Tag Archives: Black Diamonds

Unique Diamond Engagement Rings- Cuts, Styles, & Costs

Posted on Oct 30,2014

While most people prefer classic engagement ring styles like round brilliant or princess cut solitaire engagement rings, others are more particular about the style of their rings. It’s natural to want to own something that is unlike anything found in the market. This is why many couples prefer to have their engagement rings custom-designed to suit their individual tastes and preferences.

There are many unique diamond engagement rings in the market, some feature intricate metalwork paired with unique diamond shapes or cuts and look more like wearable art than jewelry.

From uncommon metals like tungsten to unusual band designs featuring lots of intricate patterns, there are many different techniques and styles you can employ to create a truly unique engagement ring. It’s inspiring to see the diversity of engagement ring styles out there.

Cuts of Unique Diamond Engagement Rings

When it comes to unique diamond engagement rings, people are more likely to experiment with the setting rather than the diamond cut or shape. This is because the setting can easily be changed but the diamond itself is not always easy to replace.

However, if you are in the market for a less-than-common diamond cut or shape, then you may want to consider the following options:

The Triangle or Trillion

Triangle DiamondThis is a diamond shape rarely seen on engagement rings but can be a stunner when set on the right band and stone setting. While finding a perfect triangle cut is not always easy, there’s a wide-variety of triangular diamonds available online. Setting a triangle diamond on a pave band and a three-prong setting creates a good balance between classic and unique. For a more subtle design, you can set the diamond on a solitaire setting with a bezel stone setting to provide added security to the stone.

The Marquise

Marquise Diamond styleMarquise diamonds offer an advantage when it comes to visual size. Since the diamond is narrow and elongated, it typically appears bigger than it actually is.  The marquise is a modified brilliant cut and as such, it is notable for its excellent brilliance. This cut is suitable for those looking for a unique alternative to traditional brilliant cuts like the round brilliant cut or the princess cut.

The Hexagonal Cut

Hexigonal Diamond Cut

The hexagon is another unique and interesting cut for diamonds. Popular in the 1920s, this is a great option for those looking for something unique for modern standards. To protect the corners, set it on a hexagonal bezel stone setting or a 6-prong setting. You can also experiment with art deco-inspired bands to give it a vintage appeal.

Styles of Unique Diamond Engagement Rings

A popular trend for unique engagement rings is combining different fancy color diamonds on one ring. A blue center diamond paired with colorless side stones makes for a good combination. Some styles also feature double halos surrounding a center stone for extra flair. Black diamonds also go well with a tungsten band and with white accent stones for contrast.

Unique Black Diamond Ring

Most unique diamond engagement rings found in the market experiment with the setting style rather than the diamond. Tension settings are great for creating a unique ring that puts emphasis on the stone. Although tension settings are generally less safe than prong settings, they offer a great alternative to the more common four-prong or six-prong diamond engagement rings.

6-prong diamond ringA unique alternative to yellow gold is rose gold. It offers a rustic but feminine appeal than cannot be found on more common options like white gold, yellow gold, or platinum. For a unique engagement ring style, you can opt for a rose gold setting and have the band custom-designed to add vintage-inspired patterns like filigrees and floral patterns.

floral diamond ring

When it comes to creating a truly unique ring, there isn’t a set pattern or trend you should follow. Just work with your jeweler to have it designed the way you want. However, it is recommended that you still stick to classic diamond cuts, as they are easier to work with and are generally easier to find. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to have the setting custom made compared to having a custom diamond shape cut to your exact preferences.

Unique Diamond Engagement Ring Sizes

Sizes are pretty standard for most diamond engagement rings. In the US and in Canada, sizes come in a range from 5 to 13. However, there are different sizes in other countries like the UK and France so if you’re shopping abroad, make sure to have the exact measurements of the recipient’s ring finger ready.

If you are buying a ring with intricate metal work on the band, it’s best if you have the size right when you buy the ring or have it designed because it’s often harder to resize ring bands with patterns on them. You might end up having to cut the pattern or worse, ruin the pattern when you have it resized.

Posted in  Diamond Cuts, Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged 

 

Guide to Black Diamond Rings – Costs, Styles, & Sizes

Posted on Oct 25,2014

Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and are only found in two places in the world, Brazil and the Central African Republic. As such, most black diamonds used for jewelry are heat-treated low-grade colorless diamonds.

The color of natural black diamonds is either black or dark grey and is caused by graphite inclusions in the stone. Black diamonds are the toughest natural diamonds and they are usually denser than colorless diamonds. Natural black diamonds are porous and are made up of millions of small crystals stuck together. Due to its composition, it is a lot more difficult to cut into different shapes compared to other diamonds.

Unlike colorless diamonds and other fancy color diamonds, black diamonds absorb light instead of reflecting it. Due to the unique appearance of the stone, more and more people are choosing to buy black diamond rings over traditional colorless diamond rings.

Costs of Black Diamond Rings

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the formation of black diamonds; some theories state that black diamonds or carbonados come from outer space as a result of a supernova whereas others believe that black diamonds were formed by meteoritic impact on the surface of the earth. The most common theory, however, is that black diamonds are formed in the earth’s interior under extreme high-pressure and heat.

Regardless of the actual formation of natural black diamonds, these theories have a hand in increasing the price of black diamonds in the market.  Due to large interest in the mysteries surrounding the black diamond, there has also been an increase in the demand for natural black diamonds in the market.

Lab-treated black diamonds (those that are heat-treated through irradiation to change the color to black) are generally cheaper than colorless diamonds because they are usually made from low-grade colorless diamonds. The prices of lab-treated black diamond rings typically start at $1400 if the quality of the stone is relatively decent.

Natural black diamonds, known as fancy black diamonds, are generally very expensive because they are extremely rare. Price is determined by the intensity of the color, the absence of white inclusions in the stone, and the stone shape. The price for the average fancy black diamond typically starts at $2000 to $2500 per carat. Due to the difficulty of the cutting process, larger black diamond rings are a lot more expensive than smaller stones. For instance, a 3-carat fancy black diamond can cost over $8000 whereas a 9-carat stone can cost over $27000 without the ring setting.

Natural black diamonds typically have dark brown edges when viewed under a fiber optic light whereas black diamonds treated through irradiation appear dark green under the same light. It’s a quick way to determine whether a black diamond is natural or treated.

Styles of Black Diamond Rings

Black diamond rings come in a wide-range of styles. The unique, dark color of the stone makes it suitable for experimenting with different settings.

For instance, a growing trend in the jewelry market is setting a black diamond (whether natural or irradiated) in a tungsten ring band. Since both are black, they complement each other quite nicely. For a bit of contrast, small white diamonds are added as accent stones or a white gold or platinum stone setting is used to create contrast against the tungsten band.

It’s also fairly common to set a round black diamond in a halo and pave setting with small white diamonds as accent stones. Since black goes better with white, the most common material used for black diamond rings are silver, white gold, and platinum.

Rose gold and yellow gold are also used but they are relatively rare because the color of the stone clashes with the color of the metal.

Style is, of course, subjective so it’s up to you to decide which metal is suitable for a black diamond ring. While there is certainly a lot of interesting black diamond rings in the market, custom rings are always an option if you can’t find one that suits your taste.

Sizes

Black diamond rings come in standard ring sizes. In the US and Canada, the standard ring sizes come in sizes 5 to 13. In the UK and in other countries, different sizing values are used so it’s best to measure your ring size in inches or centimeters so you can easily convert to its equivalent size in the country where you are purchasing the ring.

You can obtain the size of your ring finger either by using a standard ring size chart or by wrapping your ring finger in a piece of paper or string and manually measuring the length with a ruler.

If you are buying for someone else, it’s best to just discreetly borrow a ring from that person so you can use it for sizing when you buy the black diamond ring. Don’t worry if you don’t get the size right, as most jewelers offer resizing services for free if you purchase the ring from them.

Posted in  Colored Diamonds, Diamond Colors, Diamond Cuts, Valuing Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Diamond Color Chart & Guide – What Different Colors Do Diamonds Come In?

Posted on Jul 23,2014

Diamonds come in a wide-range of colors (e.g. pink, blue, black, yellow) but in white diamonds color actually refers to the absence of color in the diamond. White diamonds are valued higher; the more colorless they appear to the naked eye.

Color is a very important characteristic in a white diamond. Part of the 4Cs of diamond grading, it is one of the most important factors that consumers consider when purchasing a stone. The GIA uses a scale of D to Z when grading diamond color, with D being the most colorless and Z showing the most color. While diamonds on the lower end of the scale can show some color, they are still categorized as white diamonds. Fancy yellow diamonds are graded differently and are valued higher the more color they show.

Diamond Color Guide for White Diamonds

Diamond Color Chart

Colorless Diamonds

D, E, F

D to F diamonds are all graded as colorless diamonds. Despite belonging to the same colorless grade, there are slight differences in color among the three but it’s difficult to spot with an untrained eye. Only gemologists and trained valuation experts are able to notice these differences in color.

Near Colorless Diamonds

G, H

G and H Diamonds are near colorless. While they show some color, it is barely visible to the naked eye. As such, diamonds in the G to H range are still considered very valuable and are priced very high.

Near Colorless – Slightly Tinted

I, J

Still categorized as near colorless, I to J diamonds are abundant in jewelry stores and other retail establishments. Such diamonds offer great value to consumers, as they sell for much lower than diamonds in the D to F range and diamonds in the G to H range white still maintaining a near colorless appearance especially when set in a platinum or white gold band. Diamonds in these color grades typically retail for 50% less than those in the D to F range.

Faint Yellow

K, L, M

Diamonds in this color range often carry some noticeable color that can be seen by the naked, untrained eye. They usually sell for half the price of diamonds in the G to H range. Setting a diamond in this color range on a platinum or white gold setting may lessen the visible yellow tinge but color is still visible when viewed up-close.

Very Light Yellow

N to R

N to R diamonds show more color than those in the K to M range and are usually avoided by many, as the yellow color may sometimes appear brown and murky. Due to the presence of color, there isn’t a very high demand for diamonds in this color range. As such, most jewelers don’t carry diamonds in the N to R color range.

Light Yellow

S to Z

Diamonds in the S to Z range show a lot of color. Like diamonds in the N to R range, there is a low demand for diamonds in this color range, which is why few jewelers stock such diamonds.

Yellow and Brown Diamonds

Diamonds that show an intense yellow or brown color are graded as fancy color diamonds. The color in these diamonds are much more intense than Z-color diamonds and are valued not for the absence of color but rather for the presence of color. The Tiffany Diamond is one of the most valuable fancy yellow diamonds discovered. It is also one of the largest, weighing 287.42 carats. Fancy yellow diamonds have gained popularity in recent years due to jewelry chains like Tiffany and Co. and some celebrity engagements.

Other Fancy Color Diamonds

Unlike colorless diamonds, which are graded for the absence of color on the stone, fancy color diamonds like blue, pink, and black are graded for the presence of color in the stone. The more intense and saturated the color in fancy color diamonds, the higher the value.

Since diamonds are priced and valued for their rarity, fancy color diamonds typically sell for much higher than colorless diamonds (sometimes, even higher than colorless diamonds in the D to F color range).

Some of the most expensive diamonds in the world are green diamonds, blue diamonds, and pink diamonds that are high in saturation. Natural black diamonds can also be very expensive especially since most black diamonds in the market are lab treated low-grade colorless diamonds.

Like white diamonds, slight differences in color on fancy color diamonds can significantly affect its value and price.

Since not all diamonds of the same color show the same amount of intensity and saturation, they are graded based on the intensity of the color they show when in the face-up position.  They are classified using the following color grades: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, and Fancy Vivid.

Basically, the more intense and saturated the color is in a fancy color diamond, the more valuable and expensive it is.

Available Colors

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Diamond colors come in a very large variety and gem laboratories use 27 different color hues to describe a diamond (e.g. orange, red, green, blue, violet, purple, orangish red, bluish-green, bluish-violet, reddish-purple, etc.)

Diamond colors can come in red, pink, purple, yellow, blue, steel gray, black, milky white, and brown. Of all the fancy color diamonds, brown diamonds are the most common. Despite being the earliest diamonds used in jewelry, they are not very popular with consumers. Consumers usually prefer brown diamonds that are very dark in color compared to lighter varieties.

Aside from rarity, fancy color diamonds typically increase in popularity when they are featured in celebrity engagements and other high-profile engagements.

Posted in  Diamond Colors, Types of Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Black Diamond Rings – Value, Grading, and How to Buy

Posted on May 05,2014

While black diamonds used to be comparably cheaper than colorless diamonds, their prices have increased in the past years due to the increasing demand for black diamond jewelry. Black diamond engagement rings are becoming a popular choice for many people as a unique alternative to traditional flawless diamonds found on most rings.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a black diamond ring, one important factor to keep in mind is that most black diamonds used in jewelry are not naturally black. Low-color stones are usually used and are treated to turn the color black, either through irradiation or heat treatment. Since they are not naturally black, you can expect their prices to be lower than a colorless diamond in the same size.

Natural black diamonds usually come in blocks called carbonados. They have a different composition compared to colorless diamonds because they don’t reflect light; they absorb it. They are also porous and are usually very small in size. If you ever see a large black diamond, it is not just made up of one crystal but millions of crystals stuck together. As such, they are difficult to cut for jewelry making.

How to Know If a Black Diamond is Natural or Treated

Most black diamonds sold in the market are treated through irradiation. Natural black diamonds are very expensive because they are only found in two places (Africa and Brazil). Since they are very difficult to cut and polish, you can expect to pay quite a hefty amount of cash for a natural black diamond, especially if cut for jewelry use.

When you buy a treated black diamond ring or any black diamond jewelry, it should come with a lab certificate stating that it was treated. If you want to be able to examine a black diamond to know if it is treated, you can place it under a fiber optic light and observe the diamond. If you see that it is a dark shade of green, then it is most definitely treated through irradiation. Most natural black diamonds appear to have dark brown edges under a fiber optic light.

 Black Diamond Grading

Black diamonds are not graded in the same manner as colorless diamonds. The GIA does not issue a normal certificate for black diamonds; they only issue a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report (CDIOR). The CDIOR indicates the color grade and color origin (whether it is natural or treated), carat weight, and a diagram of its clarity.   Black diamonds are usually harder and denser than colorless diamonds so you should expect a 1-carat black diamond to be smaller than a 1-carat colorless diamond.

Buying a Natural Black Diamond

Untreated diamonds are called “Fancy Black”. If you’re in the market for a natural black diamond, it’s useful to know the terminology and grading system used. Since most black diamonds in the market are treated, if you’re expecting a natural black diamond it’s best to buy one with a CDIOR from the GIA.

Natural black diamonds are certainly very expensive; a 0.47-carat stone can cost you more than USD2,000 without the setting so expect more for larger diamonds. You can find several suppliers and jewelers that offer natural black diamonds online; some also offer GIA reports so you can be assured of its authenticity.

When buying a black diamond ring or any black diamond jewelry, make sure to do as much research on the stone first. Since most information on diamonds is about colorless diamonds, it’s useful to find out as much as you can about the qualities of a black diamond.

If you can’t find a natural black diamond that fits your price range, you can get a treated stone instead. Since they are easier to cut, you’ll find more options. Treated black diamonds can be just as beautiful in the right cut and setting and there’s an abundance of them too so prices are more reasonable, whether online or in retail jewelry chains.

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