Black Diamond Origin and Formation
Some people love all things black. This could be black metal, black fabric, black clothes. But did you know that black diamonds or carbonados are also available? If you’re looking for a unique ring that matches the clothes you wear most or want a stunning fashion statement that’ll last forever, consider a black diamond engagement ring. Let’s talk about the stars of the show: black diamonds.
What is a black diamond?
Before we discuss what these dark gemstones are, it’s important to remember that diamonds themselves are hard, sparkling crystals of pure carbon. Natural diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s crust, where there’s a lot of heat and pressure. Carbon atoms get “squeezed” together and form the hardest substance on earth. Ideally, the resulting mineral is colorless or has a beautiful natural color, including red, pink, yellow, and blue. These are incredibly rare and expensive, and the color is achieved with impurities that don’t damage the crystal itself.
Black Diamond Formation
Carbonados are also made of hard crystallized carbon. However, unlike their counterparts, the color is formed very differently. Natural black diamonds are the result of graphite inclusions: flaws that are pitch black. If there are enough of these inclusions, it makes the whole crystal black. This results in a unique gem that has only recently become popular. Unfortunately, these are harder to set into that stunning black diamond ring, because the stone is fragile. After all, the graphite makes the stone “weaker” in some ways. With other diamond colors, the coloring impurity is part of the crystal itself.
How are lab-treated or lab black diamonds made?
Unlike their natural counterparts, color-enhanced black gems are produced by a very different process. Often, they are heated with low pressure, or exposed to radiation. In the case of heated stones, they are often weaker in their crystal structure than natural black diamonds. This is because of the way in which the carbon rearranges itself.
Remember, in the case of heat treatment they essentially “create” graphite inclusions. No matter which treatment method is used, a black diamond promise ring is a beautiful alternative to the traditional white diamonds. If the recipient is asked “are black diamonds real,” you can confidently say “yes” even if it’s a heat-treated stone.
Black Diamond Origins
Like other types of colored diamonds, the black stones are much rarer than colorless gems. Unlike some other minerals, you can think of colorless or nearly colorless as the “default” for diamonds. Anything else is harder to obtain. It’s also worth mentioning that black diamonds are different from the other colors in that the stone becomes opaque and absorbs light.
Black carbonados are geological oddities. Remember, they’re a combination of two different forms of crystallized carbon. Graphite doesn’t require as much pressure to form as diamonds do. It’s almost as if the crystal doesn’t “finish” compacting into a diamond. Also, many of these diamonds are expelled from volcanoes. Generally speaking, there are three locations where most natural black diamonds are found: Brazil, the Central African Republic, and Kamchatka, Russia. While there are many diamonds mined in big pits, most black diamonds are actually found in riverbeds and other alluvial deposits.
Black Diamond Uses
Like poor-quality colorless diamonds, many black diamonds are used for industrial purposes. While larger crystals are more fragile, the smaller pieces are actually quite tough. For years, black gemstones were usually crushed or ground into small pieces and used as industrial abrasives.
Diamonds, in general, are also used for coating drill bits, as heat sinks for small electronics, and in other situations where durability is key. These purposes for diamonds are usually applied to diamonds that can’t be made into jewelry, but most black diamonds historically have met this fate.
Black Diamond Popularity
After all, they weren’t very popular in jewelry, and small black diamonds wouldn’t have even been worth faceting. Now, however, black diamond white gold engagement rings have become popular, even trendy.
Black Diamond Grading
Black diamonds are unique, not simply due to their geological rarity, but also because they have different properties than their colorless counterparts and the more “traditional” colored varieties. As we’ve said before, black diamonds are mostly opaque, so clarity isn’t a question at all.
Instead, people buy black stones because of the uniqueness of their opaque appearance. In jewelry, this can be highlighted by mounting them to make a stunning rose gold black diamond ring (like this classic six-prong style below). This pink metal contrasts with the black colored stone to make something special.
First, the intensity of color in a black diamond is viewed differently. You can’t really have “dark” black, but color needs to be uniform throughout. Another important factor in the valuation is the overall quality of the stone. In this case, structural integrity is the main factor: you don’t want a stone so fragile it’ll fall apart. Especially if you’re considering a carbonado wedding ring for her, it’s important to remember that she’ll ideally wear this ring every day for the rest of her life.
The cut is always an important consideration with any diamond. After all, nobody wants a misshapen stone which looks awful when made into a black diamond solitaire ring. You’re buying something unique, so you want it to look good on the wearer’s hand. At the same time, they’re economical. We offer white gold black diamond engagement rings starting at $500.00. This price is for a half-carat oval cut diamond in a solitaire setting.
Want to wow her with a two-carat stone? The same natural black diamond engagement ring would then cost $1500. You can also get a great deal on a princess cut black diamond ring if that’s what she’d prefer.