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Gem School
Black Diamond

Mineral: Diamond
Colour: Opaque Black
Moh's Hardness: 10
Birthstone: April
Anniversary: 60th & 75th

Black diamonds are naturally occurring white diamonds that are full of inclusions (mostly graphite) and appear as an opaque black colour due to their polycrystalline structure. They are an excellent stone for jewellery due to their hardness and offer a less expensive alternative to a white diamond. Just as hard as white diamonds, black diamonds are graded according to cut and carat weight but unlike white diamonds, their colour and clarity is always listed as black.


Black diamonds were formed around 3 billion years ago. They were first discovered in Brazil in the 1840s and called ‘carbonados’. Since that time they have been prized by gem collectors but were considered too difficult to cut and polish throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Not currently in large supply, their sources are limited to alluvial deposits in Brazil and Central Africa. It is only recently that they have started to be used by jewellers in a more significant way and their popularity is on the rise.

When it comes to cultural associations with black diamonds, the Indians believed they were cursed, linking the appearance of the stone to the eyes of snakes. The Italians, on the other hand, considered them to be a stone of reconciliation between couples whose relationship had been damaged or compromised. The famous Karloff Noir diamond is an 88 carat black diamond said to impart good luck, fortune, and happiness when touched.


Diamonds are highly recommended for all types of jewellery, especially for rings as they are the most resistant to wear over time. A diamond is an excellent choice for longevity but be aware that any stone can break if it is hit hard enough, even a diamond. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials and harsh chemicals.

To clean, soak your diamond piece in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. You can also use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on diamonds. Professional jewellers use an ultrasonic machine to clean your diamonds; bring them in for an annual clean and check.

Black Diamond Pieces