We are all used to thinking of diamonds as white, sparkling stones, but did you know that there are also black diamonds? Are those stones real diamonds, and if yes, aren’t they really low quality?
Are Black Diamonds Real Diamonds?
Black diamonds are as real as white diamonds but are not as common. It should be noted, though, that there are diamonds whose color has been artificially changed to black. There are, however, genuine black diamonds that occur naturally.
How Natural Black Diamonds Are Formed
Natural black diamonds, also called “carbonado”, can only be found in Brazil and Africa.
Although these stones have the same chemical composition as white diamonds, their crystal structure is different and they have many inclusions, causing them to differ in color.
There are different hypotheses as to how black diamonds were formed – some say that they were created within the earth under high pressure; others think that they came from space, on an asteroid that fell to earth some 2 million years ago.
What About Treated Black Diamonds?
Lab-made black diamonds are created by treating white diamonds with heat or radiation. As a result, the color of these stones was changed.
Treated black diamonds are more common as the naturally occurring ones are relatively rare.
You already know what a genuine black diamond is, but you should also know that if you are about to buy a black diamond, it is very likely to be a normal diamond that has been darkened.
Are Black Diamonds Low-Quality Stones?
Many people think that black diamonds are simply stones that have so many inclusions as to look black.
Actually, the color of natural black diamonds is not only due to their inclusions but also due to their unique structure, which affects how they reflect light, most of which is absorbed by the stone.
Lab-created black diamonds, on the other hand, owe their color to their treatment, not their structure. Whether the original diamond whose color was changed was a high quality stone is another story, though.
Since black diamonds are usually cheaper, it is highly unlikely that a jewelry dealer would take an expensive white diamond of the highest quality and change its color just to sell it for less money.
But do you really care what the clarity, color, or cut of the original stone was when none of these characteristics affect its appearance once it’s black?
Regardless of their origin, such stones will have a very low clarity grade simply because of their color and structure.
However, keep in mind that the traditional quality guidelines used to evaluate white diamonds are not really applicable to black diamonds. That’s why the term “low quality” is not very meaningful when used for these stones.
Should You Buy Black Diamonds?
Whether you like black diamonds is a matter of taste. Don’t expect these stones to display any brilliance or sparkle similar to that of white diamonds.
Many people buy black diamonds because they just find them interesting and exotic.
Black diamonds are usually cheaper than their white counterparts. They can be a good choice if you want to add a black stone to your jewelry collection.
Of course, an onyx or a similar stone would also do the trick, but black diamond has unparalleled durability.
Black diamonds are especially suitable for white settings, which make these stones stand out. Platinum, white gold, and silver are all good choices to have a black diamond set in.
If you want an even stronger contrast, consider pieces that combine black diamonds with white ones, whose sparkle will greatly enhance the appearance of your jewelry.
Where to Buy Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry?
For diamond jewelry, we highly recommend James Allen because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).