Heart Shape Imperial Topaz Gemstones

When Did Champagne Colored Gemstones First Become Popular? A Historical Insight

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Champagne colored gemstones, also known as brown or cognac gemstones are incredibly fascinating features in the world of gemstones. Making for some outstanding jewelry, there’s a dearth of info on the origin and stories of these incredible feats of nature. For those seeking an understanding into the evolution of these uncanny jewels into staples of fashion and modern jewelry, this guide lays out their awe-inspiring stories. For the purposes of this article, the gems covered under this classification include champagne colored diamonds and imperial topaz. From being some of the ugly ducklings of the gemstone world (cognac diamonds, especially), they have come to embody the essence of individual, bespoke chic, rewriting jewelry conventions and beauty standards. It’s a fascinating story we are all too glad to tell in the sections below in this guide.


Champagne Gemstone Mining History

Historical Significance & Periods 

The term “champagne” for gemstones is quite a new marketing creation, however the curiosity surrounding yellowish-brown gemstones isn’t as recent. It dates all the way back to ancient civilizations even though they weren’t a distinct category then. It is currently known by other names such as cognac, chocolate and coffee. Let’s explain.

The ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations valued the citrine stone,a variety of yellow quartz which sometimes exhibited brownish hues. It symbolized warmth and vitality and they often associated it with the sun god, Ra. Romans viewed the citrine as a decorative stone and believed it as a source of wealth and prosperity. 

The discovery of Imperial topaz

A story of royalty & influence

This gem’s name originated in nineteenth-century Russia, with ownership of the gem restricted to the Russian royal family (a nod to the reason why it’s called Imperial topaz). Much like alexandrite (which was so named to honor Czar Alexander II), this gem was named in honor of the Russian royal family. 

Due to the discovery of imperial topaz in the 18th century in Brazil, there was a significant and monumental shift in the gemstone industry and the popularity of champagne-colored gemstones. Before this, topaz was known for its yellow hues so when its exquisite champagne-colored variety now known as imperial topaz was found in Brazil, it captivated the world with its unbeatable beauty. Russia’s Ural Mountains became a leading source of topaz in the 19th century. The prized pinkish orange gemstone mined there was named Imperial topaz to honor the Russian czar, and only royals could own it.Its stunning champagne hues ranging from light peach pink to intense golden-orange shades stunned miners and prospectors when its rich deposits were unearthed in the state of Minas Gerais, particularly in the region around Ouro Preto. 

Popularity trends in colored gemstones

Champagne colored gemstones like imperial topaz have a storied history in the world of jewelry with regal assent as part of its story. Not so much for its adamantine neighbor, the brown diamond. This chocolate-colored fruit of Australia’s prestigious argyle mine used to be almost haram for jewelry for a decent amount of time, with its cognac hue almost certainly condemning it to industrial use. When Indian jewelers got a hold of them in the 80s and started crafting stunners with them, customers fell in love with its rich, earthy hues reminiscent of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. 

It quickly became a rising star in the world of jewelry, becoming a cult favorite, with celebrity endorsements like Florence Pugh (with her vintage art deco classic serpentine imperial topaz necklace) & Scarlett Johansson’s eleven-carat pear cut titan of an engagement ring. For a gemstone that’s been the ugly duckling, that’s quite the evolution into the beautiful swan. 

Fashion trends and gemstone colors

For a long time, colorless gemstones (and diamonds in particular) reigned supreme as the undisputed kings in the world of jewelry and for brown diamonds, there was almost no shot. That is, until today. For imperial topaz, there’s a storied history of use in jewelry and an increase in interest with consumers seeking gemstone options more reflective of their personality and story (a cause we are all too happy to champion as bespoke jewelers). In this vein, brown diamonds, imperial topaz, in addition to others, have burst onto the scene and are indeed making a splash, particularly as gorgeous birthstone options, adding an extra layer of significance for bespoke jewelry centre and accent stone options. And with celebrity endorsements as those mentioned above, it represents their official entry into mainstream jewelry as staples. This represents a break in convention and a diversification of the field when it comes to gemstone options for jewelry, and for a playing field with more variety. 

Changing Preferences in Gemstone Colors

Gemstone color trends through the decades

The preferences for certain gemstone colors have been influenced through societal values and aesthetics throughout history. . Gemstones held symbolic importance and were often associated with beliefs and social status in ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia.As societies evolved, so did gemstone preferences. Take the Renaissance era, for example vibrant colored gemstones such as the ruby were highly coveted, indicating the era’s emphasis on opulence.In the Victorian era, sentimental values were favored with softer colors like pink and blue sapphires becoming the more prevalent preference. With the advent of the cognac revolution in the 80s, tides turned in favor of brown diamonds.Today, societal value continue to dictate gemstone preferences with modern shoppers gravitating towards colors that show individuality and self-expression.

As champions of the cause of bespoke jewelry, we’re all for providing you with an experience that is magical with our extensive collection of carefully curated, sublime gems from every corner of the globe, including some of the world’s finest champagne/cognac diamonds and imperial topaz. With you in control of an ethereal bespoke jewelry experience, our artisans articulate your vision through meticulous handcrafted artistry for pieces imbued with your personal essence that stand the test of time. 

We invite you to discover celestial jewelry with us, in an experience on par with that which only a while ago, used to be the exclusive preserve of kings and royals. It’s your turn for royal bespoke jewelry treatment with Saratti. 

Why Choose Saratti?

We believe that jewelry you spend your hard-earned gain on must reflect you and your narrative, through and through. It MUST be yours, truly. 

To this end, we’ve put together a bespoke jewelry experience as memorable as the jewelry itself, with you in control at every turn.

This experience, designed to bring your ideas to life, combined with our meticulous craftsmanship & extensive gemstone collection, has brought smiles to many across the globe. 

You deserve unrivaled quality when it comes to your bejeweled keepsakes & treasured memories, handcrafted with care that’s steadfast (our UNBEATABLE Lifetime Warranty Package). Get in touch with us, and craft your dream piece today.


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