21 Jul 2019
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Is Black the new shine?
Popularity of Black diamonds
By: Diamond World News Service
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Apr 22 2014 5:45PM
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Reference: 9055  

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Black Diamonds have become THE diamonds for present diamond jewellery, outshining all coloured diamond. Is it the secrecy and mystery of the colour black that makes it so desirable? The theories of Black diamond formation have much to do with that and the source of the world's largest diamonds -black stones known as carbonadoes - has long been a geological puzzle. Kunjal Karaniya goes in-depth to solve the mystery.

SOURCE OF ORIGIN
By definition, a black diamond is the most impure form of polycrystallised carbon with impurities like graphite, iron impurities, etc. There are various theories explaining their origin such that they were born as the result of heat from natural radiation, the impact of rocky asteroids or exploding stars. However, none of these conflicting views have been recognised scientifically yet and an altogether different geographic phenomenon which led to the origin of black diamond cannot be ruled out. According to Colin Shah, MD, Kama Schachter, “Chemically, diamond is an exceptionally pure form of crystallised carbon. Although, when you think of diamond one tends to think of it as colourless, but it should be known that it comes in various colours. Colour is imparted due to the presence of natural impurity elements or slight distortion in the crystallised structure of the diamond.”Ashutosh Sharma, Managing Director, Shreem Jeweler has a similar view, “There are various theories of how black diamonds were created. One of the theories of how black diamonds were created is by the earth's pressure on the diamond, much like other diamonds are formed.Most theories include some form of collision of rock from outer space that collided with the earth. It is simply a naturally occurring crystal, just like other diamonds. It is completely opaque not translucent and the value of black diamond is lesser than that of a normal diamond.”

Black diamonds are extremely rare, there are various theories of how black diamonds were created. One of the theories is that black diamonds were created by the earth's pressure on the diamond, much like other diamonds are formed. It is believed that black diamonds were created as a result of a large meteor from outer space that collided with the earth millions of years ago, says Amar Ghanasingh, a renowned jewellery designer .While Mira Guati, Founder & Principal Designer, Mirari states, “There are various theories about the origin of black diamond but according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world’s foremost authority in gemology, black diamonds get their colour from the presence of numerous inclusions, often consisting of graphite. Due to the dense concentrations of these dark inclusions, sometimes lining the stone’s cleavages and fractures, black diamonds are generally opaque and difficult to cut. Some notable black diamonds are the Black Star of Africa at 202.00 cts and the Black Orfloff, at 67.50 cts.” On the other hand designer Renu Oberoi says, “Basically it’s a low quality diamond which has been infused with colour. It was brought to the world market by the jewellery house called De Gozu Gonu. It is not originally black in color. They are genuine diamonds treated with radiation to make their colour appear black. Under normal lighting conditions the colour enhanced ‘black’ diamond looks black butit is actually a very dark green.”According to Designer Sulish Verma of Vikas Chain & Jewellery, “The origin of Black diamond is like other diamonds, it is found in mines. The natural for of Black diamond is opaque. It is very rare to find Black Diamond in nature.

The diamond available these days in market is of very low quality and is treated to make black diamond. According to Indian Mythology ORLOFF is the historical Black Diamond and is also known as eye of Brahma.” “Significant number of the renowned experts works on these theories but unfortunately, as of today, none of the existing theories were proven as a fact”,concludes Mark Gershburg, CEO of Gemological Science International.

IS THE NAME ‘CARBONADO’?
Carbonado is the Brazilian name for black diamond. They're heavily splintered and are considered industrial quality-also known as ‘crushing bort’. Carbonados are commonly minced and bonded to drill bits and other cutting tools. Their random crystal orientation makes them difficult to face, but some black industrials can be refined and set into jewellery, says Gaurav Issar, MD and Founder of Institute of Diamond Trade. The reason why it is known as the carbonado is because it is so hard and its impure nature of diamond that consist of diamond, graphite and another form of carbons adds to it, says Ashish Sukhadiya, Owner, Gemone Diamonds and Vishal Jain, Director, Zahav Jewels.

SUDDEN POPULARITY
The popularity of black diamond has been increasing over the past five years or so; the trend of platinum can be as one reason for black diamond's new rage. The white metal contrasts the black of the diamond. They are graceful and enhance the colours around them, whether it’s the colour of the gold, especially 22-carat, or other stones. Black diamond’s create a glisten that demands attention, informs Gaurav Issar.Fashion is definitely one of the major reasons behind the growing popularity of black diamonds. People like to adapt western trends like when Cartier started using black diamonds it was not only to reduce the price point but also to come up with something innovative. Bulgari made a snake and Cartier a cheetah just to create a popular new trend, which was then adapted by other fashion jewellery brands. Now people have also started understanding the concept as it is cheaper and looks different, says Vishal Jain. There are many reasons for making the black diamond popular. Many of them are: People all over the world, have increased hunger for antique diamond jewellery, and increased uses of white gold/rose gold suits black colour most, so this is the one reason. Another reason its power of black and white, the leathal combo that is loved by many. All other colour diamonds are much costlier then black, so for the middle class can prefer when it comes to proposing a girl friend/to be wife. American Hollywood star, rap culture/hip-hop culture has made it popular. And just like in India, Hollywood stars has lot many followers in the western region. So this being the reason, and the affordable one, the fame of Black diamonds is surging. From the manufacturer point of view , due to less cost as compared to white diamond and other colour diamonds, they can literally push the black diamond with wide variety of designs into the market. 1 ct centre black diamond ring with white accents will cost only 1/5 of the 1 ct centre white diamond with white diamond ring, points Ashish Sukhadiya. Back in 1990's, Chopard was one of the first high endjewellery and watch brand to start using black diamonds. As is alwaysthe case, once such a marque brand starting using black diamonds, itgained in popularity very fast.

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