Champagne Diamonds: History, Symbolism, and How They Get Their Colour

A champagne diamond is a type of coloured diamond that’s naturally brown, with a noticeable yellow tint. They can range in hue from light brown (champagne) to darker shades (cognac). Their eye-catching colour enhances unique pieces of jewellery, offering plenty of personality for the discerning buyer. 


champagne diamonds

Champagne and Cognac diamonds have been used in jewellery since early Roman times but were more recently mainly used for industrial purposes.

The term ‘champagne diamond’ (also known as ‘cognac diamonds’ when darker in colour) was invented by a marketing expert working for Rio Tinto at the Argyle Diamond mine in Western Australia during the late 1980’s.

The mine was producing large amounts of light yellow to brown diamonds and the mine decided to sell them as fancy coloured diamonds rather than let them go to waste – and for this we are thankful.

The most famous Champagne Diamond is the Golden Jubilee, a 545.67-carat, Fancy Yellow-Brown stone. This amazing rose cut diamond (clarity unknown), is known as the largest faceted diamond around today and is valued somewhere between $5-12 million dollars.

Before being cut, the stone was considered very ugly, even its name, “Unnamed Brown Diamond” was unattractive. Once it given its unique fire rose cushion cut, it was transformed into an incomparable gem.

What makes gives Champagne and Cognac diamonds their colour?

diamonds and pearls perth

Brown diamonds get their colour from stress and the presence of nitrogen deep inside the earth millions of years ago. This deforms the diamond’s crystal lattice and forms a unique texture called ‘graining’. The crystal lattice changes the way the diamond reflects light. The diamond crystal then absorbs many wavelengths of light which allow our eyes to see it as brown.

The colour of these gems perfectly complements both white diamonds and pearls, creating a stunning contrast point for jewellery pieces of distinction.

Symbolism and Meaning

diamonds and pearls perth

It’s believed that these stunning diamonds connect the wearer with the earth and nature. Champagne diamonds are also said to symbolise order, stability and clarity.

Affordable and Unique

champagne diamonds

Champagne diamonds are often more reasonably priced than white diamonds, making them an affordable and beautiful alternative for the loved one in your life who longs for a unique engagement ring or a statement piece of jewellery.

Champagne diamonds are a stunning choice. When selecting a champagne diamond, consider its colour along with its cut quality. These two components impact the beauty more than anything else. 

Commitment to Quality Ethical Diamonds

Linneys are committed to selecting only premium quality diamonds from guaranteed sources.  The Kimberley Process is a United Nations mandated forum, with a focus on stemming the flow of conflict diamonds into the international market. When purchasing a diamond from Linneys, you can be assured you a buying a quality, hand selected stone from a conflict free source. 

To enquire about our selection of Champagne Diamonds, or to simply learn more about our Australian-made jewellery, please contact our team of jewellers at Linneys.