Perhaps it’s the mystery, or simply the allure of the dark side. For whatever reason, the popularity of black diamonds has soared. So what exactly are black diamonds? Let’s take a look at the facts, fallacies and even a little intrigue.
What are black diamonds?
There are two types of black diamond; natural and enhanced. Natural black diamonds are extremely rare, and hail only from Brazil and Africa. Unlike other diamonds, natural black diamonds are made up of small crystals fused together. They are porous, and often opaque. Black diamonds are also more difficult to cut, and they are very, very expensive.
Most of the black diamond jewellery that you see is made from enhanced black diamonds. These are genuine white diamonds that have been treated to give them the dark colour. It’s important to remember that enhanced black diamonds are different to natural black diamonds, but they are certainly still natural diamonds. Indeed, natural black diamonds contain inclusions, so enhanced black diamonds may technically be viewed as better quality.
How to judge quality
To judge the quality of a treated black diamond, you would look to the same features as a white diamond, and remember the four C’s of cut, colour, clarity and carat. A good quality black diamond should have a smooth surface, and evenly distributed colour. While an enhanced black diamond may not sparkle in the same way as a traditional white one, it instead has a beautiful surface polish.
A bit of mystery
A lot of the mystery surrounding black diamonds is to do with their origins. They are made up of a chemical isotope that is found in the earth’s crust. Theories of their origins include meteor crash, radiation, and that they originated in outer space, arriving via asteroid. Interestingly, only the radiation theory has been ruled out.
And the famous
There are a number of black diamonds known throughout the world. The Black Orlov, also known as the Eye of Brahma, was an uncut stone that was stolen from a Brahma statue in southern India and has been owned by Russian royalty. Like the Hope Diamond, there have been rumours it is cursed. Mystery also surrounds the Black Star of Africa, a 202 carat black diamond that was stolen from a Tokyo exhibit in 1971 and has never been seen again.
The allure of black diamonds
There’s no denying that black diamonds look breathtaking in custom designed rings, either as a single stone or set with white diamonds. If you’re looking for an engagement ring or any piece of custom designed jewellery that’s as individual as you are, why not opt for a touch of mystery with a striking black diamond?