Fancy Black Diamonds

Fancy Black diamonds also called Carbonado’s, are opaque diamonds that are coloured by dark inclusions. A high lustre gives these diamonds a metallic appearance making them a popular choice for engagement rings.

In my earlier articles on Natural Fancy Colour Diamonds, I have written about Fancy Red, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Blue, Fancy Green, Fancy Brown, Fancy Pink Diamonds; in this article, I will be talking about Fancy Black Diamond.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Langerman Diamonds

Origin of Black Diamonds:
Black diamonds are formed within the earth’s crust under conditions of intense heat and pressure that cause’s carbon atoms to crystallise forming diamonds. There is also a theory that natural black diamonds were part of a star that exploded 3.8 billion years ago and the stones crashed to earth as part of a meteorite and have been here ever since.

Cause of Black Color:
Black diamonds owe their colour to the inclusion of graphite, pyrite or hematite that extend throughout the stone and gives it a black, metallic appearance. These diamonds may also have numerous cleavages or fractures that are stained black or have become black because of graphitization. The concentrations of these internal features are responsible for the colouration.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Public Domain

Featured above is 67.50-carat Indian origin; The Black Orlov; the 7th largest black diamond in the world set in a 108-carat diamond brooch attached to a 124-carat diamond necklace by Cartier. The story goes the diamond was once a part of a 195 carat stone that was used as an eye in a 19th-century statue of Brahma and therefore also known as the Eye of Brahma Diamond. The diamond was stolen by a monk from the temple and is believed to be cursed.

Colour Grading:
The grading parameters of Black Diamonds are:
• Black diamonds come in only one colour intensity, which is Fancy Black, unlike the characteristic of colour in other fancy colour diamonds.
• Since these diamonds are opaque and heavily included they cannot be graded as per the clarity grade.
The laboratory report provides information about its identification; i.e Fancy black and its origin; i.e natural or treated.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Public Domain.
Image 1: A heart-shaped, 115.34 cts black Gruosi diamond, of Indian origin, was discovered in 1998.
Image 2: The 88-carats Korloff Noir is one of the world’s largest known black diamonds. This diamond was polished from 421 carats rough. The Korloff Noir is currently owned by the Korloff Company.
Image 3: A 33.74 cts Amsterdam Diamond polished from 55.85 cts rough discovered in South African in 1972. This diamond was sold at Christie’s in 2001; making it the highest price paid for a black diamond at auction.

Types of Black Diamond:
After understanding the grading parameters of Black Diamond I would now like to talk about 2 types of Black Diamonds:
1. Natural Black Diamond:
These diamonds have natural black colour with no external interference and are more valuable and desirable.
2. Treated black diamonds:
• Treated black diamonds are white diamonds with a high number of inclusions, fractures and a dull grey appearance. These diamonds are mainly used for industrial purposes.
• After heat, pressure and irradiation treatments, a black hue is induced in these diamonds, which results in their transformation to black diamonds.
• Treated Black diamonds are less valuable than the natural black diamond and are popularly used in jewellery trends by American rappers and hip hop culture.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Public Domain

“The Spirit of de Grisogono,” a 312.24-carat mogul-cut diamond polished from 587-carats rough discovered in the west Central African. This is the world’s largest cut black diamond and the world’s fifth-largest diamond. Former French tennis player Henri Leconte and his wife, who is seen wearing the Spirit of de Grisogono ring.

Rarity and Price of Black Diamond:
In comparison to the rarer fancy coloured diamonds and white colourless diamonds; natural black diamonds are relatively affordable. An important factor that determines the value of these diamonds is how well they have been cut; since the heavy inclusions in a black diamond make them extremely challenging for cutting and polishing; a well-cut diamond with a smooth surface will command a higher price.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Christie’s.
Important Black Diamond sold at Christie’s.

Gaining popularity of Fancy Black Diamond in engagement rings.
De Beers advertising campaign “Diamond is Forever” in the 1940s made white diamonds a popular choice for engagement rings. Soon fancy colour diamonds and coloured gemstones gained popularity as the centre stone.
One of the reason for black diamonds’ gradual popularity is the high lustre and the metallic appearance that made these diamonds a great fit for the engagement rings and use in contrast with tiny colourless diamonds. Additionally, after the black diamond engagement was featured in many movies and were worn by celebrities they gained a lot of popularity.

Black Diamond | The Diamond Talk
Image Credit: Iz&Co

Hope you enjoyed reading about Fancy Black Diamonds. So, which fancy colour diamond engagement rings would you invest in?

Cover Image: Udharsh Export

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