THE MAGIC OF BLACK DIAMONDS

Black Diamond & Gold Bracelet | Le Chic
The Magic of Black Diamonds captivate with a unique sparkle and mysterious charm. Through jewelry history, these enigmatic beauties were at times overlooked. This might be because of the high level of skill and precision required to effectively cut a black diamond. Today, advances in gemstone cutting and modern design have set the stage for black diamonds to take their rightful place among the most beloved gemstones in jewelry.

THE MAGIC OF BLACK DIAMONDS

Black Diamond & Gold Bracelet | Le Chic
The Magic of Black Diamonds captivate with a unique sparkle and mysterious charm. Through jewelry history, these enigmatic beauties were at times overlooked. This might be because of the high level of skill and precision required to effectively cut a black diamond. Today, advances in gemstone cutting and modern design have set the stage for black diamonds to take their rightful place among the most beloved gemstones in jewelry.
“Black diamonds have an air of mystery which tempts you to come closer. I adore their special sparkle and mirror sheen.” -Adam Neeley
Black Diamond & White Gold Ring | Forte

History & Lore

Black diamonds symbolize many things across world cultures, including love, fidelity, power, passion, and charisma. Others believe they act like a magnet for wealth and success. One thing is certain: examining black diamonds through history and legend only adds to their mystery and charm.

Roman Token of Luck and Love

When explorers from Ancient Rome first came upon black diamonds in Africa, they were immediately smitten and believed they would bring a wearer good fortune. It was customary at the time that a woman receive two rings when she married: an iron band to be worn at home and a gold ring featuring a black stone for public outings. High society regarded a black diamond as the superior choice for a wedding ring, announcing the wealth and stature of the wearer and her household.
To this day, black diamonds may be sought out by Italian lovers. There, a superstition holds that relationship woes may be soothed by touching a black diamond, which is believed to absorb the trouble.
Black Diamond & White Gold Ring | Forte

History & Lore

Black diamonds symbolize many things across world cultures, including love, fidelity, power, passion, and charisma. Others believe they act like a magnet for wealth and success. One thing is certain: examining black diamonds through history and legend only adds to their mystery and charm.

Roman Token of Luck and Love

When explorers from Ancient Rome first came upon black diamonds in Africa, they were immediately smitten and believed they would bring a wearer good fortune. It was customary at the time that a woman receive two rings when she married: an iron band to be worn at home and a gold ring featuring a black stone for public outings. High society regarded a black diamond as the superior choice for a wedding ring, announcing the wealth and stature of the wearer and her household.
To this day, black diamonds may be sought out by Italian lovers. There, a superstition holds that relationship woes may be soothed by touching a black diamond, which is believed to absorb the trouble.

Otherworldly Ore

These days, scientists theorize that some black diamonds may have arrived on Earth aboard a meteorite. Among these is the largest rough diamond ever discovered: the Sergio, an enormous 3,167 carat balck carbonado diamond, found in Bahia, Brazil. Whether or not black diamonds have interstellar origins, their distinctive appeal is not unlike that of the unfathomable night sky.
Black Diamonds & Gold Stacking Bracelets| Bello
Black Diamonds & Gold Stacking Bracelets| Bello

Otherworldly Ore

These days, scientists theorize that some black diamonds may have arrived on Earth aboard a meteorite. Among these is the largest rough diamond ever discovered: the Sergio, an enormous 3,167 carat black carbonado diamond, found in Bahia, Brazil. Whether or not black diamonds have interstellar origins, their distinctive appeal is not unlike that of the unfathomable night sky.
The Magic of Black Diamonds

The Korloff Noir

Another of the largest black diamonds in the world, the Korloff Noir, has quite the opposite reputation. The massive, 88-carat Fancy Black, which was once owned by Russian nobility, is thought to bestow happiness and good fortune to all who touch it. This may sound fanciful, but to gold-medalist figure skater Alexei Yagudin, tennis star Pete Sampras, cellist and composer Mstislav Rostropovich, and chess players Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpovwho, the Korloff Noir’s beneficence is proven. Each touched the diamond just before a significant victory or accomplishment.
The Magic of Black Diamonds

The Korloff Noir

Another of the largest black diamonds in the world, the Korloff Noir, has quite the opposite reputation. The massive, 88-carat Fancy Black, which was once owned by Russian nobility, is thought to bestow happiness and good fortune to all who touch it. This may sound fanciful, but to gold-medalist figure skater Alexei Yagudin, tennis star Pete Sampras, cellist and composer Mstislav Rostropovich, and chess players Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpovwho, the Korloff Noir’s beneficence is proven. Each touched the diamond just before a significant victory or accomplishment.

Characteristics

Natural Black Diamonds, or “Fancy Blacks”, appear solid black to the naked eye and shine with particular lustre which can look almost metallic. This distinctive and striking appearance owes to uniform clouds of fine mineral inclusion. Depending on the specimen, this might be graphite, pyrite, or hematite. The thick concentration of material gives these diamonds an opaque black appearance, however the true body color of a natural black diamond might be nearly colorless, brown, green, or something in between.
Black diamonds, like white diamonds, are also rated at a 10 on the Mohs scale, however they pose a greater challenge to gemstone cutters and stone setters. Since they contain high quantities of an included mineral, black diamonds must be cut, polished, and set with skill and care to avoid cracks or chips.
The Magic of Black Diamonds
The Magic of Black Diamonds

Characteristics

Natural Black Diamonds, or “Fancy Blacks”, appear solid black to the naked eye and shine with particular lustre which can look almost metallic. This distinctive and striking appearance owes to uniform clouds of fine mineral inclusion. Depending on the specimen, this might be graphite, pyrite, or hematite. The thick concentration of material gives these diamonds an opaque black appearance, however the true body color of a natural black diamond might be nearly colorless, brown, green, or something in between.
Black diamonds, like white diamonds, are also rated at a 10 on the Mohs scale, however they pose a greater challenge to gemstone cutters and stone setters. Since they contain high quantities of an included mineral, black diamonds must be cut, polished, and set with skill and care to avoid cracks or chips.
“Good quality black diamonds are uniquely beautiful and often more affordable than other diamonds.” -Adam Neeley
Black Diamonds & Gold Ring | Sempre

Quality

The highest quality examples are solid black and exhibit no mottling or cracks due to inclusions. Fancy Black diamonds which are natural and untreated are more highly valued than black diamonds which have been treated for enhancement. The usual diamond color and clarity grading systems, the 4Cs, is not applicable for a Fancy Black, since its color lies outside the color grading scale and it’s opacity makes clarity grading impossible. Instead grading institutions like GIA can provide a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report.

Care

Be aware that black diamonds are more vulnerable to hard blows than a colorless diamond would be. To protect your black diamond jewelry from damage, never use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. A gentle brush with a residue-free soap and water works great for home cleaning. If you’re in doubt, consult with a trusted jewelry professional.
Black Diamonds & Gold Ring | Sempre

Quality

The highest quality examples are solid black and exhibit no mottling or cracks due to inclusions. Fancy Black diamonds which are natural and untreated are more highly valued than black diamonds which have been treated for enhancement. The usual diamond color and clarity grading systems, the 4Cs, is not applicable for a Fancy Black, since its color lies outside the color grading scale and it’s opacity makes clarity grading impossible. Instead grading institutions like GIA can provide a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report.

Care

Be aware that black diamonds are more vulnerable to hard blows than a colorless diamond would be. To protect your black diamond jewelry from damage, never use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. A gentle brush with a residue-free soap and water works great for home cleaning. If you’re in doubt, consult with a trusted jewelry professional.
Black Diamonds & Gold Necklace | Diamonds & Caviar
DIAMONDS & CAVIAR NECKLACE

Design

Today the availability of excellent black diamond specimens presents an opportunity to designers. This eye-catching gem has an impressive range. Depending on the design, black diamonds can look edgy or elegant, feminine or masculine.
The character of a Fancy Black always seems to exude mystery and sophistication. Its darkness presents a tantalizing contrast to traditional materials, like white diamonds and white gold. For all of these reasons, the popularity of black diamonds in jewelry design has surged in the last few decades.
Black Diamonds & Gold Necklace | Diamonds & Caviar
DIAMONDS & CAVIAR NECKLACE

Design

Today the availability of excellent black diamond specimens presents an opportunity to designers. This eye-catching gem has an impressive range. Depending on the design, black diamonds can look edgy or elegant, feminine or masculine.
The character of a Fancy Black always seems to exude mystery and sophistication. Its darkness presents a tantalizing contrast to traditional materials, like white diamonds and white gold. For all of these reasons, the popularity of black diamonds in jewelry design has surged in the last few decades.
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From his Laguna Beach studio, designer and goldsmith Adam Neeley pushes the boundaries of modern jewelry design. Born a gem-lover and educated at the prestigious Gemological Institute of America and Le Art Orafe, Adam has spent his life mastering the craft and art form of jewelry making and design. As a member of the American Jewelry Design Council, Adam is honored to share his expertise and passion with the world. His award-winning jewelry is celebrated by jewelry collectors, industry authorities, including MJSA and AGTA, and the Smithsonian Institution. We invite you to learn more by visiting our About Adam and Welcome pages.