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Why’s and What’s of a Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Jan. 26 2014
A black diamond engagement ring is certainly a stunning statement! Here are some ideas for what to look out for when choosing such a striking stone for your engagement ring.

The other night, while on my way home, I noticed a lady on the bus with a sparkling engagement ring on her left hand.

Obviously, this is a fairly common sight, but something about the ring made me take a second look. Yes, it was sparkly and yes, it was shiny, but hang on a moment – it was black!

I happened to mention this rare sighting to F over dinner and he gave me a sceptical look followed by “why would anybody want a black ring?” Thus the challenge was set. As F will tell you, I am rarely lost for words, but on this occasion I didn’t have an answer. This curiosity certainly warranted some research.

Apparently black diamond engagement rings are a growing trend, and are very different from a normal gemstone. They have a unique formation and appearance, and you need to know about its technicalities as well as what to look for when considering purchasing one of these world famous gems for an engagement ring.

Black diamond engagement ring with yellow diamond sides by Anton Kata

Black diamond engagement ring with yellow diamond sides by Anton Kata

Black diamonds, also known as carbonados, have a unique structure, the origins of which have been debated for decades. I knew F, who is a closeted Trekie, would be thrilled to find out that many geologists have actually speculated that carbonados were formed by the impact of meteorites on the surface of the Earth millions of years ago.

Personally this hypothesis sounds like it came straight from a sci-fi novel, but the appearance of the black diamond certainly has an intergalactic quality to it. The intense luminescent colour it brings to black diamond engagement rings is the result of nitrogen under its surface which is said to have been caused by a strong impact of radiation after the initial formation of the diamond. So I guess the idea of an asteroid or supernova is not too out there after all.

So, hypothetically speaking, if I were to want one of the world’s most coveted gems for my black diamond engagement ring, what would I look for?

How Black is Black?

F offered his oh-so-valuable sarcastic opinion at this point and suggested that the colour might be the first factor to consider. Thanks, genius. However, annoyingly, he was right.   When you come across a diamond defined as ‘black’ make sure to do a double take and check whether that ‘black’ becomes dark brown or green in a different light.

The Cut

Next, check the cut. A black diamond should have a very simple cut with no more than 16 facets which is far from its mirror ball looking white diamond cousins.


Afterwards, check the clarity of the gem. The pride of the black diamond lies in a glossy finish, with little or no imperfections and the surface should be perfectly smooth. The black diamond is one of the rarest of its kind and prices can soar above you if you’re not careful. At this point I felt fairly sure that F’s enthusiasm for these black diamonds might become a little deflated after hearing this news.

The Look & Style

Finally, because I was still curious, I decided to talk to some of our designers. Many of them mentioned that from a design point of view, a black diamond on its own can be too bold and striking for some people, but that white diamonds could be added to give a softer more unique appearance to the engagement ring.
There is no doubt that a black diamond engagement ring is more versatile than I first imagined and it would certainly thrill the right recipient. After all, Carmen Electra looks extremely pleased with her black diamond engagement ring!


Daniel GallieLondon
Christopher AndersonStamford
Julia Lloyd GeorgeLondon
James NewmanBirmingham
Nicola HurstPlymouth