What is a black diamond? Are black diamonds really diamonds? Naturally, before you buy, some basic knowledge is in order.

Yes, black diamonds are really diamonds

Natural black diamonds differ from other colored diamonds in several ways. A black diamond is an impure form of polycrystalline diamond made up of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon, according to the "dry" definition.

In other words, while "normal" natural colored diamonds get their color from impurities bonded to them during the formation process (for example, boron causes blue diamonds), black diamonds are white diamonds with an extremely high number of inclusions, there are many clusters of graphite inside them, to the point where they appear black (graphite is another form of carbon, if you remember back to those high school chemistry lessons.)

Only mines in Brazil and Central Africa have yielded black diamonds. It's vital to remember that these two regions were formerly neighbors.A long time ago for sure, like when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. But is that a coincidence? We don't think so...

In addition, black diamonds are distinguished from other diamond varieties and colors by their location. Black diamonds are only found in alluvial deposits, while all other diamond types are found in kimberlite deposits. These are the deposits and sediments left behind by a river or other source of flowing water.

How were black diamonds formed?

The formation of black diamonds can be explained in three ways, according to science anyway. The notion that black diamonds are produced by a meteoric impact is one of them. Another hypothesis is that radiation causes black diamonds to form. Scientists believe they are the consequence of uranium and thorium spontaneous fission.

The final theory is likely the most outlandish, to put it mildly. Black diamonds, according to some experts, were produced in space. They believe that black diamonds evolved in hydrogen-rich interstellar space and arrived on Earth between 2-4 million years ago via an asteroid collision. Does that mean that should they ever make contact, aliens will be rocking a lot of dark diamond bling? We may never know.

How tough are black diamonds? Tough!

You know that diamonds are hard, but how do black diamonds stack up against other options? Black diamonds are the toughest of all diamonds. They have a Mohs hardness of 10 and are more difficult to cut and polish than colorless diamonds due to their thick polycrystalline structure.

Using black diamonds is a great way to make a statement with your jewelry (without getting too crazy).

Black diamonds actually work amazingly well with lots of classic jewelry designs. If you want to stand out, instead of using white diamonds, or popular fancy yellows, you can go ahead and set a black diamond as a single stone, a centerpiece surrounded by additional diamonds, in clusters or in a repeat design, to create the perfect updated and luxurious design.

Black diamonds are not for women only, they are perfect for men!

This one you may have known already, but for the man in your life who appreciates the finer things, a black diamond piece is a great gift choice. Black diamonds are appearing all over in sophisticated jewelry for men, especially in rings and cufflinks.

Beware! Not all black diamonds are natural.

There are black diamonds, and then there are Natural Fancy Black Diamonds. Very often the term “black diamonds” is used to refer to cloudy, grayish diamonds treated with heat to turn them black. Natural Fancy Black Diamonds are mined black diamonds, with their intense color endowed by Mother Nature herself.

Nothing wrong with going for the more affordable option of a treated black diamond, but always make sure you know what you’re getting. If the diamond you are buying is supposed to be a Natural Fancy Black Diamond, make sure you check the certificate to be sure.

Are black diamonds unlucky?

Depending on where you are, black diamonds are regarded as a curse or a blessing. Black diamonds were thought to be cursed in ancient Indian culture because they resembled the hue of a spider or snake's eyes.

Black diamonds, on the other hand, were regarded as a symbol of reconciliation in ancient Roman culture. Just touching a black stone, they believed, would bring them good luck in their marriage and help them overcome any marital problems. Wearing one therefore was thought to safeguard a union and help ensure it would b happy and long lasting.

The world's largest black diamond is considered to be both stunningly beautiful and maybe a little unlucky. The Black Orlov, weighing 67.5 carats, can be traced back to India, where legends abound about a curse that has resulted in thievery and even death.

This intriguing jewel was originally known as "The Eye of Brahma," according to legends passed down through the generations. The Black Orlov diamond is thought to have formerly belonged to a Hindu idol monument in the Indian city of Pondicherry. The black diamond, which has a dark "gunmetal" tint, was most likely used as the statue's dark eye. The diamond was stolen by a monk, according to legend, which started the curse that surrounds this dark and mysterious stone.

Princess Nadia Orlov fled to Italy for safety during the Russian Revolution (like many other royals of the time.) In 1947, Princess Nadia killed herself by jumping from a skyscraper for mysterious reasons. Following this sad event, it was discovered that the princess was the proud owner of a unique black diamond, the same one from the legend. The stone was dubbed the Black Orlov after she died.

Derek Jeter rocks a black diamond

Remember we said black diamonds were great for guys? The MLB's New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter wears a black diamond chain every day. He reveals here that the chain was a gift, although he does not reveal who gave it to him. He has stated that it is in fact the only thing he wears every day. Nothing wrong with being like Derek Jeter.

Given that, after retiring from the Yankees he has gone on to become the part owner and general manager of the Miami Marlins and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, as well as getting married and becoming the father to three girls, the man himself has changed a lot, but if you look closely at those press pictures that black diamond can still be spotted peeking out from underneath those button down shirts!

Black diamonds are worthy of Carrie Bradshaw.

We know she’s not real, but her status as a fashion icon is. Carrie received a 5-carat black diamond ring, set with 80 pave diamonds in white gold, at the end of the second Sex and the City movie when she makes up with Mr. Big (aww). Why a black diamond, she wonders. “Because,” Mr. Big tells her, “you are not like anyone else.”

Given that the show is now being rebooted, and will catch up with where Carrie is now, it's likely that the stunning black diamond gem will make a reappearance. Rumor is that in the new show, the Bradshaw/Big coupling may not be going well, but the chances are that the ring is still just fine!