The Queen of Colours: Black Diamond

Black diamonds are among the most popular colour of coloured diamonds. In fact, in recent years as the popularity for non-conventional engagement rings has grown the demand for these beautiful gems has gone through the roof and for a good reason. While white diamonds take away the spotlight for most festive occasions, these glittering smoky gems are creating a new comeback in the world of jewellery. Mysterious and unusual, black diamonds are all the rage among the elites of Hollywood.

The history of black diamonds is rich, and some popular black diamonds are shrouded in mystery.


Black diamonds were first discovered in 1840 by Brazilians. They were called carbonados. Black diamonds are found almost exclusively in Brazil and the Central African Republic.

Black diamonds formed 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago and are exceptionally rare. Black diamonds are a natural polycrystalline diamond and there have been only about three metric tons mined, usually from the beds of streams.


Different cultures held differing beliefs about black diamonds. In India, black diamonds were considered cursed because they resemble the eyes of snakes and spiders. However, in Italy it was thought that simply touching a black diamond could help save the marriage of a couple who needed reconciliation. It was believed that the problems of the couple would enter the stone when the couple touched it.


As legend has it the Karloff Noir diamond is an 88-carat black diamond that gives a person good luck, fortune, and happiness when it is touched. Louis XVIII is said to have owned a fine black diamond. He was said to have paid a large sum for the stone. In 1874, the Duke of Brunswick was a connoisseur of coloured diamonds. He claimed to own no less than 5 black diamonds in a variety of colours and sizes.


Throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries, jewellers regarded the black diamond as too difficult to cut and polish. It was deemed to be best suited for industrial use and was thought of as being mostly unsuitable for jewellery.


One famous black diamond is the Black Orlov diamond. It is a dark steely grey coloured 67 carat diamond. The history of this stone is uncertain. There is a legend that the stone was originally a massive 195 carats. It was supposedly set into an idol somewhere around the area of Pondicherry, India. However, it was stolen by a monk.


Another legend says that it belonged to the Russian Princess Nadia Orlov. She fled Russia after the revolution, and she may have sold this diamond to gain money for her travels.

Eventually, black diamonds did earn more popularity. In 1996, the founder and head of the Swiss jewellery house de Grisogono released a collection of black diamond jewellery and watches. This helped to usher in an appreciation for black diamond jewellery. Black diamonds are used in both men’s and women’s jewellery today.


As one of the hottest trends in fine jewellery today, the popularity and value of black diamonds continue to grow rapidly in the fashion world. They provide a fiercely fascinating contrasts in all variety of jewellery, so standing out from the crowd becomes effortless when you are donning one of these opaque beauties.


Here are some of the Hollywood celebrities flaunting the black beauty:


KAT VON D

Kat Von D’s engagement ring from then-fiancé DJ Deadmau5

SHENAE GRIMES

Shenae Grimes was proposed to with a gorgeous black diamond engagement ring

JENNIE GARTH

Another Beverley Hills 90210 star to sport a black diamond is Jennie Garth

CHRISTINA MCLARTY

David Arquette proposed to Christina McLarty with a halo ring

ANGELINA JOLIE


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