Although also quite appealing no, I don’t mean a carbonara.
Carbonado diamonds, aka black diamonds are the toughest of all, natural diamonds.
The dark, metallic grey to black lustre from these stones have an intriguing allure of their own, quite different to the fire, sparkle, and translucency of a white diamond.
Black diamonds have been making more of an appearance as centre stones in engagement rings in recent years. Put in the limelight by celebrities such as Carmen Electra, and Kat Von D who opted for this unusual stone. Not to mention a boom in curiosity after the Sex in the City 2 movie, where Mr Big proposes to Carrie with a rather substantial 5ct black diamond engagement ring.
Historically some of the rarest black diamonds would be the 88ct Korloff Noir, the Black Star of Africa and the Black Orlov. The Black Orlov also known as the Eye of Brahma was said to have been taken from a sculpture of the Hindu god Brahma. The 195ct stone was later cut into 3 individual stones, to break the rumoured curse the sacrilegious theft had left upon the diamond.
Black diamonds are totally opaque, they absorb light rather than reflecting or refracting it like their white diamond counterpart.
Here comes the science… Polycrystalline diamonds are composed of clouds of miniscule diamond, graphite, and carbon black crystals. In essence a carbonado is an impure diamond. These are by nature tough and are therefor tricky to cut and polish. Both black and white diamonds are a level 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A white diamond is formed in the earths mantle and carried upwards, deposited into igneous rocks called Kimberlite via volcanic activity. Black diamonds however remain more mysterious. There is no definitive explanation as to how they are formed. The common theory is that an asteroid crashed into earth leaving black diamonds in its wake. Currently the only two known locations to find black diamonds are in Brazil and Central Africa, which were parts of land that spilt apart billions of years ago.
So in a nutshell, if you are looking for an elegant alternative, full of mystery and allure, could this hard wearing, dark lustrous stone be the answer? I would guess… yes!