What are champagne diamonds? Or, how to make lemonade with carbon....
The term champagne diamond is used to describe untreated diamonds that are yellowish brown in shade. Intensity can vary from soft yellow to deep brown. Once, not so long ago these diamonds were regarded as inferior industrial grade stones and they were sold to machinery manufacturers to be used for making drill bits, files and blades.
Over the past twenty years, demand for these sparkly brown stones has changed drastically. They are prized for their natural beauty but I love them just ask much for their Cinderella marketing story.
Champagne Diamond Color Ranges
This story really starts 1.5 billion years ago when the diamond crystals formed but let's fast forward to 1979 when the Argyle volcanic pipe was discovered in the Kimberley region of Australia. There was much rejoicing. That is, until it was revealed that the mine held a wealth of brown diamonds, not the bright white baubles the investors were hoping for. Eighty percent of the diamonds from the Argyle mine were thought to be brown so the industry faced the dilemma of mucho supply and little demand.
This is when the marketing wheels started to churn and these formerly brown diamonds we renamed and marketed with romantic names such as Champagne, Cognac and Chocolate. Design competitions were held to encourage designers to use the stones, the general public became aware of this "new" type of diamond and a funny thing happened - marketplace perception changed. Brown diamonds were no longer looked at as the ugly step sisters of diamonds but they had value for their own characteristics.
The golden part of this story is that through clever marketing, the mining companies were able to change consumer perception turning an unfortunate situation into a profitable venture. Increased demand led to increased trading prices. To date, the Argyle mine has produced over 670 million carats of rough diamonds and generated more than six billion USD in revenue. The marketing machine is still pumping and champagne diamonds are hotter than ever.
Leave a Reply