Sure, you know natural black diamonds are real diamonds. But we bet there are some things about these dark beauties you never even heard. Check out these five fast facts about fancy color black diamonds while you click through a selection we’ve put together of some of our absolute favorite contemporary black diamond engagement rings.
01 of 05
Some Say They're From Outer Space. (Really!)
Extraterrestrial gems? Sounds crazy, right? Especially since all other diamonds—even other fancy colors—have science that attests to their geological birth. But some research does point to black fancies as having extraterrestrial origins. While hundreds of tons of conventional diamonds have been mined, traded, and, finally, polished, since around 1900, not a single black diamond has been discovered in the world’s mining fields. And, because black diamonds have been found to obtain trace elements of nitrogen and hydrogen that some claim are sure indicators of an extraterrestrial origin, some researchers believe that black diamonds were formed in stellar supernova explosions. Furthermore, their research indicates that black diamonds, when they first landed on earth, were once the size of asteroids, a kilometer or more in diameter.
02 of 05
Yup, You Can Buy Carrie Bradshaw's Ring
For any of you who watch reruns of TV’s romantic comedy, Sex and the City, you know that the main character, Carrie Bradshaw, had an on-again/off-again relationship with the guy you loved and loved-to-hate, Mr. Big. Finally, in the 2010 movie, “Sex and the City 2,” Carrie said “yes,” when, at the end of the film, Mr. Big proposed with a five-carat black diamond engagement ring. How on-point when Sarah-Jessica Parker’s character asked him “why black?” and he answered: “Because you are not like anyone else!” As it turns out, it was kind of the ring that launched a thousand rings—because jewelry manufacturers today create their versions of the Carrie ring. And not just in five carats either. Gemvara offers many interpretations of Carrie’s platinum design with 80 pavé diamonds halfway down the slim shank and circling as a slim halo. For SATC fans, BTW, the original ring was designed by Itay Malkin, a native of Israel, who’d emigrated to New York City in 2002. Mr. Malkin saw the beauty in black diamonds years ago—soon after arriving in New York, he began designing custom pieces from rough-cut black diamond beads, which led to his first collection, Black Diamonds by Itay Malkin. If you love black diamonds, you should certainly pay attention to this collection.
03 of 05
Some Black Diamonds Began as GREEN
To compensate for what can often be a lack of even color and smooth surface in a natural black diamond, some gem dealers irradiate green diamonds, for extra-long periods of time, in order to ensure that the stones have an ebony-like color. While irradiation can achieve that, you want to be sure to ask if the black diamond in the ring you’re buying has, in fact, been irradiated. Because, as a customer, you should always know exactly what you’re buying.
04 of 05
The MOST Famous Black Diamond? A Cushion Cut
The 67.50-carat cushion-cut Black Orloff is a gun-metal color, which is owned today by a private diamond dealer. To give you an idea of what a real art form gem cutting is, the original rough that was reportedly found in India in the early 19th century, actually weighed 195 carats (or, 39.0 grams). It takes a lot of diamond to create one incredibly beautiful cut! Oh, yes, where did the unusual name come from? Supposedly, Black Vygin-Orloff was a Russian princess, who owned it for a while. Lucky girl, right? However, we've seen photos of the original and I think any woman today who owns this black diamond ring, shown here, by contemporary jewelry designer, Erica Courtney, is also very (very!) lucky.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
It Can Take One Year to Cut a Black Diamond
Because these natural precious gems have an unusual combination of carbon and graphite atoms, such a mix robs them of uniform crystallography. Therefore, in order for a cutter to assure a beautiful black stone, the diamond cutting process for these black gems can be frustrating and time-consuming. So, on the upside, you can be assured that a lot of patience and love went into the cutting of the black diamond that’s set in your engagement or wedding ring.