February 7

What Is a Champagne Diamond? | A Close Look at This Exquisite Jewel


Author: Alene Geed

Diamonds are precious and can be an excellent addition to your jewelry collection. While you may only know about white diamonds, fancy diamonds are also beautiful. They make ideal gifts for various occasions, including birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. So, what is a champagne diamond? 

Key Takeaways

  • A champagne-colored diamond is a brown diamond with a yellow hue.
  • The yellow hue comprises nitrogen trapped in the diamond.
  • Champagne diamonds are more common than white ones, making them less expensive. 
  • When choosing champagne diamonds, consider the cut quality, clarity, color intensity, and carat weight.

While they may possess a unique color, champagne diamonds are as hard as their colorless counterparts. Therefore, you can use them for the same purposes as the others. Champagne diamonds can withstand wear, heat, and even chemicals. These naturally occurring diamonds provide a unique touch, leaving a lasting impression. 

What Is a Champagne Diamond? 

Champagne diamonds are brown diamonds with hints of yellow. They belong to a smaller group of diamonds known as the fancy color diamonds. The family includes yellow, pink, red, green, purple, gray and blue diamonds, plus a few other colors. 

The name "champagne diamond" is unofficial and only helps to visualize the color, being it resembles that of champagne. You wouldn't find this term on the GIA certificate. The Gemological Institute of America tests and grades diamonds. 

The GIA classifies lighter champagne diamonds by letter grades and classifies darker shades with the fancy color grading scale. For lighter champagne diamonds, the color grading system from the GIA is as follows:

  • W-Z: Light Yellow
  • N-V: Very Light Yellow or Light Yellow

The grading is based on four metrics (the 4 Cs): carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. 

The intensity of the yellow color on champagne diamonds varies, with some being weaker than others. You'll see a lighter shade of yellow highlighted on the GIA certificate as "yellowish."

How Is a Champagne Diamond Formed? 

The difference in the formation of colorless and colored diamonds relies on the elements present in them. Pure carbon helps form white diamonds. Colored diamonds contain carbon and another element. 

Champagne diamonds contain carbon and traces of nitrogen. It's the nitrogen that forms the yellow hue. Increased levels of nitrogen increase the hue's intensity. 

Champagne diamonds are highly durable, ranking a ten on the Mohs scale, like their white counterparts. It shows that they are the most durable gems in the world. 

How Rare Is a Champagne Diamond?

Diamonds are generally rare, making them expensive. However, champagne diamonds are relatively more available compared to other fancy-colored diamonds. It makes them less costly than the other diamond types like red diamonds or more canary diamonds.

Champagne Diamonds Pricing

Several factors determine how much champagne diamonds cost, including:

  • Carat
  • Color intensity
  • Cut quality
  • Clarity

Generally, a champagne diamond's price is lower than a colorless diamond of the same cut, clarity, and carat weight. It doesn't mean that these diamonds sell for a throwaway price. All diamonds are rare gems, selling at commanding prices. 

Besides, the Argyle Mine, the largest champagne diamond mine, was closed in 2020. It means champagne diamonds are becoming harder to find. Champagne-colored diamonds make an excellent option when you want to buy a unique diamond at an affordable price. 

diamonds on the dark background

What to Consider When Picking Champagne Diamonds

Champagne diamonds vary in beauty and value. Before you pick one, ensure it has a GIA certificate to be sure about its features and qualities. Consider the following:


While champagne diamonds are predominantly brown, diamonds with a richer yellow hue are rarer, making them more expensive.

Gemologists consider several factors when grading champagne stones: 

  • Hue; the stone's visible color
  • Tone; how dark the color is

The Argyle Mine utilizes a different scale from the GIA when grading champagne diamonds. Here is its grading scale: 

  • Cognac: C7
  • Dark Champagne: C5-C
  • Medium Champagne: C3-C4
  • Light Champagne: C1-C2


You want a champagne stone clear of blemishes and inclusions to the eye. i.e., the naked eye shouldn't notice flaws. 

Here's the clarity grading scale for champagne diamonds. 

  • Inclusions (I1 & I2)
  • Small Inclusions (SI1 & SI2)
  • Very Small Inclusions (VS1 & VS2)
  • Very, Very Small Inclusions (VVS1 and VVS2)
  • Internally Flawless (IF)

While it is rare to find a fancy-color diamond on the lower end of this scale, most of them range from SI1 to SI2. VS diamonds (VS1 &VS2) are also available at reasonable prices.  

VVS1 is considered to be more valuable and of a higher quality than VVS2 diamonds, purely because VVS1 has a slightly better clarity. The inclusions in VVS1 diamonds won't be seen even under 10x magnification, they will only be viewed by someone with a highly trained eye and a powerful magnification tool.

Even if you may not find champagne diamonds without imperfections, pick the ones without glaring blemishes. 


Carat indicates the diamond's weight. One is equivalent to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. 

Focus on the color and cut when picking champagne diamonds. Weight doesn't have any effect on beauty. You'd rather have an exquisite 0.5-carat champagne stone than a lifeless 5-carat champagne stone. 

Champagne Diamond Engagement Rings

With the increasing popularity of natural champagne diamonds, it's not uncommon to find people with a champagne diamond ring. Even celebrities show off their diamond rings. 

Champagne and fancy brown diamonds are among the popular rings. The brown diamonds are suitable for people looking for trendy yet timeless jewelry. 

round champagne diamonds


Are Champagne Diamonds More Expensive than Colorless Diamonds?

No, champagne diamonds are not more expensive than colorless diamonds because they are more available. It's good to note that diamonds are rare, so champagne is not readily available. Champagne diamonds still retain a commanding price. 

Are Champagne Diamonds a Good Investment?

Yes, champagne diamonds are a good investment. The cost of champagne diamonds is usually less than a colorless diamond of the same clarity, cut, and carat weight. It offers an affordable option for a durable, stylish, unique stone. 

What Makes a Diamond Champagne Color?

Carbon and nitrogen are what make a diamond champagne color. Nitrogen is responsible for the yellow hue of champagne diamonds. High levels of nitrogen result in increased intensity of it. Its brownness is caused by grain in the crystal structure. Champagne diamonds come in a wide range of shades.

Are Champagne Diamonds the Same as Cognac Diamonds?

No, champagne diamonds are not the same as cognac diamonds. While they both have similar color, the shades and hues differ. Champagne diamonds are typically brown with a yellow hue. Cognac diamonds have darker brown shades with an orange hue. 

What Are Chocolate Diamonds?

diamond engagement ring in the box

Chocolate diamonds are brown and golden-hued from Le Vian. It sets strict standards of clarity, quality, cut, and color for the diamonds. They must meet a certain hue, tone, saturation, and C4 and C7 on Argyle's color scale.

About the Author:

Alene Geed

I am a published writer and an experienced jewelry designer. In my designs, I use gold, steel and silver, and adds gemstones to enhance the beauty of my unique, sparkling pieces of jewelry.

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