In recent years black diamonds have grown massively in popularity to become one of the most popular of the fancy coloured natural diamonds. The reasons for this may be that the demand for non-conventional engagement rings has grown significantly the styles of which perfectly suits the incorporation of black diamonds. Plus many celebrities are now wearing jewellery and engagement rings featuring black diamonds. However, even though black diamonds are so popular, there is still a lot that is unknown about them and a lot of misinformation and misconception surrounding these stunning gemstones. Here are answers to the five most asked questions about black diamonds:
- What is a black diamond? Is it real and what is the difference between black and white diamonds?
Black diamonds re MOST DEFINITELY real! If you ask a variety of experts in the diamond industry “what is a black diamond?“ this will result in several answers as there are in fact two types of black diamonds:
- Natural black diamonds (also called fancy diamonds or Carbonados). These are quite different than other natural fancy coloured diamonds and for that reason are widely considered to be rarer. The main difference is that natural coloured diamonds get their colour due to impurities that are attached to them during the formation process i.e. boron causes blue diamonds. Black diamonds are created from an impure form of polycrystalline diamond consisting of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon.
- Treated black diamonds. These are regular white diamonds that are usually of extremely low value due to the high amount of inclusions in them. Since they have so many inclusions, as white diamonds they would only want to use them as industry grade diamonds and not for use in jewellery making. However, with the help of treatments such as irradiation or heat they are transformed into “colourless treated black diamonds” also called “black coloured diamonds”. This type of black diamond is the cheapest type of black diamonds.
Black diamonds and white (colourless) diamonds are almost the same. The main difference is that the black colour is produced by the inclusion of graphite in the crystalline structure during the diamond’s formation, before the kimberlite deposits reached the Earth’s surface. Therefore, the only difference between them is that black diamonds have the graphite inclusion and white diamonds do not. They are both formed by high pressure on the element of carbon under the Earth’s surface, that produces a repeating geometric pattern in the crystal lattice. Black diamonds are completely real diamonds and almost exactly the same as white diamonds except for the colour.
- Are Black Diamonds rare and are they considered a good investment?
Whilst they are by no means the rarest occurring colour in nature, natural fancy black diamonds are indeed more rare than common colourless diamonds and they are one of the most valued for their artistic beauty and dark allure, all of which means that they can command a higher price. Within the jewellery trade blue, red and pink diamonds are considered the most desirable of natural fancy coloured diamonds for investment (where investment is defined as a diamond whose value rises considerably over time as their supply deteriorates and demand continues to rise). A natural fancy black diamond would only be considered an investment item if it was considerably large or had a distinctive feature or factor that would make it in high demand in the market.
- Are Black Diamonds Expensive?
The answer to this question must be yes and no. Treated or enhanced black diamonds are less expensive and the demand for them is relatively low as many people looking for a piece of jewellery or a ring incorporating a black diamond will prefer to opt for the real thing i.e. a natural fancy coloured black diamond. Natural fancy black diamonds are in fact quite affordable, but obviously it depends on the size of the diamond and the quality. Because black diamonds are heavily included and porous, they are often harder to polish. This can result in blemishes and nicks in the surface that may affect the cut. When buying black diamonds make sure the surface of them is smooth and polished and that the diamond is not porous. GIA certified natural black diamonds of a good quality can easily fetch $1,500-$3,000 per carat for diamonds weighing 1.00 – 3.00 carats, this is however still cheaper than a colourless white diamond which makes Black Diamonds an excellent cheap alternative to the conventional white diamond ring.
- Are There any Famous Black Diamonds?
Possibly the most well know and famous black diamond is the Black Orlov. This was a cushion-cut 67.50 carat diamond brooch. The black diamond was surrounded by 108 white diamonds and suspended from a 124-diamond necklace. The Black Orlov is also referred to as the “Eye of Brahma” as folklore has it that an uncut black stone of 195 carats was pried out of the eye of the statute of the sacred Hindu God Brahma, from a temple in Southern India. Other famous black diamonds include the Korloff Noir, the Black Star of Africa, the Gruosi diamond, the Table of Islam and the Spirit of de Grisogono diamond.
The largest black diamond in the world is the old Moghul-cut, 312.24 carat, black Spirit of de Grisogono which was mined in the Central African Republic. The Black Star of Africa is a very impressive 202 carat Fancy Black diamond but sadly it was seen for the last time in Tokyo in 1971. The Gruosi diamond was a heart-shaped, 115.34 carat black diamond that was discovered in India in 1998 and was cut by the world renowned black diamond cutting specialist, de Grisogono. The Table of Islam is a Fancy Black square emerald cut diamond weighing in at an impressive 160.18 carats but little is actually known about this diamond. The 88 carat Korloff Noir diamond is currently located with the Korloff jewellers in France and is reputed to bring good luck to the owner.
- Do Black Diamonds Look Good as Jewellery?
If you love the allure and mystery that a black diamond possesses then you will no doubt agree that black diamonds, look stunning when used in jewellery and suit both men and women. Black diamonds are seen in many pieces of modern day from necklaces to cufflinks, engagement rings to bracelets and even in wedding rings. Many celebrities wear black diamonds one of the most famous being the black diamond halo ring engagement ring that Mr. Big gave to Carrie Bradshaw in the hugely popular tv show and movie Sex and the City. Alternative fashion icon Carmen Electra received a black diamond engagement ring and Katherine Heigl, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jennifer Lawrence, Lauren Conrad, and Sarah Jessica Parker have all been seen wearing black diamond earrings