Perhaps you know that diamonds can be not only white but also black. But what about enhanced black diamonds? What exactly are these stones, what does it mean that they are enhanced, and how does their enhancement make them different from other black diamonds?
What Is a Black Diamond?
Black diamonds have the same chemical structure as white ones and are therefore real diamonds.
The black color of naturally occurring black diamonds is a result of their inclusions as well as the different crystalline structure of these stones compared with that of regular diamonds.
Natural black diamonds are mined in Brazil and Africa.
Scientists think that these stones were formed in the earth under very high pressure.
Another version is that they were brought to our planet on an asteroid millions of years ago.
What Are Enhanced Black Diamonds?
When people use the term “enhanced” regarding a black diamond, they usually refer to a stone that has been colored artificially.
Since natural black diamonds are very rare, jewelry manufacturers have begun to offer regular diamonds whose color has been turned black.
In fact, most black diamonds on the market today have been treated to change their color.
How Are Enhanced Black Diamonds Made?
Enhanced black diamonds are created by treating white or yellowish diamonds with heat or radiation. Often, high pressure is also used.
This treatment changes the color of the stone, usually to dark green that appears black.
Some artificially black diamonds are created by applying a coating to their surface.
However, oftentimes this results in a color that is not durable, as the dark layer can come off after some time, or when the stone is cleaned.
What Is the Difference Between Natural and Enhanced Black Diamonds?
Both natural and artificial black diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties.
The main difference between these two types of stones is simply in the cause of their color – natural versus synthetic.
Although made of carbon, just like treated black diamonds, natural black diamonds tend to have a more porous structure.
Because of this characteristic, they also absorb light more fully, and look completely dark and opaque.
Treated black diamonds, on the other hand, can look shinier depending on how dark their treatment has made them.
The difference becomes more visible when the enhanced stone is put under a source of light – then it can become evident that the diamond has some translucence and is not completely opaque.
Under the light, you might also be better able to see that the stone’s actual color is dark green.
Buying an Enhanced Black Diamond
When buying a black diamond whose color has been enhanced artificially, don’t forget to ask about the method used to make the original stone black.
As already mentioned, the color of black diamonds that have been coated with a dye is less likely to be durable. (Black diamonds dyed this way are rare, though.)
Make sure to ask whether the black diamond you are purchasing requires special care.
For example, depending on the exact process of treatment, some enhanced black diamonds should not be exposed to high heat.
This is important to know because if you ever need to have your piece of jewelry repaired, the jeweler should be warned that the diamond in it has been colored synthetically, and it might not be a good idea to expose it to high temperature.