Black Diamonds


Cool and classy. But How Do They Rate as a Gemstone for an Engagement Ring?

Star watching is a favourite pastime for some, whilst others are not remotely interested in the latest Hollywood news. However what the stars do, say or wear on the red carpet and in movies does tend to influence the latest fashion trends. The jewelry world is certainly not immune to this with stars often paid to promote diamond brands. Black diamonds have been seen many times along with the massive more conventional colour rocks.

From the time the character Carrie Bradshaw received that 5 carat black diamond engagement ring from Mr Big in Sex and the City 2, there has been a great deal of interest in jewelry featuring black diamonds, especially as other Hollywood actors and identities (Nicole Scherzinger, Carmen Electra, Jennie Garth and Kat Von D, to name just a few) have worn and talked to the media about their stunning black diamond engagement rings and jewelry pieces.

As a result, the price of black diamonds, particularly in the US, has skyrocketed, as they are seen as a cool, classy gemstone – one that really makes a statement when set into a beautiful piece of jewellery.

In Australia, you will be pleased to know that (as regards price), the story is not quite the same. Black diamonds are very well priced compared to white diamonds. And they certainly do make a spectacular looking centrepiece, especially when set to contrast with white diamonds, such as in a halo cluster ring or in a pair of earrings. What better way to accessorise your favourite LBD?


Whilst there is a lot of hype about black diamonds, what is not generally known, is that they are not really the best black gemstone you can use in jewellery.  Because of the nature of black diamonds, fine fractures that run through the stone can easily be seen on the surface of the diamond.  Have a look at the photos below to see what I mean.

You don’t want to see a lot of cracks in your diamond, so if it must be a black diamond for your engagement ring, you will be best to find a really good looking diamond, not just any black diamond.

Black Diamonds in differing cuts Round Brilliant and Princess cut
Black diamonds, Round, Oval and Princess cut.

Unfortunately, many websites (unlike Ellissi’s), use computer assisted design tools (CAD), so the images that you see are not of real engagement rings, just computer graphics.  The CAD images of the diamonds (and the rings), are not how they actually look in real life.  Computer imaging portrays them as looking smooth and glossy. What we find is that once a client sees a black diamond in the flesh for themselves, they can be disappointed. Critical to this is diamond selection, basically finding a really good one.


As it is pretty difficult to find black diamonds that look great under magnification and don’t exhibit these fine fractures. You could consider using a less commonly known gemstone called black spinel.  Spinel actually comes in a range of colours, from pink, red, blue, dark green and yellow to black.  It is just below sapphire on the Moh’s scale of hardness, so is suitable for everyday wear.

Black Spinel can be used to look like black diamond
Black Spinel, a great option instead of black diamond

Although not generally well known, spinel has been used in very famous jewellery pieces.  Most notably, the “Timur ruby” in the British Crown Jewels is actually a red spinel!  The Samarian Spinel is the largest known spinel in the world, and forms part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.  It weighs an astounding 500 carats!

Black spinel is not only suitable for everyday wear, but the surface does have a great smooth, glossy look. Making it a perfect gemstone for use in jewellery.  It comes in a range of cuts, including emerald cut, round cut and princess cut. So can be used in both modern contemporary styles, as well as antique, vintage looking jewellery. Have a look at this gorgeous example of a black spinel ring we made last year.

If you want an unusual engagement ring, or just wish to have some really special, standout pieces of jewellery such as earrings or a necklace, black spinel may be the gemstone for you.

However if it’s a black diamond that you really want, finding a great looking stone that doesn’t have obvious issues will be critical to the outcome.

As with all things related to quality jewellery, sound advice from a great jeweller like Ellissi, is essential!