Brown and yellow diamonds are the only colored diamonds that start out in the “D-Z” color grading scale for diamonds. As you move down the scale past “K”, diamonds begin to take on either a light brown or light yellow hue before it approaches the fancy color scale past ”Z”.
Brown diamonds are actually the most common color of diamonds mined, and therefore, the most affordable. Approximately 80% of the diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia, known for their gorgeous pink diamonds, are brown. Naturally, the presence of the color brown in a diamond is from nickel impurities in the crystal lattice or from irradiation.
This more common shade wasn’t always as sought after as it is now. By way of brilliant marketing, the nicknames “champagne” and “cognac” were created to attract more interest in the various hues of brown. More recently, Le Vian created the “Chocolate” diamond campaign and propelled brown diamonds into demand and popularity.
Currently, champagne. cognac, and chocolate diamonds account for approximately $5 billion dollars in annual sales.
The Golden Jubilee, 545.67 carats
The most famous of all champagne diamonds is the Golden Jubilee. Originally cut from a brown diamond weighing 755.5-carats mined in 1985 from the famous Premier Mine, at 545.67 carats, it is the largest faceted diamond in the world. The Golden Jubilee received its name when it was presented to the King of Thailand to celebrate his Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of his coronation.