Not to be alarmist, but since diamonds are expensive, and since the buying and selling on the Internet happens with just a few clicks, the danger of being ripped off is high when you begin shopping for a champagne diamond.
That’s especially true, strangely, for “champagne diamonds.”
At the time of this writing, among the highest ranking in a google search for “champagne diamonds” is a site that sells these diamonds — but with obvious misspellings, dead links, no ratings at BBB.org, resellerratings.com, or trustpilot.com.
To make matters worse, that site offers champagne diamonds, among others, at a steep “discount.”
Some Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying Champagne Diamonds
- Steep discounts. There are no legitimate steep discounts for diamonds. Diamonds are virtually always sold at market prices. Legitimate and trustworthy merchants may offer discounts on settings on or near major shopping events such as Black Friday and Valentine’s Day. But these discounts are generally on the rings themselves, not the diamonds.
- Many misspellings and strange grammar.
- No ratings or scores or reviews on any reputable ranking site such as BBB.org, trustpilot.org, or reseller ratings.
- Several dead links.
How to Stay Safe When Buying Champagne Diamonds
Heed this easy, absolutely necessary guideline that will save you from any serious mistake in buying champagne diamonds.
You might think this goes without saying, for such a high-priced online purchase as diamonds. But all too often, because it’s just human nature, people can forget common sense when they venture down exciting rabbitholes of Internet shopping.
The guideline is this: Shop only at highly reputable jewelers.
You can — and should — research reputations of any merchant at BBB.org, Trustpilot.com, and resellerratings.com.
Three highly reputable jewelers (we monitor their scores regularly) where you can confidently buy any champagne (or other) diamond, diamond ring, engagement ring, include:
- James Allen
- Blue Nile
- Brian Gavin
Of course (like virtually any informational website on the Internet) we earn a small affiliate commission from any sales that come from our links to these three highly reputable retailers.
But that’s not why we steer you to them.
We steer you to them because we know that you’ll be treated very well there, and because we know that you can trust them. They won’t rip you off and you’ll have a beautiful experience in your purchase.
That means we will continue to earn your trust.
What You’ll Learn in This Guide
By the time you finish reading this guide (or by scanning the headings and reading what you need to know), you’ll be able to answer the following questions:
- What are champagne diamonds?
- What is the difference between champagne diamonds, brown diamonds, cognac diamonds, and Chocolate Diamonds ™ ?
- What are champagne diamonds worth? Are they worth anything?
- Is a champagne diamond ok for a diamond engagement ring?
- What should I look for when buying a champagne diamond?
- What mistakes should I avoid when buying a champagne diamond?
What Is a Champagne Diamond?
“Champagne diamonds” is marketing term. It’s not an official term. “Champagne diamonds” refers to diamonds that more or less approximate the color of champagne.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Much more, and it’s reassuring.
To understand it quickly, you just need to know how the classifications break down:
- Diamonds in the normal color range. In this most well known class of diamonds, the lack of color is most valuable. They have a scale from D (least color, and rarest) to Z (most color, and least rare). (And by the way, the scale begins at D. There is no A, B, or C. D is the most colorless, most valuable kind of colorless diamond. Why? because before the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) created this objective, measurable color scale, diamond dealers called all kinds of diamonds “A” and “B” and “AAA” and “C.” To avoid any misunderstandings the GIA started their official scale with “D”).
- Fancy Colored Diamonds. Yes, that’s the official name of this color class of diamonds, designated by the GIA: “Fancy Colored Diamonds.” In this class of diamonds, as you might expect, the more rare a color is, the more expensive it is.
- Some of the rarest Fancy Colored Diamonds include saturated pinks, blues, and greens.
- Less rare among the Fancy Colored Diamonds are Fancy Brown Diamonds. And yes, this is also a GIA designated official class of diamonds.
- “Champagne Diamonds” as a marketing term is a subset of the official category of “Fancy Brown Diamonds.”
- Fancy Brown Diamonds have their own alphabetical color scale. It seems a little complicated at first, but it’s actually quite simple. You can see it pictured below.
“Champagne Diamond” is not an official, objective, specified color of diamond.
So “Champagne Diamond Isn’t an Official Class of Diamond?
You got it. “Champagne Diamond” is not an official name or designation of any kind from the GIA or any other diamond association.
“Champagne Diamond” is just a term that many marketers use for certain GIA-specified Fancy Brown Diamonds that look rather like the color of champagne.
And you can see why marketers have chosen “Champagne Diamond” over “Fancy Brown Diamond.” The word “Champagne” gives buyers a better feeling — more luxurious, more elegant, more intoxicating than “Fancy Brown” — which, from a marketing perspective, must have been considered something of a problem.
Marketers also use the (unofficial of course) “Cognac Diamond” to shades of Fancy Brown Diamond which are even darker than so-called “Champagne diamonds.”
The Le Vian company has cleverly trademarked “Chocolate Diamond ™ ” to refer to what appears to my eyes to be quite dark diamonds in the GIA’s official Fancy Brown Diamond color scale.
Does that mean only Le Vian can sell you diamonds of a specific GIA-specified Fancy Brown color gradation?
Not at all. The GIA color scale applies for the industry. Retailers can buy and sell diamonds of any color on the diamond market. But it does mean that only Le Vian can sell you a Chocolate Diamond ™ , because they’ve trademarked the name and no one else may use it.
How Much Are Champagne Diamonds? What Are They Worth?
So the next question you’re probably wondering about champagne diamonds, especially if you and your beloved are considering one for an engagement ring, is what they’re worth.
Are they worth more than a regular white diamond? Less?
Are champagne diamonds worth more or less than other fancy colored diamonds such as pink or green or blue?
Here’s a General Breakdown of Relative Prices Among All These Different Colors of Diamonds.
(Exceptions occur of course for individual diamonds which may become famous, or for other rare circumstances of low supply and high demand.)
- Colorless diamonds (the most famous kind of diamond), are most rare and most valuable/expensive.
- Other Fancy Colors such as Pink, Green, and Blue are also rare and expensive. But in general they are less rare than colorless diamonds. Depending on the rarity or fame of certain very rare saturated Fancy Color diamonds, they can of course be more expensive than many Colorless diamonds.
- Fancy Yellow Diamonds rank next most rare and valuable. (Fancy Yellow is a different color from the “yellow” of low-quality white diamonds)
- Fancy Brown Diamonds, including Champagne, Cognac, or Chocolate ™ (all marketing terms, not GIA designations, with the last one being trademarked by Le Vian) are also rare. They’re diamond gemstones after all. But they are least rare and least valuable among gemstone diamonds. (Industrial grade is another category, least expensive of all.)
Champagne diamonds used to be considered only as industrial grade diamonds. But they have made the leap to gemstones in the market. (It was easy, as they’re beautiful.) They have seen their prices increase over the decades as people become more and more interested in them.
A Quick Note
- Diamonds of any kind, champagne diamonds in this instance, are never a good investment.
- They’re a retail purchase only, and you’d be lucky to resell them at 40% or 50% of what you paid, even the day after.
Don’t Be Fooled by “Bargains” or “Markdowns” on Champagne Diamonds.
Some comparison shopping is fine — but only for learning about various diamonds on offer, and for investigating the costs of various cuts, intensities of color, and carat weights.
But don’t believe the Internet ads, or the sellers which promise huge sales and big discounts and coupons. This kind of thing happens with every kind of diamond. But these tactics are especially prevalent among sellers of Fancy Brown diamonds.
I’m unsure why. Maybe it’s because Fancy Brown diamonds are newer, in terms of so many people desiring them in recent decades. Maybe it’s because marketers are able to creatively label these diamonds.
When You’re Shopping for Fine Diamonds, There Are No True Bargains
No true sales on the diamonds themselves. (Settings are sometimes discounted.)
I know this may sound like something someone says to put you off your guard.
I thought so too when I first began learning about diamonds. Everything goes on sale, right?
Certified diamonds are always at market price, with very slight fluctuations.
The time it would take for you to find a tiny fluctuation would be wasted. You’d save less than a hundred dollars in most cases. Whereas, if you simply brew your own coffee at home and forego your daily latte for six months, that’s around $500 in savings. You see what I mean: save your money where it’s easy to save it, whether that’s in lattes or drinks or dinners, whatever.
It’s not just hard to save money by looking for champagne diamond bargains. It’s impossible.
When you see jewelers having a “70% off sale,” you can be sure, without a doubt, that the list prices are, like so many list prices on so many items these days, pure fantasy. Diamonds, including Champagne diamonds, sell at market prices.
Final Thoughts: What to Look out for When Buying Champagne Diamonds
- First of all, make sure your beloved is very interested in this still non-traditional color range. Champagne diamonds tend to be less expensive than traditional colorless diamonds. You don’t want to appear to be about the cost, so it’s a good idea to steer clear of champagne diamonds unless she brings it up and remains highly interested in them.
- Shop only from a reputable jeweler. Three we can unhesitatingly vouch for are James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brian Gavin. They don’t manipulate. They don’t play games with prices. They provide access to certificates before the purchase, linked on the diamond’s product page.
- Rely on the GIA certificate. Don’t get hypnotized by marketing language. Only the color designations and grades on the GIA certificate mean anything. Champagne is just a marketing term. So is Cognac. And so is every other word except the official words and grades of the GIA certificate.
- Understand that a GIA certificate is simply information about a diamond. An undesirable and not-valuable diamond can have a certificate. A GIA-certified diamond is not like a certified bank draft. A bank draft is either good or it isn’t. Diamonds aren’t like that. The GIA certification is just an official specifications list.
- Beware of possibly overpaying for marketing labels. The objective information about a diamond is not that it’s Chocolate ™ , Cognac, or Champagne. The objective information is in the specifications in its certificate.
- Look for what gives you a good feeling. It’s true with any diamond. It’s especially when you venture out into your own individual tastes far enough to look at Champagne diamonds. The important thing is pay attention to how you and your beloved feel when you encounter it.
- Use the incredibly useful filters and search functions at James Allen or Blue Nile, for example. They have excellent websites allowing you to search and filter for Fancy Brown diamonds by cut, color, carat weight, and even intensity of color. Save the diamonds that grab you.
- Then when you’re ready, pull the trigger. Champagne diamonds are beautiful. Many — not most, but many — people love them better than traditional diamonds. They’re elegant, rich, luxurious, and warm.