In the past couple decades there has been a vast expansion in the materials, tools, and techniques available for jewelry-making, opening wide the possibilities for new and creative jewelry design. One of the more recent trends for those looking to stand out in crowd are black diamonds and black gold. As opposed to the traditional sparkle and shine, these materials make a bold, enchanting, and mysterious statement. But what exactly are these sable colored materials made out of?
Black diamonds are in fact diamonds, and have been around for just as long. Until recently, collectors and jewelers paid very little attention to them. Black diamonds get their color naturally from fine carbon inclusions, or artificially from irradiation or heat treatment. Natural black diamonds, like all fancy colored diamonds, are quite rare, so the majority of what you’ll see out there are treated stones (which in fact are in fact an extremely dark green!).
Black gold on the other hand, owes it’s appearance to an outer plating of black rhodium, while on the inside is commonly found a white gold alloy of gold and nickel. Since the plating is only on the exterior, the gold content of a black gold piece is the same as it would be otherwise, 10k,14k,18k, etc. However, since the black color is only a plating, it will wear off after a while and require replating.
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