Black Diamonds ... Oh, So Unique
Last week, we focused on all the fabulous shades colored diamonds (brown, yellow, green, blue, red, pink, and purple) in our Colored Diamonds of April ... Oh, So Pretty blog. This week, we bring you the unique black diamond. Our in-house gemologist, Susan Leeper, explores the history, glamour, allure, and extraordinary timelessness of the black diamond....
"Just as in interior design, black & white is classic & timeless."
With the ability to instantly add a mysterious elegance to any piece, the black diamond truly stands out from the rest. Over the last several years black diamonds have recently been gaining in popularity and are classified as a fancy colored diamond.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Fancy colored diamonds are far rarer than the traditional white diamond, and the black diamond with its intriguing appearance is no exception.
"I happen to love black diamonds, especially when paired with colorless ones. Just as in interior design, black and white is classic and timeless," explains Christie Spooner, director of BRG's jewelry department. "When pairing these two diamonds together you have those same characteristics while having something that is just a little bit different."
Fancy colored diamonds achieve their color from chemical inclusions, the deformation of their crystaline lattice or radiation.
Due to inclusions, black diamonds are difficult to cut & facet.
Natural black diamonds, however, are unique in that they are white diamonds that are so heavily included, commonly with graphite (but pyrites, magnetite and hematite are also found), they become opaque and absorb light rather than reflecting it back to the observer. The less heavily included diamonds may take on a ‘salt and pepper’ like appearance, containing both dark and white inclusions. The darker ‘salt and pepper’ diamonds, termed ‘Galaxy Diamonds’ resemble a starry night sky, each one unique. Others may display brown to green tones when the stone is viewed from various angles or even under different lighting.
Natural diamonds form under extremely high temperatures and pressures deep within the Earth’s crust. The natural (not lab-created) exception to this is the ‘carbonado’. Carbonados are a combination of amorphous crystaline diamond and graphite thatare often referred to as black diamonds. It is believed that carbonados had formed in space billions of years ago later arriving on Earth as/with meteorites. ‘The Sergio’ is the largest known and confirmed carbonado. It was found in Brazil and has been cut to make a one-of-a-kind gemstone.
Due to their inclusions, black diamonds are difficult to cut and facet, as large inclusions must be taken into consideration when cutting. Due to their interruption of the crystaline lattice, inclusions make the stone slightly weaker than the white or other fancy colored diamonds (but still much harder than any other gemstone).
Despite their rarity, black diamonds remain more affordable than the other fancy colored or classic white diamonds. Even though natural black diamonds are available, most on the market today are lab created or enhanced making them even more accessible and affordable.
With their own personality, black diamonds make an excellent and unique choice that is sure to stand out.
Be sure to check out our April is for Diamonds auction (closing April 25th), particularly two stunning pairs of black and white diamond earrings: a 14k white gold black and white diamond round pendant earrings (item #156305) and 14k white gold elegant double pear shaped black and white diamond drop pendant earrings 2.32 TCW (item #156321). Another option for a classic black and white diamond jewelry piece (and a staff pick) is the stunning 14k gold white and black diamond ring, size 7+ (item #156337) -- shown above.
If you are looking for other jewelry options, check out the Jewelry Box at BRG Greenwich sale which offers a sterling silver eye-catching braided black and white diamond ring (item #160967) or our newly listed Happy Spring! Bugs & Blooms Jewelry at BRG Greenwich sale featuring a charming 14k white diamond daisy pin/pendant (item #160999) -- either (or both) are sure to be an excellent addition to your black diamond collection.
About the Contributing Writer
While Susan Leeper originally began her career at BRG as a jewelry department intern, her passion for gems and jewelry acumen quickly accelerated her position to gemologist. Sue has a bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences and a minor in Biology from Southern Connecticut State University. As part of her degree work, she took a class in gemology which piqued her desire to learn more about the field. She is helping BRG's jewelry department expand its capabilities and service offerings.
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