Black Diamonds – A Natural & Treated Black Diamond Ring Guide

1 Carat pair of Black Diamonds

What are Black Diamonds? Are they real?

Black diamonds are real. Most people think of diamonds as white—colourless diamonds. They rarely think of black coloured diamonds. Yet these fascinating diamonds are classified as coloured diamonds. Moreover, they offer an alternative to colourless diamonds.

Very few buyers choose a black diamond ring. For this reason, it makes a refreshing alternative engagement ring style.

Famous Black Diamonds

A few famous examples of famous black diamonds appear in history. For example, the 67.50 carats ‘Black Orloff’ – also called the Eye of Brahman – supposedly stolen from an idol in India early in the 1800s.

Contrary to popular belief, this unusual form of diamond lacks the same transparency as a white diamond. They are completely opaque. Furthermore, most have a metallic appearance similar to Hematite.

The rise in demand for Black jewellery design

Historically, little need existed until fairly recently. Late in the 20th Century, jewellery designs began working with black diamonds. The combination of black and white pavé set diamonds created some striking results. As a result, contrasting black against white works very well in jewellery design.

In the movies, the rise of the black engagement ring surfaced as Mr Big gave Carrie Fisher a five-carat diamond engagement ring in the movie Sex in the City 2. Further exposure came as Carmen Electra and tattoo artist Kat Von D paraded their engagement ring just a couple of years later.

Besides the black diamond ring, our collection includes other types of black jewellery. For example, black wedding rings.

Black diamond engagement rings?

There are a few reasons why I think such diamonds resonate with buyers. Firstly, they offer a unique variation on the popular white diamond engagement ring. Secondly, they are less expensive than white diamonds, making them an attractive alternative to the traditional diamond ring. We create most designs with round stones. Alternative fancy black diamond shapes exist but beware of weak points and corners on some diamond shapes.

Treated 1 carat black diamond halo engagement ring surrounded by white diamonds.

1-carat black diamond engagement ring. White diamonds surround a Cushion shaped halo set with white brilliant-cut diamonds adding contrast to the ring. Set into Platinum. 

Where do Natural Black Diamonds Come From?

Natural colour black diamonds are Carbonado, a raw form of polycrystalline diamond made up of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon. Black diamonds were formed between 1 to 3.5 billion years ago in the Earth’s Mantle.

Some sources suggest the existence of this type of diamond in outer space. Perhaps, having collided with earth, Billions of years ago.

Natural coloured black diamonds are more porous than white diamonds. As a result, it can be more difficult for diamond cutters to achieve good polish. Think of a natural black coloured diamond as diamonds with an incredible amount of inclusions preventing light from passing into the diamond. Tiny mineral inclusions including graphite, pyrite or Hematite dispersed throughout the stone give the material its distinctive black colour.

Treated Black Diamonds

Treated black coloured diamonds start as natural low clarity diamonds. White diamonds of very low clarity go through a treatment process to change the stone colour.

Many treated black diamonds start as grey, heavily included or fractured diamonds and undergo high-temperature/low-pressure treatments. This process graphitises the fractures, making them black. The artificial irradiation of some diamonds can also produce a green so dark the diamond appears to the naked eye as black. Not every diamond dealer stocks coloured diamonds. On the contrary, most diamond dealers work mainly with white diamonds.

Caring for your Black Diamond Ring

Diamonds are very hard. Generally speaking, Black diamonds have the same natural hardness as white diamonds. However, owing to the stones having so many marks, they’re more prone to breakage. Also, they smear easily during daily wear. For example, grease and oils show visibly on a black gemstone. For this reason, it is crucial to keep your black diamond ring clean. Our Dry Wipes and DazzleStik work very well for this purpose.


1 carat black diamond halo engagement ring. The Eleanor designs remains our best selling diamond ring.

Black diamond halo engagement ring ‘Noir’ – with 1-carat black diamond centre

How to wear black diamond jewellery

Black diamond jewellery often features the addition of white diamonds. Black contrasts well between white diamonds. In the same way, Platinum and White Gold provide the necessary contrast with any black gemstone.

For example, Dress rings set small pavé black, and white diamonds look amazing. As shown below, the difference makes a striking statement. As can be seen, jewellers achieve contrast by setting black and white diamonds next to each other.

Black diamond eternity rings

A black diamond eternity ring makes an exciting change to many white or gemstone eternity rings. Again, try mixing white with black. Striped black and white eternity ring designs stand out on the finger. Furthermore, fewer jewellers feature such designs. As a result, they create the opportunity to be a little different.


Pavé set black and white diamond dress or eternity ring

Black and white diamond dress ring with black diamonds held within claws finished with Black Rhodium plating to complete the look. 

Black diamond pendants

Besides solitaire settings, black diamond pendants often feature white diamonds. By way of example, the necklace below shows a circular design. The whiteness of the Rhodium and white diamonds add a beautiful level of contrast to the pendant.

Black and white diamond circle necklace with contrasting black and white diamonds

Our photograph shows black and white diamonds in an elegant circular pendant design. 

Black diamond earrings

In the same fashion, black diamond earrings look amazing. Black stud earrings require a matching pair of black stones. But, pairing diamonds can be tricky. 

By comparison, black diamond cluster earrings feature tiny diamonds. As a result, they are easier to match cut into smaller sizes. Decide whether you want classic stud earring styles, or contrasting black and white diamond earrings.

Black diamond hoop earrings look incredible. Here, we see black pavé-set diamonds appear on the outside. Inner diamonds provide a diamond-encrusted appearance. Each section includes Black Rhodium for an even, consistent look.

In reality, both black and white diamond earrings work with most outfits—moreover, both suit daytime or evening wear. Unlike rings, earrings encounter little wear. As a result, there is less risk of damaging black diamonds.

Black diamond hoop earrings 18ct White Gold 1 carat


Black Diamond Necklaces

Our example below made a rare appearance in our shop. Originating in India, the 18ct Yellow Gold necklace features threaded rough Black Diamonds.

Approximately 5 carats of rough black diamonds appear in this design, threaded across an 18ct Yellow Gold wire necklace design.

View the necklace within our pre-loved selection on our main website.

Rough Black Diamond Necklace in Yellow Gold

Get more help with Black gemstones and diamonds

If you’re looking for more advice on black diamonds, contact us for additional guidance. We provide guidance on black diamond ring designs and loose gemstones.

Our small and friendly team remain on hand to assist with any enquiry in our UK showroom in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.