If this is the year of the anti-bride, then naturally, the next thing to fall by the wayside after “something blue” is the engagement ring. Specifically, the traditional diamond. While gemstones are popular (partially thanks to Princess Diana’s iconic stunner), the one stone jumping to the forefront this season is the champagne diamond.
According to Google Trends, search interest for this piece of jewelry hit its peak last January, and now jewelers are starting to see the effects. VENVS founder Haley Biemiller has seen an uptick in requests for the champagne diamond in custom designs as well as ready-to-wear this year, and with all the buzz over “quiet luxury,” it’s poised to fit right in. Here, Biemiller explains everything you need to know, including what differentiates the champagne diamond from clear diamonds and how to pair them with different metals.
Meet the Expert
Haley Biemiller is the co-founder of the LGBTQ+ owned jewelry brand VENVS, which specializes in non-traditional unique jewelry for non-traditional couples. VENVS often works with innovative stones and settings, including gemstones and “imperfect” diamonds.
What Is a Champagne Diamond?
Warm, sparkling, bubbly. Like a glass of Moët & Chandon, a champagne diamond bears its name because of the resemblance to its refreshing (and sophisticated) counterpart. Biemiller says that diamonds with warmer tones fall into this category, including browns, reds, oranges and yes, that lukewarm champagne color. But don’t get them mixed up with the pure yellow diamond, which is intense and unmistakable in its shade. (The most dazzling example of the latter is probably the Tiffany Diamond.)
How Is a Champagne Diamond Formed?
Though this stone bears a name that suggests it’s a cut above the rest, it’s not so. In terms of formation, champagne diamonds are mined, too. Biemiller notes that in the mining process, diamonds are separated out by color. Champagne diamonds, like salt and pepper diamonds, aren’t clear enough to be sold as a more traditional diamond.
So, What’s So Special About Them?
Quiet luxury has been making the rounds thanks to the wild popularity of Succession. Defined by neutral tones, high quality and a price tag to match, the trend is all about keeping things on the downlow. Loud, flashy logos and designs need not apply.
“Champagne diamonds are a cool way to add a bit of color to your engagement ring while keeping it a bit neutral,” Biemiller notes. “Champagne diamonds are a more unique stone compared to the typical diamond you see frequently, while keeping those nice, muted, warm tones that are reflective of the colors you wear in your everyday life.”
Are Champagne Diamonds Less Expensive Than Regular Diamonds?
When shopping for a diamond, the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, carat) of the stone will affect the pricing, and that remains true for the champagne diamond. Biemiller says that pricing is more or less the same as it is for clear diamonds. However, because it is darker in color, you can get away with a less expensive, lower-quality diamond (for example, one that has more inclusions), than you would with a clear diamond, because the coloring will hide the imperfections.
How to Pair Them with Skin Tones, Metals and Settings
While there’s no hard and fast rule that you must match your skin tone to your diamond, doing so can be a nice touch. As previously noted, the color of champagne diamonds can vary, ranging from orange with yellow undertones, to dark cognac, peachy pinks and rose.
“To match your skin tone [with a diamond] would be similar to how you would match a foundation,” Biemiller says. “Do you need a cooler hue that has maybe a little bit more yellow in it? Do you need something that’s rosier, leaning more towards that pinkish red side, or do you need something neutral, which I would say is kind of more along the lines of the brown.”
In terms of setting, Biemiller is a fan of the monochromatic palette and leans towards pairing this stone with gold. “If you’re choosing [stones with] oranges and yellows, I would stick with yellow gold because it looks nicer together if you’re choosing a stone more towards the warm side.” For diamonds with pink, brown and red undertones, she recommends rose gold.
The one thing Biemiller will steer away from is white gold with a champagne diamond because the former is a bit too cool, she believes, to complement the stone.
“It’s almost leaning towards blue, which I find looks best with clear diamonds or the dark salt and peppers that are almost like black or gray.”
However, she finishes by saying that, as with everything else concerning an engagement and a wedding, this is all personal preference. Dying for white gold and a rosier champagne diamond? Do it. Looking for a stone that contrasts your skin tone? Why not?
If you’re having trouble deciding, Biemiller says you can’t go wrong with a stone that leans towards a brownish-pink, which she says goes well with all skin tones. She also shares that the most popular stone shape is an oval cut with a halo, though solitaires have done well, too.
Hot Tip: Ditch the Vintage Look
One thing Biemiller has observed is that people shopping for the champagne diamond often believe it has to have a vintage setting. (Think Art Deco or Art Nouveau.) That’s because jewelers will frequently sell the diamond in antique- or vintage- style designs, but that doesn’t mean you have to go along with it, especially if you’re designing your own.
“[I tell] people if that is not their style setting-wise, but they still love the look of the champagne diamond, you can kind of go the opposite spectrum and do something modern and cool or even simple, just like a solitaire,” Biemiller says. “I just don’t want people to get stuck thinking that they have to have that kind of ring to make their champagne diamond look good.”
Marseille Champagne Diamond Ring
Burst Cluster Ombré Ring
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