Thursday, June 11, 2015

Black Diamond Engagement Rings

This showstopping black diamond engagement ring features a 5-carat, irradiated diamond set in a solid 14k white gold mount. Black diamonds are becoming increasingly popular as engagement rings among celebrities.

Black diamonds have become the engagement stone of choice for a handful of celebrities. Some credit the trend with Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame. Her black diamond was also 5 carats, but Mr. Big had it set in an 18k white gold band paved with 80 white diamonds.

But before Carrie's black diamond made the news, Shanae Grimes began sporting a demure round black diamond set in a square halo paved in diamonds. Her black diamond is mounted on a delicate diamond-studded band reminiscent of Lorraine Schwartz's signature invisi-band.

Interestingly enough, Shanae's co-star, Jennie Garth (who played Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills 90210) recently received a gorgeous black diamond engagement ring from fiance Dave Abrams. Ms. Garth's ring appears to be the fraternal twin, set in yellow gold instead of white, to the magnificent black diamond engagement ring featured in the above photograph.

This black diamond ring features a 5-carat round brilliant black diamond set in a pinched half dome band crafted of solid 14k white gold. This black diamond has been irradiated in order to elicit its deep black hue.

According to the GIA, the actual color of the stone is a deep, dark green that appears black. They report that most gem-quality black diamonds are treated in this way.

There is another type of black diamond which is occasionally used in jewelry, though much more rarely. This type is called a carbonado diamond. These are not found in the deep diamond mines. Instead, they are found near the surface in only a handful of places, namely in Brazil and in the Central African Republic.

Carbonado diamonds are not comprised of single crystals like the diamonds found deep within the earth. Rather, they are comprised of "millions of diamond crystals that are stuck together."{1} The prevailing theory on carbonado diamonds is that they arrived when a small handful of meteors crashed to earth some time ago. The scientists who are proposing this theory believe that these diamond-laden meteors formed billions of years ago around a distant star. {2}

As amazing as it would be to wear a space rock on THAT finger to memorialize your partner's undying love for you, we urge caution when choosing a black diamond engagement ring. Carbonado diamonds are rarer than black diamonds, and they're even harder to cut. This means it is very rare for them to be incorporated in jewelry, especially as faceted stones.

Furthermore, as the GIA mentions, since black diamonds are typically heat treated to achieve their color, it is vital that they be marked as such by your jeweler. Therefore, if a black diamond you're interested in purchasing is not marked as having been treated, then be sure to request an examination by a reputable gemologist in order to ascertain whether it's truly a diamond, or whether someone is taking you for a ride.


  1. Young, Kelly. "Rare black diamonds may have come from space," New Scientist, January 15, 2007.
  2. Ibid.

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