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Chocolate Diamond engagement rings sound like a dreamy mix of two of the finer things in life—chocolate and diamonds, obviously. And they kind of are: Chocolate Diamonds got their name because the brown color of the stone resembles everyone’s favorite sweet treat. Not only are these fancy colored diamonds beautiful to look at, but they also make for a unique and interesting take on a classic engagement ring.
What Is a Chocolate Diamond?
A Chocolate Diamond is a high-quality, fancy colored brown diamond that gets its shade from heat and pressure applied to the precious stone during its formation process. Chocolate Diamonds are unique to fine jewelry brand Le Vian, who introduced the stone and trademarked the name in 2000.
While they might look similar, Chocolate Diamonds are not the same exact thing as brown diamonds. Eddie Le Vian, CEO of Le Vian, tells Brides, “What sets a Le Vian Chocolate Diamond apart from a regular brown diamond is its quality, rarity, and the strength of color. Brown diamonds must have a certain hue, tone, and saturation to quality to become a Chocolate Diamond, and their inclusions cannot be visible to the naked eye.”
Meet the Expert
Eddie Le Vian is the CEO of family-owned jeweler Le Vian. Before becoming CEO of the family business, Le Vian worked as a gem cutter, jewelry maker, salesperson, show person, and jewelry designer.
In other words, only the best of the best brown diamonds become Le Vian Chocolate Diamonds—according to Le Vian, this amounts to about five percent of brown diamonds. “One of the reasons Le Vian chose to trademark the Chocolate Diamond range was so that collectors can rest assured that their diamonds were only of the best quality,” he adds.
Ahead, learn about the history of Chocolate Diamonds, care advice, and more from the jeweler who trademarked the gem.
History of Chocolate Diamonds
It’s easy to assume that Chocolate Diamonds got their name because of their color, but Le Vian tells Brides that’s not the whole story. “In reality, the name was actually inspired by my good friend Bill Furman, who used to come and visit me every day after work and bring with him a batch of artisanal, homemade chocolates,” he says. “Frequently he would talk about the special powers of chocolate, about its health benefits, and about how it is an aphrodisiac.”
The passion Furman had for his chocolate business left Le Vian inspired. “Bill helped me to realize that the passion that chocoholics had for chocolate was similar to the way I felt about these rich, pretty-enough-to-eat, brown precious stones,” he says. And the name was born!
Chocolate Diamonds vs. White Diamonds
Chocolate Diamonds are high-quality brown diamonds. Natural color diamonds, like white diamonds, are the strongest gems in the world, very durable, and ideal for everyday wear. Still, there are some differences. Chocolate Diamonds (and any brown diamond) are more opaque than white diamonds so they aren’t always as shiny.
Chocolate Diamonds are rarer than white diamonds, according to the GIA.
They’re also obviously different aesthetically. “I think a quality that makes Chocolate Diamonds appeal more than regular white diamonds to some women is that they can be really elegantly understated,” Le Vian offers. “Traditional white diamonds, while stunning, can often be a bit too ostentatious and flashy for everyday wear. That’s why lots of sophisticated women are turning to Chocolate Diamonds. ‘Dressing down’ is so chic right now and the range’s earthy, golden tones make its diamonds much more suitable to be worn with every outfit and occasion.”
Pros and Cons of Chocolate Diamonds
One of the biggest pros of a Chocolate Diamond is the look: it’s different and unexpected, so it pretty much automatically stands out. If you’re not into a classic white diamond, this one is basically aesthetically the opposite, which is an advantage for someone looking for that.
While rarer than white diamonds, Chocolate Diamonds are also generally lower in price. “The price value of chocolate diamonds has dramatically increased since we trademarked the range,” Le Vian says. “The price of larger brown diamonds has risen by as much as 25 times since the ‘80s and ‘90s.”
Chocolate Diamonds are also more versatile than you would imagine and look beautiful with different metals and other colored stones.
What to Look for in a Chocolate Diamond Engagement Ring
Want a Chocolate Diamond engagement ring on your own finger?
- Where can I buy a Chocolate Diamond? Chocolate Diamonds specifically are an exclusive Le Vian item—that means that you won’t find them made by other jewelry brands, and they aren’t going to be available everywhere. Look for stores or companies that sell Le Vian Chocolate Diamonds to find the one you want.
- Do Chocolate Diamonds come in different shades? Chocolate Diamonds come in a few different shades ranging from a lighter brown, almost golden hue, to something darker and richer. You can look at different ring options to find the one you like the most.
- Are brown diamonds exclusive to Le Vian? While Chocolate Diamonds are a type of brown diamond, brown diamonds are not exclusive to Le Vian and can be found at most jewelers.
How to Care for Your Chocolate Diamond
Like any other diamond, your Chocolate Diamond will be durable and suitable for everyday wear. You should clean it weekly using alcohol unless the ring also includes soft gems. Even though diamonds are very strong, you might not want to wear your Chocolate Diamond engagement ring while doing rough work with your hands.
Ready to put a Chocolate Diamond on your ring finger? See 18 gorgeous Chocolate Diamond rings by Le Vian below.