Black Diamond Jewellery: What's Hot, What's Not
Black Diamonds are one of the hottest trends to hit the market in the past few years. From celebrity engagement rings to understated stud earrings, these inky jewels are the perfect combination of attitude and class.
What are black diamonds?
Black diamonds, or carbonados, bear little resemblance, chemically or physically, to other coloured diamonds. They owe their dark hue to the presence of graphite in the crystalline structure during their formation. Black diamonds are mostly mined in Central Africa and Brazil, however, because of the large amount of hydrogen in their chemical composition, it is believed they actually originated in space and were brought to earth by an asteroid around 2.8 million years ago.
The majority of them are not solid black, but rather have shades of grey running through them due to their varying amounts of sulphides and imperfections. Many are treated to enhance their colour. This is usually done either by exposing the diamond to extreme heat, or through irradiation, which physically alters the diamond’s crystal lattice to change the colour. This does not affect the diamond’s authenticity, but merely applies the same process that would have occurred naturally over thousands of years.
What makes black diamonds different?
Their unique crystalline structure makes them the hardest of all diamonds. In fact, before they were recognised as gems for jewellery, they had many industrial uses because of their durability. Cutting them can only be done with another diamond, which takes great skill as they risk being fractured during the shaping process. However, once the stone has been placed, it is almost indestructible.
Unlike most diamonds, these gems absorb light rather than reflect it and, therefore, they don’t possess that signature sparkle. Far from flat or dull, however, black diamonds have a rare luminescence.
Black diamonds are a more affordable alternative to their white relatives, mainly because they are of lower quality ̶ being heavily included and porous makes them harder to cut and polish, which can result in blemishes and nicks on the surface. Something to watch out for when selecting a stone. Natural gems are more valuable than those that have been treated, but they still don’t ever reach the cost of a similarly-weighted white diamond.
What are the styling benefits of a black diamond?
They make a statement: Black diamonds can add a touch of drama to any look – the perfect pairing for that little black dress, but equally stunning when offsetting a more casual outfit.
They’re edgy: These rocks have attitude. Break up a formal work outfit with the unexpected jar of a black diamond ring for a look that’s offbeat and original.
Perfect for him: Refined yet bold, the luminosity of a piece of black diamond jewellery can be uniquely suited to male taste.