Everything you need to know about black diamonds
Black diamonds are an intriguing wonder of nature, being mysteriously beautiful and unique in their structure. They are strikingly different to their colourless counterparts and make a bold statement in jewellery. Here is everything you need to know about black diamonds and their unique beauty.
Want to learn more about beautiful black diamonds? Book a tour today!
1. WHY ARE THEY CALLED BLACK DIAMONDS?
Did you know black diamonds are sometimes referred to as “carbonados diamonds”? This term ‘carbonado’ was originally coined by the Portuguese for the way the black diamonds appear carbonised or burnt.
Black diamonds are also called, carbonados diamonds.
2. WHY ARE BLACK DIAMONDS BLACK?
The colour of black diamonds is believed to be caused by graphite. Black diamonds have several inclusions, which are very small blemishes that affect its appearance. Essentially a black diamond is so full of inclusions that it causes the entire diamond to appear black in colour.
Many inclusions make the diamond appear black in colour.
3. HOW ARE BLACK DIAMONDS DIFFERENT TO OTHER DIAMONDS?
Black diamonds have the same chemical composition as traditional colourless (or white) diamonds. The main difference between them is the number of inclusions, which are responsible for giving black diamonds their colour. Black diamonds are also slightly different in that they consist of many small crystals all stuck together in random formation.
Another reason why black diamonds are unique is that they don’t shine and sparkle like colourless and other fancy colour diamonds do. Instead of reflecting light, black diamonds absorb light. Their beauty comes from the surface which is polished like marble.
Black diamonds are considered extremely unique.
4. HOW WERE BLACK DIAMONDS FORMED?
While it is known how other diamonds are formed, no one really knows for certain how black diamonds were formed. Their origin is controversial with several proposed theories, including: radiation; a meteoritic impact; formed in outer space in stellar supernova explosions; and direct conversion of organic carbon under high-pressure conditions.
Are black diamonds from outer space?
5. WHERE WERE BLACK DIAMONDS DISCOVERED?
Black diamonds have only ever been discovered in two areas – Brazil and Central Africa. It is interesting to note that these two pieces of land were adjacent in prehistoric times.
While other diamonds are typically found in Kimberlite deposits, black diamonds are only found in alluvial deposits that have been created by a river or another source of running water.
Black diamonds are found in Africa and Brazil.
6. WHAT ARE BLACK DIAMONDS USED FOR?
Black diamonds are graded as a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are known to be even harder than the majority of colourless diamonds. Before black diamonds were popular in jewellery, they were used for a variety of different functions because of their durability.
Black diamonds became popular in the 20th century.
7. ARE THERE DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLACK DIAMONDS?
You may already know that fancy colour diamonds come in a wide range of colours, with some having a range of up to nine intensity grades – from faint to deep. Black diamonds are unique in that they are found in only one colour intensity: fancy black.
Black diamonds are known to have one colour intensity.
8. ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BLACK DIAMONDS?
Black diamonds come in three main types: natural black diamonds; diamonds that have been treated to become black; and synthetic/man-made black diamonds. As with all diamonds, natural diamonds are significantly more valuable and desirable.
Discover the different types of black diamonds.
9. HOW ARE BLACK DIAMONDS GRADED?
Black diamonds are graded according to the 4Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat) and all of these factors play a role in determining the quality and value of a black diamond. Keep in mind black diamonds do not receive regular colour and clarity grades, but it is still important to verify that the colour is fully saturated and that there aren’t any visible imperfections to the naked eye.
Discover the different types of black diamonds.
10. ARE BLACK DIAMONDS A GOOD CHOICE FOR JEWELLERY?
Today, black diamonds are a strikingly bold and powerful choice for jewellery and is guaranteed to garner plenty of attention. Until recently, black diamonds weren’t regarded as popular choice for jewellery and only started becoming fashionable in the late 20th century when black diamond engagement rings and other jewellery started to appear.
Their dark colour contrasts beautifully against white gold or platinum, setting them apart from other diamonds. They are also sometimes paired with colourless diamonds to create an eye-catching contrast.
Black diamonds are perfect for gold or platinum settings.
11. HOW MUCH DO BLACK DIAMONDS COST?
Black diamonds are a niche gemstone that is rarer than white, colourless diamonds; however, they generally cost less to purchase due to lower demand. The price of a black diamond can vary greatly depending on the quality of the diamond and the market conditions.
Black diamonds are considered more affordable.
12. WHERE CAN YOU BUY BLACK DIAMONDS FROM?
Black diamonds are fairly rare, making them harder to purchase from typical jewellery stores. If you’re considering buying black diamond rings and other jewellery, we recommend purchasing from a reputable jewellery, such as Shimansky, who offer a large variety of high quality natural black diamond jewellery.
Make sure to purchase black diamonds from a reputable jeweller.
13. ARE THERE ANY SUPERSTITIONS AROUND BLACK DIAMONDS?
Some cultures consider black diamonds to be a curse, while others consider them a blessing. In ancient Indian culture, they believed the colour of black diamonds resemble the colour of a spider or snake’s eyes, therefor making the diamond ‘cursed’. In Italian culture, they believed that touching a black diamond will bring great fortune to your marriage.
In Italy, they believed that touching a black diamond will bring great fortune.
Want to learn more about beautiful black diamonds? Book a tour at the Cape Town Diamond Museum for more fascinating facts about diamonds, their history and see replicas of the world’s most famous diamonds on display. Located at the V&A Waterfront Clock Tower Precinct. Open daily from 9am – 9pm.