Black Diamonds

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Diamonds

Diamonds come in a variety of colors, ranging from the popular variants like white, red, pink, and yellow, to the rarer shades like steel gray, brown, green, and even purple. But if diamonds are as rare as they say, black diamonds are even rarer. There’s something so mysterious about a diamond that comes in such an unconventional color like black. In a way, it’s an antithesis to the brilliant white diamond that we’re all so used to seeing. But when you delve a little deeper, you’ll discover that there are layers of intrigue behind these rare black diamonds. Let’s take that plunge and find out a little more about these scintillating black stones.

What Are Black Diamonds?

The simple answer to this question is, of course, that black diamonds are like regular diamonds, except for their distinct color. The interesting thing, though, is that there are three kinds of black diamonds, as we’ll see below.

  • Natural black diamonds—–Also known as carbonados, natural black diamonds are essentially naturally mined diamonds that are black because of the presence of impurities in them. More specifically, natural black diamonds have a large number of clusters of graphite inside them, making them appear opaque and black.
  • Treated black diamonds—These are black diamonds that are created by treating regular white diamonds of low quality. White diamonds that have a high level of inclusions are typically considered too impure to be sold as such. So, they’re colored black by using techniques like irradiation and heat treatments.
  • Man-made black diamonds—These are lab-grown diamonds that are manufactured under carefully controlled conditions that mimic the environment in which natural diamonds are formed. Some of these conditions include high pressure and high heat. Also knows as synthetic diamonds, they’re made to be black.

The Cultural Value of Black Diamonds

The significance of black diamonds and the manner in which they are perceived varies from one culture to another. These beliefs are so varied that they can even be considered as polar opposites. For instance, in Italy, black diamonds were revered by married couples as a symbol for harmony and blessings. In fact, these diamonds were considered so powerful that the Italians believed that if a married couple touched a black diamond, all of their worries would dissipate and pass on to the stone, leaving them with only happiness and joy.

Black diamonds

The ancient Indians, however, believed that black diamonds were inauspicious. Since these stones bear an uncanny resemblance to the eye of a snake, the ancient Indians equated black diamonds with death and dying. They believed that it was a representation of Lord Yama, the Hindu God of death. So, possessing a black diamond was considered as a bringer of bad luck among the ancient Indians.

In recent times, these beliefs have taken a backseat, and people across the world are opening up to idea of possessing and flaunting black diamonds. These diamonds are also fast becoming a popular choice for engagement rings!

Factual Information

There are many interesting facts around these stunning stones the world knows as black diamonds. Right from historical trivia to titbits of information about how they’re made, everything about black diamonds is intriguing. Let’s get to know a few of these fascinating facts.

  • Black diamonds have a couple of very specific places of origin. They’re primarily found in Brazil, which is the major source of black diamonds. Central Africa follows close behind, being the second major source of these stones.
  • Unlike other traditional diamonds that are composed of carbon, black diamonds also show traces of hydrogen and nitrogen. This has led several researches to probe the possibility of black diamonds having extraterrestrial origins.
  • Black diamonds are not transparent and do not exhibit fire in the way that colorless and other colored diamonds. Still, they are incredibly impressive in their own way. Black diamonds sometimes come with white or gray inclusions that make them very unique.
  • Contrary to common belief, black diamonds are more affordable than white or colored diamonds. This is because the demand for black diamonds is much lower than the demand for other varieties of diamond, making the former more economical. Black diamonds also cannot be graded according to the intensity of their color, because there’s just one shade they come in.
  • Up until the late 20th century, black diamonds weren’t used in jewelry. People weren’t really interested in purchasing black diamonds until they began to be used in pieces of jewelry, to provide contrast with arrays of colorless stones around them.
  • Some treated black diamonds are actually green. They’re typically off-color diamonds that are irradiated until they turn into a green that’s so deep, it practically appears black.
  • Black diamonds are typically harder than diamonds that come in other colors. But they possess more internal fractures, making them more vulnerable to breakage than colored diamonds, especially when handled roughly.
  • The most famous black diamond in the world is the Black Star of Africa, which weighs 202 carats and is valued at a whopping 1.2 million U.S. dollars.
  • Despite their growing demand, black diamonds are still considered as risky investment options, because their value isn’t expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Still, black diamonds make for great additions to jewelry, and nothing can ever take that away from them.

Famous Black Diamonds

While there’s no denying that every black diamond has a beauty of its own, there are some black diamonds that are famous across the world. They have some fascinating histories, as we’ll find out below.

The Black Orlov

The Black Orlov

Also known as The Eye Of Brahma, this stone, which resembles an eye, originally weighed 195 carats. Legend has it that this stone traces its origins to 19th century India, where this diamond was found in a statue of Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. It was stolen by a monk, making it a cursed stone that is believed to be the reason diamond merchant J.W. Paris, who bought the stone, committed suicide by jumping from a New York skyscraper. Among other later owners of the cursed diamond were two princesses, who also killed themselves by jumping off tall buildings.

The curse is believed to have been lifted when a subsequent owner, Charles Winson, had the stone divided into three parts. Along with 108 white cut diamonds, these three cut black diamonds were later included in a brooch. Today, the black diamond in its latest avatar is on display at the Natural History Museum in London.

The Black Amsterdam Diamond

The Black Amsterdam Diamond

When it was originally found in a mine in South Africa in 1972, this black diamond weight 55.85 carats. Later, it was cut into a beautiful pear-shaped stone that weighed 33.74 carats. After it was thus recut, it was named as The Black Amsterdam Diamond in honor of the 700th anniversary of the city where it was cut. The craftsmanship and skill that brought the Black Amsterdam Diamond into the shape we know now is to be much appreciated, because the uncut stone was so rough, hard, and porous that cutting it alone would have been a nearly impossible task. And to think that it has been cut so flawlessly into a perfectly symmetrical pear is a wonderful testimony to the expertise of Amsterdam’s craftsmen.

The Rembrandt

The Rembrandt

Today, The Rembrandt, set in a breathtaking collier along with a row of scintillating cut diamonds, rests in the Diamond Museum, Amsterdam. The rough diamond from which it was cut weighed 125 carats. Three years and three days after it was mined, this rough diamond was cut and polished into The Rembrandt as we know it today. This black diamond is so named because it was unveiled at the Rijksmuseum by the Rembrandt specialist Gerry Schwartz.

The Korloff Noir Diamond

The Korloff Noir Diamond

The origins of this black diamond aren’t very clear. One of the most popular versions is that the Korloff Noir diamond was first in the possession of a noble Russian family known as Korloff Sapojnikoff. They fell into bad times during the Russian Revolution, and they lost the diamond, which resurfaced years later in the possession of the Krochmal and Lieber family, which was renowned for its diamond cutting skills. Currently, the diamond is owned by the Korloff Jewelers in France, and weighs 88 carats. It is now believed to bring happiness, good luck, and prosperity to anyone who comes touches it.


All in all, black diamonds do have an undeniable charm of their own. And jewelry designers have grown increasingly fond of them in the past century. New-age brides and grooms are embracing the idea of having a black diamond set into their engagement rings. And thanks to the incredibly famous black diamond ring that Mr. Big gifted Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex And The City movie, these black stones have become synonymous with a unique kind of dramatic appeal. For couples who love anything that’s out-of-the-ordinary and unconventional, and for folks who live their lives on their own terms and make their own rules, there’s nothing like a black diamond to bring out their personality.

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