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Why Black Diamonds Are So Unique

Why Black Diamonds Are So Unique

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Why Black Diamonds Are So Unique

At one time, black diamonds were linked to jinxes and mourning, but by the late 20th century they began to lose this stigma the more they were used by mainstream jewelry designers. Celebrities such as Carmen Electra have also helped popularize them over the past few decades. Here are interesting facts to know about black diamonds and how their mystique has evolved.

How Black Diamonds Are Formed

Black diamonds tend to be opaque, meaning not transparent. Their soft glow, known as luster, almost looks metallic. The reason these stones are black is due to a large concentration of tiny mineral inclusions including graphite, pyrite, or hematite. Another reason is a process called graphitization, which is the formation of graphite from elevated temperatures in iron over a long time period.

The level of dark particle concentration determines if the diamond looks black or closer to grey. The more particles that are concentrated closer together, the darker the stone color. A gemstone called Polycrystalline Bort is an example of a naturally opaque black diamond. Since the mid-20th century, jewelers have marketed treated black diamonds with enhanced luster via irradiation. This process involves exposing the gems to temperatures of 1300 degrees Celsius within a vacuum.

To clarify, natural black diamonds are very rare and extremely valuable compared to treated versions. So, make sure when you buy such jewelry it's from a GIA member who has the knowledge, skills, and proper tools to identify whether the stone is natural or treated.

What Makes Black Diamonds Unique

One of the most unique aspects of black diamonds is the intricate and randomly-shaped dark inclusions. Most black diamonds contain high level of inclusions, which can amount to thousands of tiny fractures too small to be noticed by the human eye. In fact, this large number of inclusions contributes to the stone's darkness. Other than the difference in inclusions and color, black diamonds have the same chemical composition as colorless diamonds.

Unlike colorless diamonds, which have maximum hardness for gemstones, black diamonds can be damaged easily due to their countless inclusions and must be handled with proper care. 

Another element of the black diamond's uniqueness is it conveys a casual yet sophisticated appearance. Today it can be used for any type of jewelry, including an engagement ring. These gems look exceptionally beautiful when paired with metal such as gold or platinum. Today black diamonds are commonly symbolic of love, passion, action, and energy, similar to their colorless counterparts.


Natural black diamonds are not as common as treated black diamonds, which can be found in any type of jewelry. While the two are difficult to tell apart, natural stones always command higher value than treated stones. For more information about black diamond jewelry, contact us at Ralph Mueller & Associates.