Le Vian® - What are Chocolate Diamonds®?
What are Chocolate Diamonds®?
"Chocolate Diamonds®" are Le Vian's name for the natural fancy color brown diamond that is featured in Le Vian® fine jewelry. It is a trademark that is synonymous with Le Vian® throughout the world. Le Vian® holds the registered trademark for Chocolate Diamonds® in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, European Union, the Middle East, China and Russia, to name a few. Le Vian's purpose in obtaining a registered trademark was to assure its million plus collectors, as well as new Le Vian® fans around the world, that Le Vian® Chocolate Diamonds® are responsibly sourced by Le Vian® in accordance with its exacting standards.
Along with its efforts to register the Chocolate Diamonds® trademark throughout the world, Le Vian® has spent millions of dollars in promoting its Chocolate Diamonds® brand internationally, building goodwill with consumers with the brand, as well as reintroducing the public to this beautiful natural color diamond. Contrary to popular belief, Le Vian® is not the first to use brown diamonds in jewelry. Actually, brown diamonds were the first natural color diamond to be used in jewelry, by second century Romans who set the stone in rings.
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. NCDIA's aim is to educate people about naturally colored diamonds. According to the NCDIA, only 1 out of every 10,000 diamonds mined is a natural color diamond. Per its website, there are a number of color diamonds, some more rare than others. The Gemological Institute of America, another leader in the diamond grading industry, states that only one in ten thousand diamonds mined has a fancy color. There is a misconception that brown diamonds are common, however, the more accurate statement is that among natural fancy color diamonds, all of which are rare, natural fancy color brown diamonds are common among the rare.
The rareness of brown diamonds that both the NCDIA and GIA speak about 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, using only the top range of brown diamonds for its Chocolate Diamonds®, and only those within the C4 to C7 color range for diamonds that are .30 carats and smaller and C5 to C7 for diamonds that are larger than .30 carats.
Why is strength of color important?
The strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a natural brown color diamond. The narrower the range for the larger stones is so that the color saturation of the diamond is richer and meets the Le Vian® standard for Chocolate Diamonds®. The richer the color saturation and the darker the tone of color of the natural brown diamond, the rarer that diamond is considered.
Chocolate Diamonds® meet stricter standards?
In addition to Le Vian's color requirements, all Chocolate Diamonds® must meet the following standards: sourced from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with international laws; natural color, no treatments; cut and polished to Le Vian's standards; SI clarity or better; no chips, no cavities, no indented naturals; and 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 or gray color modifiers because they take away from the rich, decadent brown hue that distinguishes its Chocolate Diamonds® brand natural fancy color brown diamonds. All these factors go to the overall appearance of the stone. With each factor of Le Vian's exacting standard, the range of qualifying diamonds narrows down, thus making Chocolate Diamonds® even more rare.
According to Rio Tinto, one of the leading mining and metal companies in the world, and also the owner of the Argyle mine, where the vast majority of the world's brown diamonds are mined, the diamonds that qualify as Chocolate Diamonds® within this color and quality standard is below 1% of the global polished diamond production. This percentage only reflects Le Vian's Chocolate Diamonds® that are .30 carats and smaller or commonly referred to as melee diamonds and not Chocolate Diamonds® that are larger than .30 carats, as there is a shortage for these diamonds and they represent a significantly smaller percentage of the global diamond production.
Independent labs also verify that Chocolate Diamonds® meet the Le Vian® standard for natural fancy color brown diamonds. Le Vian® uses third party labs such as GIA, IGI and Gem Science International ("GSI"), an independent third-party laboratory to ensure that the diamonds selected by Le Vian® diamond buyers meet the above standards. For example, GSI has a master set of brown diamonds that meet Le Vian's exacting Standards for Chocolate Diamonds® and any diamonds that do not meet the criteria, are rejected from those that Le Vian will use. GSI can attest to the rigorous standard that Le Vian® puts its Chocolate Diamonds® to and that their natural fancy brown color diamonds are truly rare.
Le Vian also regularly submits its entire manufacturing process to independent audit and verification as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Counsel ("RJC"). 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 important topics in the jewelry supply chain.