Chocolate Diamond Rarity
Are Chocolate Diamonds® Rare?
The leading industry experts, the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA), agree that natural fancy color diamonds, including brown diamonds, are rare.
The NCDIA is the leading authority on naturally colored diamonds and aims to educate people about them. Per its website, there are a number of color diamonds, and some are more rare than others. Only one out of every 10,000 diamonds mined is a natural color diamond, according to NCDIA. Similarly, GIA, another leader in the diamond grading industry, states that only one in 10,000 diamonds mined has a fancy color.
There is a misconception that brown diamonds are common, but that is not completely accurate. Among natural fancy color diamonds, all of which are rare, natural fancy color brown diamonds are common.
Strength of Color
Strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a natural brown color diamond. The richer the color saturation and the darker the tone of color of the natural brown diamond, the rarer that diamond is considered. The rareness of brown diamonds stated by NCDIA and GIA relates to all-natural color brown diamonds (from C1 to C7) on the color scale. Le Vian® has a selection range that is much narrower so the color saturation is richer and meets the standards for Chocolate Diamonds®.
Only the top range of brown diamonds is used for Chocolate Diamonds®. Only those within the C4 to C7 color range are used for diamonds .3 carats and smaller, and C5 to C7 for diamonds that are larger than .3 carats.
Rio Tinto is one of the leading mining and metal companies in the world and the owner of the Argyle mine, where a large number of the world’s brown diamonds are mined. According to Rio Tinto, brown diamonds within the C4 to C7 color range that are less than .3 carats and have SI clarity are below 1% of the global polished diamond production. Le Vian® uses a narrower color range for its Chocolate Diamonds® larger than .3 carats. Consequently, the pool of qualifying Chocolate Diamonds® represents a significantly smaller percentage of the global diamond production.
Strict Standards for Chocolate Diamonds®
In addition to Le Vian®’s color requirements, all Chocolate Diamonds® must meet the following standards:
Sourced from legitimate sources in compliance with international laws and not involved in funding conflict
Natural color with no treatments
Cut and polished to Le Vian®’s standards
SI clarity or better
No chips, cavities, or indented naturals
No green or gray color modifiers
Color modifiers are the secondary color of the diamond that determines the overall color and hue of the stone. Le Vian® rejects green and gray color modifiers because they take away from the rich, decadent brown hue that distinguishes Chocolate Diamonds®. All the factors listed above go into the overall appearance of the stone.
Independent third-party labs such as GIA, IGI, and Gem Science International (GSI) also verify that natural fancy color brown diamonds meet the Le Vian® standard for Chocolate Diamonds®. For example, GSI has a master set of brown diamonds that meet Le Vian®’s exacting standards for Chocolate Diamonds®. Any diamonds that do not meet the criteria are rejected from those that Le Vian® will use.
As a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Counel (RJC), Le Vian® regularly submits its manufacturing process to independent audit and verification. RJC members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices, an international standard on responsible business practices for diamonds, gold, and platinum group metals. The Code of Practices addresses human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure, and many more aspects of the jewelry supply chain.