A black diamond is defined as one that is dark gray, a very dark green or truly black. It may be opaque to semi-transparent. Although black diamonds do not show the fire normally valued in diamonds, they are quite small and valuable, used as accent stones rather than as a solitaire.
Most diamonds are valued for their lack of color; however, even more valuable are colored or fancy diamonds. Black diamonds are considered fancy diamonds and some say that price controls add to the heightened interest in them.
More often, a choice for a man's wedding band, black diamonds are becoming popular for use in women's rings. In Europe, black diamonds are very much in style. Set in titanium or platinum, or in combination with colorless diamonds, black diamond engagement rings look stunning. Since they do not shine as brightly as colorless diamonds do, enhancing your black diamond by pairing it with white or colored diamonds is an option.
Black diamonds are often confused with other stones that bear 'diamond' in their common names. Radium Diamond is a Smoky Quartz, Alaska Black Diamond is Hematite, and a Nevada Black Diamond is Obsidian.
Not all black diamonds are given their color by nature. Just as with the other fancy diamonds, you need to be careful that an unscrupulous dealer isn't selling you an artificially created color; such as is found in most of the black diamond fashion jewelry, without telling you about it. Legitimate gem dealers are required to disclose any treatments on invoices. Ask for a certificate of authenticity.
While diamonds are given artificial colors through a process called irradiation, natural black diamonds receive their color from abnormalities in their crystal lattice structure. Geologists debate the origins of these abnormalities in black diamonds.
One theory is that about 3.5 million years ago, carbon atoms were squeezed into crystals in the hot, dense mantel under the Earth's surface. Through volcanic eruptions, black diamonds reached the earth's surface. Another theory is that the black diamonds or carbonados as they also called come from a meteorite that struck Africa. Black diamonds are almost exclusively found in Africa and mined by De Beers Consolidated Mines.
The black diamond appeals to men. A black diamond is one way to have matching gemstones in both the groom and the bride's wedding rings. The groom's band may feature black diamonds, while the bride's wedding ring may have tiny black diamonds that accent the band and add contrast to her colorless diamond engagement ring.
When deciding on the stones you want in your wedding rings, consider the future. Your wedding rings will last far longer than a trend. While what is in vogue may be attractive, let your own sense of style and true love guide you to what is right for you. Perhaps your style will lead you to the black diamond ring of your dreams.