What is a Black Diamond?

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There are three types of black diamond and is important to know the difference between the three before you start thinking about buying one. The three types of black diamond are Natural Black Diamonds; Treated Black Diamonds and Man-Made Black Diamonds.

Natural Black Diamonds

These are formed in the ground, millions of years ago in exactly the same way as white diamonds and fancy coloured diamonds. Natural fancy black diamonds are quite simply, white diamonds with lots of dark inclusions in. The fact they are full of dark inclusions then gives them a dark grey or black colour. They are found like this in the ground and they are highly sought after and expensive. 

Treated Black Diamonds

Treated black diamonds are quite simply white diamonds that are heavily included. They are treated with heat in their rough state to transform them into an opaque black state. They are less expensive than natural fancy black diamonds by quite a significant amount and are not graded by the GIA (Gemmological institute of America). 

Man-made black diamonds

Man-made black diamonds are also known as synthetic diamonds or lab-grown diamonds. Many do not class these are diamonds at all and if you are after a black diamond then we would recommend you stick to a natural fancy black or if your budget won't stretch to that, then choose a lovely treated black diamond. Stay clear of the synthetic black diamonds.

A Famous Black Diamond Tale...

The most famous natural fancy black diamond is probably the black Orlov diamond. It is a stunning 67.50ct cushion-cut black diamond set in a brooch of 108 diamonds and suspended from a necklace of 124 diamonds.

It began life as a much larger diamond - a whopping 195ct no less - and legend has it that it was originally one of the eye of a statue of a Hindu God Brahma in Pondicherry, but was at some point stolen by a monk.

This brazen theft is said to have caused the diamond to be cursed and there are a number of suicides linked to owners of the diamond from the diamond dealer in 1932 who jumped to his death to two Russian princesses who also flung themselves to their deaths.

The huge diamond was cut into three pieces in the 1940's to allegedly break the curse.

The Black Orlov diamond has been displayed in the Natural History Museum, London and American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Black Orlov Diamond