Black Diamonds: Worth The Hype?

Black diamonds are relatively new on the commercial market, and many people are still uncertain about whether they are real diamonds at all. We can confirm that black diamonds are real. They are, however, very different from colorless diamonds.

While treated black diamonds are commonplace, there are also natural black diamonds that have not been treated in any way. They get their color from elements and minerals that they are exposed to while they are forming.

The black color is due to mineral inclusions, specifically; hematite, pyrite, or most commonly, graphite. More inclusions mean a darker color and more opaqueness. Fewer inclusions can result in variations between gray, green, and brown to full black and usually have some semi-transparency in the crystal lattice.

Despite their differences, black diamonds are formed the same way as other diamonds. Carbon experiences high pressure and high-temperature conditions under the earth’s surface, which causes them to crystalize over centuries, resulting in diamonds. Different types of inclusions in natural diamonds will cause different colors.

Colored diamonds, therefore, are natural diamonds, despite their fancy color rating. There are so many inclusions that can cause so many different fancy color diamonds that we cannot discuss them all here, so we will focus only on black diamonds.


Quality Grading Of Black Diamonds

Are Black Diamonds Real?

The definitive answer to the popular question: Are black diamonds real is yes, they are real.

When you are buying a black diamond from a reputable jeweler, you can expect to receive a different kind of report than is provided with colorless diamonds. For example, a black diamond has only one color intensity/color grade: fancy black. The report will also indicate whether they are natural black diamonds or lab-created black diamonds.

The Black Moon Diamond

Will GIA provide a certificate for my black diamond?

Black diamonds are graded according to the GIA Colored Diamond Color Grading System. However, because black diamonds also cannot be graded for clarity, GIA does not issue certificates for them. Instead, they issue a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report to indicate that the diamond is real.

Something to bear in mind when purchasing black diamonds is that loose black diamonds most often come in one carat, especially when lab-grown. A one-carat black diamond will be smaller than a one-carat colorless diamond because black diamonds are denser than other diamonds.

Artificial vs. Natural Black Diamonds

The Difference Between Untreated, Treated, and Lab-Created Black Diamonds

Both artificial and natural black diamonds are real diamonds. Most commercially sold black diamonds have been heat-treated, also known as color-treated. The reason for this is to solidify their black color and add depth to the intensity of black-colored diamonds. They most often start as grey diamonds and need to be heat-treated for the black color to become more prominent.

Other colored diamonds can also undergo heat treatment to have their color enhanced. Few untreated black diamonds are opaque and completely black. A stone’s color is often caused by inclusions, which means that most black diamonds are not entirely black. In order to achieve more even colored black stones, jewelers will treat black diamonds before they are sold.

Natural black diamonds will be more valuable and expensive than heat-treated black diamonds. Generally speaking, black diamonds cost more when they have not been treated. Technically, however, treated black diamonds are still naturally occurring.

The only artificial diamonds are lab-grown diamonds, and even then, we have to be careful referring to them as artificial because they are still diamonds in the same way that natural diamonds are diamonds. They have the same chemical composition and experience the same creation process; only some of them are made in a lab while others are made underground.

Black Diamond Engagement Rings

Black diamonds have the same symbolism attached to them as white diamonds. They also symbolize eternity, fidelity, purity, and love. In addition, however, there is some extra symbolism found in black diamonds. They are also associated with certainty, power, and charisma. These associations make black diamonds perfect for a diamond engagement ring that stands out from the rest.

18K yellow gold riviera noir black diamond ring by Blue Nile

Celebrity and Pop Culture Representation

While choosing a black diamond for an engagement ring is not nearly as prominent as white diamonds, there has been a rise in popularity of black diamond engagement rings in recent years. It is believed to have started with a black diamond engagement ring that featured on Sex and the City.

Overall, fancy color diamonds are a great alternative choice for an engagement ring. Celebrities such as Kat Von D and Carmen Electra proudly sport their black diamond engagement ring on the red carpet regularly.

14K white gold freshwater cultured pearl and diamond stud earrings by Blue Nile

Other Advantages

Black diamond engagement rings are also more adventurous and mysterious than the traditional and somewhat predictable, colorless diamonds that usually adorn engagement rings. Furthermore, they are more affordable than colorless diamonds simply because colorless diamonds are more in demand, while black diamonds are much rarer.

If you are feeling extra adventurous or mysterious, you could even consider hiding a black diamond embedded inside of your wedding bands.

Remember, however, that natural fancy black diamonds are extremely rare and will be more expensive than treated black diamonds. Diamonds are only called ‘fancy’ black diamonds if they have not been treated. Therefore, a natural fancy black diamond ring will be more expensive than the same carat weight in a treated black diamond.

Colored diamonds that occur naturally are referred to as “fancy” color diamonds, so you can also encounter other fancy colored diamonds, which can be combined with natural fancy black diamonds for extra flashy engagement rings.

Pexels Amusan 5264565

Other Black Diamond Jewelry

As more and more jewelers have embraced the mystery of the black diamond, more black diamond jewelry has appeared on the market. Anything from bracelets to earrings and necklaces sporting black diamonds has become readily available in commercial markets.

You will likely find that most of these are treated black diamonds in order to enhance their black color. That should not deter you from the purchase, however. So the next time you are shopping around for jewelry, consider a pair of black diamond earrings; they are sure to make an impression and add a touch of mystery to your collection.

Ebony and Ivory Working Together

Black and white diamonds are often used together in a piece of jewelry as they create a pleasing contrast. The black diamonds are likely to feature as the center stones with white diamonds to complement. However, in some cases, black diamonds might complement a larger white diamond at the center.


The overall cost of black diamond jewelry will also be dependent on the choice of metal that the diamond is set in. Black diamonds and carbonados are often set in white metals, such as white gold or platinum. There are some examples of rose gold and yellow gold jewelry sporting black diamonds, but these are not as popular. Other diamond jewelry or even jewelry sporting other gemstones set in metals like rose gold can possibly sport black diamonds as accents, though.

Caring For Your Black Diamond

The care of black diamond jewelry is completely different from white diamonds. A black diamond is much more susceptible to cracking due to its high number of inclusions. Your black diamonds should therefore be cleaned gently with warm soapy water. You can use a soft-bristled brush as well.

What About Ultrasonic Cleaners?

Black diamonds and carbonados should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic bath or steam cleaner, as these are too harsh for the fragile state of a black diamond.

Black Diamond Back

Famous Black Diamonds

As with any precious stone, there are several famous diamonds, but what about black diamonds? There seems to be a handful of famous black diamonds known to the world. We will discuss five of these.

Black Amsterdam Diamond

88-Carat Black Diamond on Display -

This famous black diamond was found in 1972 in South Africa. This natural black diamond was purchased and cut by D. Drukker & Son. The company had the diamond cut into a pear shape in Amsterdam, where it got its name from. Furthermore, Amsterdam is known as the City of Diamonds. This is a 33,74-carat black diamond.

The pear-shaped fancy black diamond was set in a pendant surrounded by 15 colorless diamonds.

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The “Spirit of the Grisogono” Diamond

This is the world’s biggest black diamond that has been cut, and it was cut by the Swiss jeweler named Grisogono, after which the diamond was named. It remained a staggering 312,24-carat weight after being cut. The shape chosen for this diamond was the old Moghul-cut.

Notably, the jeweler who cut this diamond and another Swiss jeweler named Fawaz Gruosi were the original pair who first made black diamonds and carbonados popular in the jewelry industry.

This diamond was found in the Central African Republic. Uncut, it weighed an impressive 587 carats. This is one of the only polycrystalline diamond consisting of amorphous carbon, graphite, and diamond material on most “largest diamond” lists and is therefore not considered “pure” as some other diamonds on similar lists. Many other black diamonds on our list are not included in other general “largest diamond” lists.

Black Orlov Diamond

The Black Orlov

This diamond is also known as the Eye of Brahma and was found in India sometime during the early 19th century. This black diamond is believed to be cursed, and the first evidence of this curse started to show in 1932 when a merchant committed suicide after purchasing the diamond. Two subsequent owners also committed suicide in strikingly similar ways. This is arguably the most famous black diamond on this list.

The origins of the diamond’s name seem to be largely contested online. It was said to belong to two separate Russian princesses, one by the name of Nadia Vygin-Orlov. Not a lot of information is available on these individuals in articles about the Orlov diamond, and while most articles simply name this princess, a handful of articles suggest that she might have been fictional.

Needless to say, this is one of the most mysterious and intriguing black diamonds on this list.

Before being initially cut, it weighed 195 carats. It once weighed 67,5 carat before it was cut up into three smaller pieces as a means to break the curse. They are still mounted together and displayed as a single piece.

The Sergio

“The Sergio” Uncut Carbonado Black Diamond

This is not only the largest black diamond in the world but the largest diamond in the world. It was discovered in 1895 in Brazil and weighs an unbelievable 3167 carat. It is so large that many believe that it came from outer space as a meteorite. The fact that it was found above ground only adds to this rumor.

Currently, it is believed that the Sergio no longer exists as a single diamond. It was likely broken up into much smaller pieces to be used in industrial drills in the late 1800s.

The Enigma: Billion-year-old black diamond sold for £3.16m - BBC News

The Engima

The Engima is a more recent specimen among black diamonds. It is unclear where it comes from or when it first appeared in the public eye. The cutting process of the Engima lasted several years and was completed in 2004. In 2022 it was sold on auction, where its buyers paid for it in cryptocurrency.


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