Where to buy a black diamond?
April 14, 2010 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Black diamond engagement rings?

Mr. Lisp and I are looking for a really nice black diamond engagement ring -- online searches yield *some* results but nothing really quite right. So I thought I'd turn to the vast resources of the MeFite community -- has anyone bought a similar ring? Know of a source for jewelry, or even the single diamonds that we could have set into a ring? I'm a total noob at this stuff, if you can't tell. :o/
posted by unlucky.lisp to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Etsy. Suzanne Felsen. Have you tried discussing it with a local custom jeweler?
posted by emkelley at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2010

I don't have a black diamond, but I do have an unusual stone on my engagement ring, which I purchased on Etsy from ShadeJewelry. Unfortunately, there was some Etsy drama and Chris isn't currently in business either there or elsewhere on the Internets, but some Etsy searching (or Artfire searching)might turn up what you're looking for.

Apart from that, I would suggest going over to IndieBride and seeing where people over there are getting their rings and/or what they would suggest.
posted by kataclysm at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2010

Since black diamonds (also called "carbons" or "carbonado" for help with your searching) are relatively rare at least for engagement style rings, I think your best bet will be to buy the diamond and then have it set by a local jeweler who can create (or recreate if there is a setting you know you like) anything you want.

Most black diamonds seem to be used in pave settings, which means that they are small, but there are some larger solitaire sizes out there.
Gem Hut (not sure of their reputation, I'd call them to get more details about a particular stone if you are interested) has a .75 and a 1.00 carat diamond, which might be nice. I'd ask for pics of those actual stones and get the measurements and provenance.
Africa Gems has some more.

Another thing you might want to decide is if it matters to you if the diamond is naturally black (meaning it will have a lot of inclusions and may be more brittle than clear diamonds) or treated to be black. Treated black diamonds have been exposed to radiation, and you can tell if one has been treated by putting a fiber-optic light on one cut end and seeing if the light comes out dark green on the other side. Only treated diamonds are green.
Treated diamonds will be cheaper than a good quality natural black diamond.
posted by rmless at 8:12 AM on April 14, 2010

I am nthing check out your local custom jewellers. I know mine carries a lot of fancies and a number are black.

If you live in the UK i could recommend a great jeweller.
posted by moochoo at 8:19 AM on April 14, 2010

I found a surprisingly cheap one one Amazon that I think is pretty, but I don't know your taste.
posted by rmless at 8:24 AM on April 14, 2010

I was just proposed to with a black diamond engagement ring last Saturday (during a lovely surprise picnic in a nature reserve), so maybe I can provide some input!

The now-fiance and I have been together for almost 10 years, so the actual ida of getting engaged wasn't exactly a surprise; we both knew it was going to happen (cause he's the raddest dude I know, and he seems to tolerate me). We looked around online and in local stores together, and while we found a few places online (almost everyone we talked to locally just gave us raised eyebrows) we couldn't find anything just right. These are a few of the places we looked, though:

and oddly enough, http://www.amazon.com

We ended up working with a local custom jeweler (if you're ever in Canton, MA, stop in at the Diamond Vault - they're good people) and designing a completely custom ring. It's better than I could have imagined, and has everything we wanted - a cushion cut black diamond stone, two small moissanites, and a filigreed band made of palladium. It took a while to find the right jeweler, and we almost gave up and went for a traditional ring, but we persevered and got the most awesomest ring I've ever seen. And it cost under $2000, which was our maximum budget.

I would really recommend trying to find a local jeweler to work with - I had googled my brains out trying to find one, but we ended up finding our jeweler via word of mouth from a family friend. Etsy is definitely another great alternative, the main reason I didn't pursue that route more was just because I wanted to be able to see the stone in person (I had never actually seen a black diamond up close before).

I also have a truckload of saved black diamond ring photos that I used as inspiration in designing my ring, feel free to memail me if you'd like to see them. Good luck with your search (I hope I didn't overwhelm you), and if you do decide to go for the black diamond, just know that they really are stunning =)
posted by DulcineaX at 9:49 AM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

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