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Black is back

What is behind the disruptive spread of black diamonds in jewelry? First of all, the need to broaden the palette offered by gems to fashion creatives with an essential chromatic element. Black, relatively new in jewelery, is in fact the color of elegance, of sobriety, of the classic dress, a must for evening events. Furthermore, the market has long been chasing gems that can also be worn by a male audience and that have a noble and precious DNA. The moment of popularity of diamonds in colors such as pink, yellow, orange, green and others had already come (whose color is due, when natural, to deformations of the crystalline structure or to the presence of atoms such as boron and nitrogen which replace carbon).


Black diamonds can be natural or, very often, they may have undergone treatment. The fact is that in the last 15 years they have literally taken off in high-end jewelry. Natural black diamonds generally polycrystalline (aggregation of millions of small crystals) also owe their color to inclusions of minerals such as magnetite, hematite and native iron and have been used since ancient times. Precisely the net network of natural inclusions often emerging gives them little luster on the surface and causes great difficulty for the cutter. Natural black diamonds have a low cut yield and therefore have not historically been suitable for satisfying the demand.


The strong market demand then resorted to highly fractured diamonds, with less defined colors. These, after a high temperature and low pressure treatment that leads to the graphitization of the fractures (hence the well-defined black color), make up the majority of black diamonds on the market. The treatment by artificial irradiation is rarer, which is more expensive than the previous one, cannot use very cheap raw material and often has greenish zonings. However, the treated gems will have a much better polish and are more suitable for setting.

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