Sorry if I sound a little upset. But this is as bad as promoting
the Black Diamond a few years >back. They asked and got big dollars
for a worthless >industrial grade stone.
Oh oh. What is wrong with black diamonds? Can someone please explain
more about these to me? I was thinking about purchasing some of these
for the line I am developing. I’d be grateful to any of you who might
save me from being duped.
Already, the “green amethyst” thread has saved me a ton of money, I
suspect. I wont look at “green amethyst” – ahem green quartz – the
same way again! Thanks to all who have contributed to that thread
and might contribute to this one!
The last I check, these were Tanzanite that was black in colour,
maybe I am wrong, but I have a few and they are not real diamonds,
they are black, and my rough stones came south eastern Africa before
Oh oh. What is wrong with black diamonds? Can someone please
explain more about these to me
There is nothing “wrong” with black diamonds; they’re simply
diamonds with such poor clarity that they are irradiated to make them
as black as possible. For generations, they were broken up and used
as industrial grit for grinding, cutting, polishing, etc. I suppose
it is difficult for some of the people in our industry who remember
when they were considered garbage to get over the fact that somebody
else now finds them useful. Some designers recently came up with
interesting ways to use them in jewelry applications, utilizing the
contrast between the black stones and relatively colorless ones,
often in pave-type setting. Many people have had their names spelled
in a bracelet or pendant in this manner, with the black stones
making up the lettering on a field of colorless stones. The fact that
they are of such poor quality makes them very inexpensive
(relatively), and that’s a big draw for a lot of people.
Just as some marketing genius conceived the idea of calling
(formerly useless) brown diamonds such romantic names as "champagne"
and “cognac,” others have found uses for crappy, black ones. I’ve
never personally used them in a design and the craze for them seems
to have nearly run its course but I never have a problem with a
well-executed design, no matter what the component. If you do
incorporate them into your designs, Annabel, please share with us.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL
There are very nice black diamonds that where for a long time
dismissed by the jewelry trade as “bort” or industrial grade
material. But the famous Arloff Diamond is a black diamond and highly
The important aspect with black diamonds is that the black
inclusions be small, well dispersed through out the stone, and that
the body color of the diamond is clear. The really lovely ones I have
viewed look totally black to the naked eye, yet under magnification
you can see millions of tiny black specks evenly dispersed throughout
the clear, colorless diamond. I hope the G.G.'s on the forum will
correct me if I have misspoke.
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
There is nothing "wrong" with black diamonds; they're simply
diamonds with such poor clarity that they are irradiated to make
them as black as possible. [snip] I suppose it is difficult for
some of the people in our industry who remember when they were
considered garbage to get over the fact that somebody else now
finds them useful.
Well, James, I think you’ve hit on a worthwhile point here. I
haven’t looked closely at black diamonds, but they are diamonds, and
they are, I think, black, and reasonably glittery, so as long as
they are being sold pretty cheap, and used for novelty value or
contrast, I don’t see a problem. They do hold up like other
diamonds, don’t they? So no one is being deceived…
It strikes me as maybe being a little like boulder opals. If I
understand correctly, they used to be discarded because the precious
opal could not be cut out of the matrix to make solid, precious opal
stones. Then as “good” opal became harder to find, they were offered
for sale, and jewelry artists started to pick up on them for their
unique patterns and “images”, and now they are pretty expensive, and
widely used (I love them, myself).
So, yesterday’s “crap” may be tomorrow’s hot item-- it’s all in how
you use it. As I like to say, “How like life!”
I haven't looked closely at black diamonds, but they are diamonds,
and they are, I think, black, and reasonably glittery, so as long
as they are being sold pretty cheap, and used for novelty value or
contrast, I don't see a problem. They do hold up like other
diamonds, don't they? So no one is being deceived...
Noel, the type that Nanz described, with many small black inclusions
will hold up as well as any other diamond. If, however they are
heavily included with feathers (cracks), they definitely won’t. And
while they are certainly glittery, they don’t have the fire and
visible dispersion that better quality diamonds do.
Here’s a case in point: About 2 weeks ago, a woman came to the store
with a small ring she had bought in the islands. The ring had one
center row of small, graduated single cut white diamonds with a row
of graduated, full cut black diamonds on either side. While the
center row was single cut, they still had some nice sparkle and fire.
And while the side rows of brilliant cut black diamonds had no fire
whatsoever, the reflections from the adamantine luster of their
facets was very glittery. Although it was a cheap ring with an
uninspired design, I thought the use of the different facet
arrangement was at least a little clever.
I agree with Noel. As long as no one is being deceived, I have no
problem with their use.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL