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Black diamonds are bold, unique, and extraordinary in every way. They can be utilized in just about any type of jewelry and go with any style, from adding a dash of intrigue to preppy looks and a darker take on glamour for evening. We’re happy to highlight a few interesting black diamond facts to get you ready for your black diamond jewelry shopping extravaganza.
Some people wonder, “What is a black diamond?” The consensus is still muddled as to whether it’s an actual diamond or if it has even the same makeup as a traditional colorless diamond. While black diamonds are sometimes considered fancy-colored stones, like yellow and pink diamonds, they are technically not. Their physical and chemical makeup is more similar to that of a colorless diamond than anything else; they simply have more inclusions or pockets of graphite that give them their deep, dark color. Natural fancy colored stones appear to have color due to mineral exposure during development.
When they were first discovered, black diamonds were called carbonados, meaning “burnt” or “carbonized,” because they looked so dark and almost charcoal-like. When they were later used in jewelry, expert artisans had a hard time cutting and polishing them due to their extreme hardness. Eventually, diamond collectors grew to appreciate their beauty and were intrigued as to where black diamonds come from, and they began seeking them out for use in jewelry. The unique appearance, rarity, and striking look of these diamonds have made them very appealing and desired today.
Once you’ve learned about the composition of these stones, you may wonder, “How are black diamonds made?” While scientists and jewelers aren’t positive about the process that creates black diamonds, we do know that they aren’t mined like normal, colorless diamonds.
Rather than being found deep below the earth’s surface in a standard diamond mine, black diamonds are more commonly found in streams. They are generally located in alluvial deposits (created by running water) rather than kimberlite deposits where regular diamonds are found. Additionally, they have mostly ever been found in Brazil and Central Africa, bringing even more mystery as to how they form and where they ultimately come from.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) follows a grading scale for diamonds that helps jewelers and consumers properly value the different aspects of a diamond, known as the 4Cs. But since black diamonds are opaque, they cannot be given a grade for clarity. They are evaluated based on the GIA’s color grading system for colored diamonds, and they are generally labeled “fancy black” and noted as either naturally black or treated. Buyers of black diamond jewelry will not receive a grading report; instead, they receive an identification and origin report of their stone.
In 2010, black diamond jewelry surged in popularity due to the movie Sex in the City 2, where a main character received a black diamond engagement ring at the end of the film. Soon after that, celebrity couples have been seen wearing black diamond pieces, from stud earrings to engagement rings to pendant necklaces and more. Nowadays, black diamonds are all over fine jewelry stores and in the personal collections of avid jewelry lovers everywhere. We are seeing an increasing trend in men preferring black diamond jewelry as well, as the dark, bold diamond offers masculine appeal and powerful presence.
Diamonds shine by reflecting light, but the dark color and opaque inclusions prevent black diamonds from shining in a traditional sense. Instead, black diamonds absorb light, which creates a mystical and almost glowing marbled look. Because of this, the polish and surface of a black diamond is incredibly important for the overall aesthetic of the stone. Nevertheless, there is still a mysterious beauty to black diamonds and how they appeal to many people.
Most people know that diamonds are one of the world’s hardest substances, but black diamonds are actually even harder than typical colorless diamonds. They are more difficult to cut and polish because of their hardness, which means more time and labor go into preparing them for applications in jewelry. Additionally, they are not as common as colorless diamonds.
A black diamond ring has meaning, but the meaning may depend on what the ring represents and who is wearing it. Black diamond jewelry meanings include passion, transcendence, and strength. Some cultures even view black diamonds as a blessing of good fortune. Regardless, the black diamond’s meaning has continued to embody power and passion, confidence and intensity. This also applies to a black diamond engagement ring’s meaning, making this option perfect for anyone wishing to bring passion and power into their marriage.
If you’re in the market for black diamond jewelry, these tips will help you browse the selection at your favorite jewelry store. Here at Roman Malakov, we’re passionate about informing our patrons and helping you make the best decisions regarding your jewelry purchases and exploration of new pieces to add to your collection.