Diamond FAQs – How Are Black Diamonds Made?

Diamonds are made of carbon in its crystalline lattice form. In their purest state, diamonds are all colorless, so called “white”. However, during their formation, microscopic amounts of gaseous or other compounds, called inclusions, can become trapped within the developing diamond lattice. The inclusions absorb, scatter and reflect light as it passes through the polished gemstone. This gives the diamond a color. The exact color depends on the concentration and chemical properties of the inclusion.

The wide range of potential inclusions means that diamonds are naturally found in a broader spectrum of colors than any other gemstone. In fact over 300 natural diamond hues have been found. Colored diamonds account for only a fraction of all diamonds mined, making colored diamonds very rare. However, black diamonds are the rarest of all. Typically found in Brazil and the Central African Republic, their black color comes from microscopically included graphite, sulfides, hematite or magnetite, all of which cloud the gemstone as it forms, and give it its metallic black coloration.

Under natural conditions, diamonds form hundreds of miles beneath the Earth’s surface, where the exceptionally high temperatures and pressures cause elemental carbon to undergo a transformation into a crystalline diamond lattice. Volcanic eruptions then transport the diamonds to the Earth’s surface. Originally black diamonds were thought to form in exactly the same way as white diamonds even though they are known to be considerably older. However, this is now another explanation.


Famous Loose Diamonds of the World

Some of the largest loose diamonds ever discovered in the world are not only famous, but definitely expensive beyond your wildest dreams. This term refers to a single diamond. Some of these diamonds weigh hundreds of carats and are worth millions of dollars. Although only a small population of the world can afford to purchase these diamonds, the rest of the world can admire these shimmering stones because some are on display in museums.

One of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered is the Tiffany Diamond. It was discovered in 1878 at the Kimberly mine in South Africa. It originally weighed a striking 287.42 carats when first unearthed in Africa. Since then, it has been re-cut by a professional jeweler into a cushion shape weighing 128.54 carats with 82 facets to maximize its shine and splendor. The diamond is so large and so precious that it was only worn by two women, ever! The first lucky lady to accessorize with this diamond was Mrs. Sheldon White house in 1957. She sported the lavishly cut stone to the Tiffany Ball. The second, and last, lady to wear this diamond was Audrey Hepburn in 1961. She was asked to model this diamond for a photo shoot for the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Could you imagine having this much money just dangling from your neck? I would be a nervous wreck!

The Portuguese Diamond is one of the most unique diamonds in the world due to its flawless clarity. Legend has it that the diamond was mined in Brazil and was soon made a part of the Portuguese Crown Jewels. This theory has yet to be proven though. Others believe the diamond was found in the Premier Mine in South Africa in the 1900s. After switching owners from royalty to Harry Winston, the diamond now resides in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Art for the entire world to appreciate.

If you are looking for a beautiful loose diamond to turn into a spectacular piece of custom jewelry, there are some cheaper alternatives that these million dollar gems. Your local jeweler will be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect diamond to complete your set of jewelry. Whether you desire a princess cut or a pear shaped stone, there are millions of options for you to choose from. Just because your budget is significantly smaller than the millionaires of the world does not mean you have to settle for anything less than perfect.

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Colored Diamonds – Are They Real Or Fake Diamonds?

Colored diamonds are high fashion nowadays. The trend for wearing them started on the celebrity Red Carpet, and when A-list figures, such as Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham received pink diamond engagement and eternity rings, interest peaked. And where the celebrities go, everyday fashion follows. But most colored diamonds these days do not have celebrity price tags. This is because they are normally treated by irradiation and temperature. So does this mean they are fake diamonds?

Although most diamonds are colorless, fancy colored diamonds do form naturally in the Earth’s crust. But they are incredibly rare. Natural fancies get their color hues from different trace elements present within the crystal structure of the diamond. Trace nitrogen produces yellow diamonds. Other trace elements produce different colors including red, green, yellow, orange, blue, pink, purple and violet as well as many shades in between, and the color can be intense (saturated) or faint.

But their very rarity makes natural fancies prohibitively expensive for many. In fact some of the most famous diamonds in the world are natural fancies. The fabled Hope diamond, for example, is one of the most perfect examples of a blue diamond. The Tiffany diamond is yellow. Both are priceless.

To satisfy the demand for the stunning look of a fancy, but at more affordable prices, gemologists have pioneered techniques to enable them to create affordable gemstones. This is now normal practice for most colored diamonds found in jewelry today. The process is known as color enhancement and involves treating clean diamonds with a combination of irradiation and safe electron accelerator technology (intense heat) to replicate exactly the process by which Mother Nature forms fancy diamonds, only much quicker! This process enhances natural diamonds to intense hues but does not alter, dissipate or hide internal flaws.

The process yields a myriad of stunning colors including blue, green, red, orange, yellow, pink, purple and black diamonds, all of which are considered permanent.

These are real, mined diamonds, which have been treated with exactly the same conditions radiation and high temperature conditions that would have produced a natural fancy in the Earth’s crust. They are in every sense, real diamonds. The real beauty and popularity of these gemstones lies in the fact that they combine the unmistakable dazzle and brilliance of a diamond with the color saturation of colored gems, like rubies and emeralds.

However, there are laboratory created faux fancies too, where the diamond crystal was grown in a laboratory and not mined. So when you shop for colored diamond jewelry ask about the origin of the gemstones, and check the certificate of origin to verify authenticity. Make sure you know what you are buying.

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