What are brown diamonds ?
Baumgold Bros., a diamond cutter and fine jewelry importer in the 1950s and 1960s, rebranded brown diamonds in order to entice sales.
Names included champagne, amber, cognac, and chocolate. Other companies followed the Baumgold Bros.
lead and named different shades clove, coffee, caramel, cappuccino, mocha, espresso, cinnamon and even tobacco.
This rebranding had some initial success, but ultimately the massive number of names caused confusion in the marketplace.
Brown diamonds have uses beyond those in the contemporary women’s jewelry described above.
The history of brown diamonds being used as a gem goes back for nearly 2000 years, perhaps longer.
Rings set with brown diamond crystals were being made by Roman artists between the first and third centuries C.E.
At that time methods for cutting and polishing diamonds had not been developed, but setting a natural crystal in a ring was a good alternative.
For the company’s first 100 years, De Beers considered brown diamonds to be unsuitable for use in jewelry.
Brown diamonds mined by the company or purchased from other producers were sent for industrial use.
Many of them were crushed and used to make industrial abrasive granules.
The granules were used to line the cutting surfaces on diamond drill bits, grinding wheels, abrasive papers, saw blades and other tools.