The history of black diamonds in custom jewelry

loose diamonds

Black diamonds, also referred to as carbonados for their appearance as lumpy carbon, had a difficult history and often went unappreciated and underutilized by custom jewelers all over the world. Less sparkly and much rougher than their brilliant colorless counterparts, black diamonds in their natural form really do resemble a lump of coal. In fact, many who came upon them thought they were better suited for industrial use than as jewelry because they were too awkward and difficult to put through a diamond cutting process. Historians say, however, that black diamonds were prized by collectors, such as King Louis the Eighteenth, who purchased one for what was, at the time, considered a very high amount of money. Black diamonds have been seen throughout history in jewelry, but never with any real frequency, generally because they were considered to be too much of a hassle and because other gemstones took precedence. Once they were discovered for their unique beauty and individuality, however, people began referring to them as “diamonds of the night” which is a much for fitting a beautiful name for such a lovely gemstone. 

There are a few legends and superstitions behind black diamonds though. For example, Italians are said to have used black diamonds as a symbol for a marriage that had undergone hardship, strife or trouble. Many said a black diamond was a symbol of reconnecting and recommitting to one another after a tough spell in the marriage. In fact, this same idea was seen in the feature length movie made after the popularity of the show Sex and the City, when the lead character, Carrie, is given a black diamond ring by her husband after she cheats on him.

It was not really until the mid 1990’s that the black diamond started getting the recognition it deserved after being featured in a collection from a jewelry designer out of Switzerland called e GRISOGONO. After people saw how lovely the black diamond could be, it rose in popularity.

Today, a black diamond, because of its rarity, is extremely pricey, but because of modern technology, many jewelry designers have been able to create black sapphires, which mimic the black diamond at a lower price point, making it more accessible to those who want the same look, perhaps for a custom engagement ring. Black diamonds have a very particular look and are perfect for someone a little non traditional. Black diamonds seem to get a lot of attention from passers by because they are so out of the ordinary from the traditional colorless diamond engagement ring.

For those interested in a black diamond or a similar type of sapphire, it is best to  make an appointment with a specialist like those at The Diamond Reserve, who can answer questions and discuss pricing options. They can also help to determine the best settings for black diamonds, which should be displayed uniquely and highlighted. For those who can afford a real black diamond, they are a sought-after gem that will provide your fiancé with bragging rights and a truly special ring.