't always afford the ultra-high price tag of white diamonds can create their masterpieces with more affordable, yet equally stunning, champagne diamonds.

    CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS ARE MORE EARTH-FRIENDLY

    When sourcing colorless white diamonds, mining companies only use a very small percentage of the diamonds they find, discarding the rest as waste or using them for industrial purposes.

    Not so long ago, champagne diamonds would have been among these discarded stones. Now, these alternative diamonds are being celebrated instead of discarded.

    This is the first step towards sustainability - reducing waste and using all the precious resources we extract from the earth. We're also all about celebrating the unusual and expanding the narrow perception of beauty that was established so long ago. We love the alternative, the interesting, and the original – that's beauty to us.

    ETHICALLY SOURCED CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    All Gem Breakfast stones are thoroughly vetted to ensure conflict-free sourcing. We have very personal relationships with all our suppliers and only work with people of the upmost ethics and quality. This applies to Champagne Diamonds and every other gem we use.  

    CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND MEANING

    Champagne diamonds represent calm, harmony, and stability. They're a soothing stone that encourage balance and ease. Connected with nature, they give off a grounding energy just like the earth of which they're a part.

    HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND

    COLOR OF CHAMPAGE DIAMONDS

    Number one in selecting a champagne diamond is color! Choose from a stunning champagne rainbow ranging from a subtle golden gleam to rich, chocolate cognac brown diamonds.  

    champagne diamond rings

    There are two accepted color grading systems for champagne diamonds: The GIA and the Argyle system (named after Australian mine that made these diamonds famous).

    The Argyle Mine Champagne Diamond Grading System (what you'll see on our product pages)

    C1 - C2: Light champagne

    C3-C4: Medium champagne

    C5 - C6: Dark champagne

    C7: Cognac

    The GIA Champagne Diamond Grading System

    Faint Champagne -K to M or 'Faint Brown'

    Light Champagne - N to R or ‘Very Light Brown'

    Medium Champagne - S to Z or ‘Light Brown'

    Dark Champagne or Cognac -The GIA grades these diamonds according to scales for fancy brown diamonds or fancy dark brown colored diamonds.

    The bottom line: choose the hue of Champage Diamond you love!

    Champagne diamond color scale

    CUT OF CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    Not to be confused with diamond shape, ‘cut' refers to how a diamond is cut from the rough and polished. By far our favorite of the 4Cs, a diamond's cut determines its sparkle factor. The better the cut, the sparklier and more brilliant the diamond.  

    Just like white diamonds, champagne diamonds can be graded for cut by the GIA, however it's less likely in the lower color grades. If the diamond is graded, we recommend ‘Very Good' cut grades and above.

    One thing to keep in mind with any diamond: what's most important is how it looks to you – is it shimmering, sparkly, and catching the light from every angle? That's the sign of a truly great cut. And of course, an expert jeweler can inspect the diamond for those hard-to-see aspects like symmetry, polish, and proportion that together create the most beautiful diamond.

    A poorly cut champagne diamond will look dull and lifeless, without the telltale sparkle and lustre that makes a diamond, well a diamond.

    To learn more about Diamond Cut, visit our blog.

    CLARITY OF CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    Clarity refers to the level of blemishes or inclusions in the stone. Of course, the fewer the flaws, the more valuable the stone. With champagne diamonds, we recommend opting for ‘eye clean' – meaning there are no flaws visible to the naked eye.

    Honey Champagne Diamond Ring (Sold, reach out to commission something similar)

    Just like colorless diamonds, champagne diamonds are graded by the GIA for clarity according to this scale:

    • Flawless - FL

    • Internally Flawless - IF

    • Very, Very Slightly Included - VVS1 and VVS2

    • Very Slightly Included - VS1 and VS2

    • Slightly Included - SI1 and SI2

    • Included - I1, I2, I3

    There are very few flawless champagne diamonds, and the highest clarity grades are generally not worth the splurge. After all, it's significantly pricier, and you won't be looking at your stone through a loupe all day anyways!

    Stella Champagne Diamond Ring (Sold, reach out to commission a Stella of your own!)

    Depending on the shape, you can usually find an eye-clean diamond in the VS to SI1 range. And with brilliant cuts, you can even find eye-clean diamonds in the SI range. Keep in mind though, grading varies between labs – the look is more important than the grade! And cut is much more important than clarity.

    CARAT OF CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    Carat is the C that totally depends on your preference and budget. One thing to keep in mind: champagne diamonds cost much less than colorless diamonds so you'll get a larger diamond for less!

    And remember, carat weight refers to the weightof a diamond rather than the size of the diamond. Two 1 carat diamonds can appear very different in size depending on their cut.

    Also, setting can play a big part in maximizing the face-up size of your stone. Generally, a pronged solitaire setting will make your stone appear its largest.

    Pairing Gold with Champagne Diamonds

    While we're not about rules, we're suckers for a champagne diamond set in yellow, peach, or rose gold. The pairing accentuates that golden, sun-drenched warmth we love so much in champagne stones.

    For more on choosing the perfect precious metal for your ring, read our 'Ultimate Guide to Gold & Precious Metals'.

    SOURCING OF CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS

    Champagne diamonds are found all around the world, but most come from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia which closed in 2021.

    With the closure of the arygle mine, colored and champagne diamonds are expected to raise in price in the near future thanks to the reduced supply.

    This is a great time to invest in a honey-hued diamond if it's something you love.

    To shop ethically sourced loose champagne diamonds, clickhere.

    Champagne diamond vs white diamond

    What's the difference between champagne diamonds and white diamonds?The biggest difference: champagne diamonds or brown diamonds are warmer in hue than traditional white diamonds.

    Is a champagne diamonds more expensive?Champagne Diamonds are typically less expensive than traditional white diamonds. The exact price difference will depend on where a stone falls on the color scale - light champagne hues are more expensive than darker champagne hues.
    Champagne vs. White Diamond Comparsion

    YOUR CHAMPAGNE DIAMOND QUESTIONS ANSWERED

    Champagne diamonds and brown diamonds are one and the same. "Champagne" is simply a ritzier name for a brown diamond with a subtle yellow tint. Like all fancy color diamonds, the colors from light to dark, pale to vibrant. Champagne diamonds range from the lightest golden brown (like our favorite bubbly drink) to a rich deep chocolate brown. Brown fancy color diamonds are sometimes known as cognac diamonds or chocolate diamonds as well.

    ARE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS ANY GOOD?

    Champagne diamonds or brown diamonds are a stunning, unique stone with the most beautiful warm, golden tones that feel like sunshine or you know, champagne! They're less expensive than traditional white diamonds and stand out from the crowd of white diamond sameness.

    ARE NATURAL CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS VALUABLE?

    Even though champagne diamonds fall on the lower end of the color scale, they're still natural diamonds and therefore are very valuable. As they have risen in popularity, their value has only increased, making them a great investment. Also, as lab-created diamonds flood the market, all natural diamonds continue to rise in value.

    ARE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS GOOD FOR ENGAGEMENT RINGS?

    Yes! We absolutely love creating champagne diamond engagement rings at Gem Breakfast! We have made many champagne diamond rings and are here to answer any questions you may have about them.

    The warm hues are delicious, you have all the durability of a diamond, and are more affordable than a traditional white diamond. Champagne diamonds are a great intersection of all things wonderful about diamonds.c

    Talk to a Gem Breakfast Chef about making your own champagne diamond engagement ring hereand shop for loose champagne diamonds here.

    champagne diamond ring

    The most famous champagne diamond engagement rings

    First up, maybe the cutest celebrity couple to ever be: Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Dax proposed with a unique 3-carat emerald cut cognac diamond ring with white diamond accents. To make things even more adorable, Dax has a tattoo of a bell on his finger to honor his amor's maiden name.

    Kate Hudson said yes to her now-husband, Danny Fujikawa with a champagne colored 7-carat cushion cut diamond engagement ring with a pavé diamond band. The diamond is set east-west for a unique twist that we love.

    And the most distinctive ring of them all belongs to Scarlett Johansson who married Comedian, Colin Jost with an 11-carat champagne elongated oval diamond set on a black ceramic band.


    If you have any questions on champagne stones or want to consider creating your own champagne-centered sparkler, book a virtual consultationwith us anytime!


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