What are Black Diamonds? Are they real?
Black diamonds are real. Most people think of diamonds as white—rarely thinking of diamonds as black. Yet these fascinating diamonds are classified as coloured diamonds. Moreover, they offer an alternative to popular colourless diamonds.
Just a few famous black diamonds appear in history. For example, the 67.50 carat ‘Black Orloff’ – also called the Eye of Brahman – supposedly stolen from an idol in India early in the 1800’s.
Contrary to popular belief, black diamonds are not transparent. They are completely opaque. Furthermore, most have a metallic appearance similar to Hematite.
The rise in demand for Black Diamond jewellery design
Historically, little demand 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.
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, black diamonds are less expensive than white diamonds, making them an attractive alternative to the traditional diamond ring.
1 carat black diamond engagement ring. White diamonds surround a Cushion shaped halo set with very white brilliant cut diamonds adding contrast to the ring. Set into Platinum.
Natural Black Diamonds
Natural black diamonds are Carbonado. This is an impure 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.
Natural coloured black diamonds are more porous than white diamonds. As a result, it can be more difficult for diamond cutters to achieve a 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 diamonds start out as natural low clarity diamonds. White diamonds of very low clarity go through a treatment process to change the colour of the diamond.
In fact, many treated black diamonds start out as grey, heavily included or fractured diamonds. They are subjected to 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 Black Diamonds
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. In addition, they smear easily during daily wear. For example, grease and oils, show easily on a black gemstone. For this reason, it is important to keep your black diamond ring clean. Our Dry Wipes and DazzleStik work very well for this purpose.
Black diamond halo engagement ring ‘Noir’ – with 1 carat black diamond centre
How to wear black gems in jewellery
Black diamond jewellery often features the addition of white diamonds. Black contrasts well between white diamonds. 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 diamonds. Striped black and white eternity ring designs stand out on the finger. Furthermore, less jewellers feature such designs. As a result, they create the opportunity to be a little different.
Black and white diamond dress ring. The black diamonds lie 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.
Contrasting black and white diamonds within 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. This 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.
Another suggestion, black diamond hoop earrings look incredible. To demonstrate, our example below feature a 2 tiered hoop design. Black pavé-set diamonds appear on the outside. In addition, inner diamonds give the look of earrings encrusted with diamonds. Each section includes Black Rhodium for an even, consistent look.
In reality, both black and white diamond earrings work with most outfits. In addition, both choices work for daytime or evening wear. Unlike rings, black earrings encounter little wear. As a result, there is less risk to damaging black diamonds.
Get more help with Black gemstones and diamonds
If you’re looking for more help on black diamonds, contact us for additional guidance. From our designs featured in the blog to bespoke commissions or just help sourcing a black diamond. Our small and friendly team remain on hand to assist with any enquiry in our UK showroom in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.