Last Updated on 4 months by The Mintly Team
Black diamonds are diamonds with a very high number of inclusions. While inclusions on a regular white or colorless diamond may show up as tiny dark specks, at extremely high levels, the diamond appears completely black. Thus, you have a black diamond. This makes it a very unique and rare kind of colored diamond.
What makes a good black diamond?
A diamond can achieve a black color when it has large quantities of black mineral inclusions, such as graphite, pyrite, or hematite. Depending on the concentration of a fancy black diamond’s mineral inclusions, it can look brown, dark green, gray, or black.
What color grade is a black diamond?
Natural AA black diamonds are the third highest quality stones in terms of color grading. This grading bracket represents the top 10% of gemstones, making them great choices for fine jewelry pieces.
Are black diamonds worth anything?
Natural fancy black diamonds are relatively affordable, but obviously, it depends on the size sought after. Treated ones, however, are significantly less expensive and the demand is quite low as most prefer the real thing. Natural Fancy Black Diamonds will likely cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 per carat.
Why is black diamond so cheap?
Black diamonds, however, are more affordable than other white or colored diamonds, largely due to the fact that they are less in demand. They are also completely opaque and cannot be graded according to their color intensity as they are only found naturally in one color – fancy black.
How many types of black diamonds are there?
There are two types of black diamonds: natural fancy and treated (or enhanced) black diamonds. Natural black diamonds get their color from graphite inclusions and are quite rare–they are found only in Central Africa and Brazil.
Black diamonds are an attractive alternative to colorless diamonds. Until recently, they were also called carbonados–were used only for industrial purposes. Non-traditional engagement rings have gained popularity, and black diamonds are now a top choice for alternative or edgy looks. If you’re looking for a unique stone with the hardness and shine of a colorless diamond, consider a black diamond!
Treated black diamonds are colorless diamonds that have been turned black by heat or radiation treatments. Colorless diamonds with lots of inclusions are often used for this process. The undesirable inclusions can’t be seen once the surface of the diamond turns black and opaque.
Salt and pepper diamonds are a variation of black diamonds. These diamonds also have lots of inclusions but are translucent instead of opaque. Each salt and pepper diamond has a unique black and white speckled appearance.
Like colorless diamonds, these are very hard and don’t scratch easily. Compared to other black stones (like onyx or black sapphire), these won’t lose their shine or luster over time. They also have the natural shine of colorless diamonds.
The unique structure of natural black diamonds also makes them susceptible to damage. Unlike other diamonds, they are a microcrystalline aggregate. The tiny crystals that make up a black diamond are locked together in a random orientation. Like inclusions, this causes instability in a black diamond’s structure.
What do black diamonds mean?
Just about everything in this world has a meaning, and black diamonds are no different. First, their black color reflects authority and power, which along with the meaning of diamond in general, makes carbonados something that calls a wealthy and important person to mind. Other people consider these black gems to attract achievement, stability, and inner strength. Lastly, like their white counterparts, these are a symbol of strong relationships and romance.
Besides their unique look, we believe the meaning behind these gemstones is one reason black diamond engagement rings are becoming more popular.
Black diamonds: carat color, cut, and clarity
If you’ve ever shopped for white diamonds, you know that diamonds are graded with the 4 C’s: carat, color, cut, and clarity.
Carat is the same for all colors of diamonds, with one small difference: black diamonds are a little bit less dense, so a one-carat it can look physically smaller than a white diamond. For this reason, we recommend purchasing a ring with black and white diamonds to create a “fuller” look.
Carat is also different here since these are denser than other diamonds. Carat is the stone’s weight, so a 1-carat black diamond will actually be smaller than a colorless 1-carat diamond. When you’re picturing how it will look in a ring, focus on the cut and shape, rather than the carats.
Colour is the next factor, and black gems are different here as well. White diamonds are graded on a scale of D-Z, with grades D-F being colorless and G-J being nearly so. However, the GIA and other reputable labs use colored diamonds. As a general rule, black diamonds are considered “fancy,” with their color being designated as either natural or heat-treated. Ideally, it should have excellent color distribution: in other words, it shouldn’t have white specks in it or a lot of visual distraction.
Brilliant cuts are those which are designed to produce the most sparkle in diamonds. While the sparkle factor is different for carbonados, the cutter still aims to have as much light as possible bounce off the pavilion (top) facets. While the round brilliant cut is the most popular choice for black diamond engagement rings, princess cuts (square brilliants) are almost equally popular.
Other brilliant cuts include oval, pear, marquise, and heart. On the other hand, step cuts were designed to show off the clarity of a stone. They have long lines and fewer facets. Arguably the most famous step cut is called the emerald cut because it was originally invented to show off the color of emeralds.
The cut is the main factor to consider when choosing a black diamond. It can be very difficult to cut black diamonds since they are so brittle, which means high-quality cuts can be expensive. Although they don’t reflect light the way other diamonds do, a good cut can add some sparkle–especially for salt and pepper diamonds. To maximize the sparkle factor, look for a rose-cut black diamond or one with a small table and large crown facets.
Black diamonds treatment
As with other colored gemstones, black diamonds are often heat and pressure treated to enhance their color. While the aim of treatment in most stones is to enhance clarity. In the case of black diamonds, the stone is treated to turn lower-quality white diamonds black. Essentially, there are three ways of doing this.
- Radiation treatment changes the inclusions and rearranges the atoms in such a way that the stone turns black.
- High temperature and high pressure (HTHP) do the same thing, except that in this case graphite forms inside the crystal.
- Lastly, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), so that the diamond forms differently.
It is believed that black diamonds were a form of protection from evil and carbonados had cleansing powers to remove bad luck. In some societies, these dark gems were also viewed as a communication tool between the spiritual and physical worlds.
Some people also believe that black diamonds symbolize charisma and had powers to help you shape your future. In this regard, they are also connected with inner strength and passion.
In Asian culture, the color black is often associated with bad luck and death. As you can imagine, black diamond jewellery isn’t that well received in this part of the world. At the end of the day, whether it has a positive or negative meaning really depends on the society we live in.
Characteristics of black diamonds:
- No one can agree on how they were formed – While colorless diamonds can be found on every continent, black diamonds are only found in 2 parts of the world: Brazil and Central Africa. Due to their limited locations in alluvial deposits, scientists and geologists are divided over their origins. Three of the most compelling theories involve the remnants of asteroids that hit the Earth’s surface, irradiation, and special formation conditions deep within the Earth which create black diamonds.
- They are tougher than normal diamonds – Carbonado’s polycrystalline structure allows it to endure higher stress and prevent cleavage compared to a normal diamond. Cutting tools that are made with black diamonds have better life spans and are suitable for high-performance grinding applications.
- They absorb light instead of reflecting it – They are more porous than other types of diamonds and their polycrystalline structures cause them to absorb light instead of reflecting it.
- They’ve become popular with men – Due to their bold, striking look, black diamond jewelry has a very contrasted look that makes them stand out and are increasingly popular with men. Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity who was seen wearing black diamond earring studs.
- Poor polish and finishing.
- Superb luster and saturated color.
- Fancy ones can come in different variations and appearances.
- Uniformly distributed black coloration.
- Whitish” stain-like” inclusion
Natural black diamonds can look uniquely different from one to the other depending on the specific type of inclusions it has and how it was polished. This leads to a wide range of appearances like opaque, smoky, semi-transparent, or even inclusions that stand out from the dark contrasting hue.
Reliable grading report – The vast majority that is used in jewelry and engagement rings are heat-treated to give them a dark-looking appearance. Most of these heavily included diamonds start off as grey/white color before undergoing high temperatures to graphitize their inclusions.
The Best Black Diamond Engagement Ring Designs We Love:
There are several reasons why black diamond engagement rings have been gaining popularity with buyers. Not only do they offer a bold and unique-looking variation of popular white diamond rings, but they are also significantly less expensive!
In my opinion, a black diamond engagement ring garners a lot of attention because of its fantastic contrast with a white metal setting. The combination of a black center stone and white color melee diamonds can also lead to creative and striking results.
A magnificent 18k white gold halo ring customized to fit the cushion cut a black diamond perfectly, this setting also provides a backdrop of brilliance with its open-style pave shank. The halo that encircles the center stone also highlights the outline of the diamond without overpowering it.
Sometimes, less is more when it comes to jewelry design. For people who love minimalistic styles, this classic 4-prong solitaire ring is an affordable choice to showcase a black-colored diamond.
This yellow gold ring has a halo and closed pave setting that encircles the black gemstone in the center. The milgrain finish at the edges of the ring gives it a vintage vibe that stands out from modern designs.
This majestic-looking ring features a mesmerizing double halo that offers a lot of finger coverage when worn. With an open pave double halo and split shank designed to allow light to enter, you will get a dazzling display of sparkle from the ring.
Designed in the shape of a flower, this elegant ring is made of 18k rose gold and has petals that are made of white color melee diamonds. The color contrast is simply outstanding and the symbolic meaning behind this ring represents our love for the recipient.
Sitting in the middle of this pave split shank ring is an unheated fancy black cushion diamond that is secured in place with double claw prongs. The split shank creates a leading line toward the center stone that draws the viewer’s attention toward it.
A bold and powerful-looking men’s ring that is set with a 3.42 ct natural black diamond, this bezel setting has broad-looking shanks to create a masculine appearance. It is ideal for guys who are looking for a fashionable wedding ring and want something unique looking.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Black Diamonds?
.As a consumer, the biggest problem we are going to face is telling the difference between a natural and a treated diamond. The visual differences are difficult to tell apart even for a more seasoned buyer and it doesn’t help that the majority of black diamonds in the market are enhanced.
In my opinion, the best place to buy natural fancy black diamonds is Leibish & Co. This is a vendor that specializes in fancy color diamonds and has a superb selection of GIA-certified diamonds. On top of that, they are really transparent with data and will provide videos/magnified photos to help you see exactly what you are buying.
What I really like about them is the depth of selections available and the competitive prices they offer. Leibish is also really good at making settings that complement a colored diamond and their craftsmanship standards are top-notch.
James Allen is another vendor that we highly recommend if you are looking for black diamond jewellery and they are well-known for their highly interactive video listings. They sell both natural fancy black diamonds (with GIA certs) and also rings with treated diamonds (these are fully disclosed).
Black diamonds have a unique, mysterious beauty. With their rich depth, black diamonds can add a dramatic touch to engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, and many other types of fine jewelry. In addition to having a unique style, black diamonds have many other singular qualities. From how they form on the earth to how they should be cleaned, black diamonds are distinctive among gemstones.
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