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A Guide to Black Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Black diamonds are gaining popularity as a fashionable choice for discerning customers looking for quality, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Their distinctive appearance sets them apart from conventional designs and they make wonderful options for anyone looking for something a little more special.

What Is a Black Diamond?

Black diamonds are real diamonds made of carbon, as traditional diamonds are, but have an opaque and high-luster appearance due to their inclusions. They also sometimes appear metallic due to their deep color and brilliant shine.

What is the History of Black Diamonds?

Natural diamonds considered to be black in color were discovered around 1840 in Brazil and were originally called carbonados. Though they are a relatively recent discovery, they are formed deep in the Earth 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago. Their popularity didn’t increase until the late 1990’s when jewelers discovered their unique, bold properties – it was likely around this time that laboratories began manufacturing them from real carbon particles. Diamonds, especially black ones but of all types, are now a valued stone used in solitaire settings, in combination with other gems, and in all categories of fine jewelry.

What Are Black Diamonds Good For?

As these diamonds are highly admired for their distinctive color, their uniqueness creates a stunning and desirable contrast in jewelry designs. They are bold, strong, and convey a sense of power. They are are a beautiful complement to platinum, white gold, or silver setting. You can also pair black gemstones with white diamonds for a striking look. An even bolder look pairs them with gold settings for a striking, trendy look.

The unique look of black diamonds can be found in all types of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. In particular, black diamond engagement rings are becoming more popular for individuals who enjoy standing out and making a statement. They are an unconventional choice, which makes them perfect for anyone looking to show off their fashion sense and individuality.

These stones can be used in a dramatic and complex piece or kept simple to showcase their natural beauty. Choose a high-quality gemstone piece with a unique design or create your own delightful piece as a gift to bring joy you or your partner.

How Do Black Diamonds Get Their Color?

Black diamonds get their color from the large quantities of mineral inclusions that are responsible for the hue. These inclusions are typically formed of pyrite, hematite, and graphite. The same inclusions are present in white diamonds, just in much smaller quantities. Another reason for the black color is the presence of fractures within the stone that are stained to varying degrees.

The number of fractures and number of inclusions are directly responsible for the actual color of an individual diamond. Some are almost colorless, while others can appear black, brown, or shades of dark green.

Are Black Diamonds Valuable?

Black diamonds that are naturally occurring are one of the rarer colored diamonds. They are highly desirable, more valuable than other types of diamonds, and can become quite expensive. Due to their rarity, they are also more difficult to source, which drives prices up.

The actual value depends upon the origin of the diamond (natural or lab created), its one-of-a-kind hue, and its aesthetic qualities. Everyone has a unique taste, so it can be a good idea to view a range of options before selecting the specific style and color saturation that you like best.

Jewelry that contains these eye-catching black gemstones requires careful handling, as the diamonds can become more fragile due to the amount of inclusions present. They are also susceptible to breakage if struck hard. Even so, there is a wide range of fancy shapes to select from to include in a trendy piece or used as the focal point of a minimalist design.

Do Black Diamonds Come in All Shapes and Carat Weights?

Diamonds considered to be black come in all the diamond shapes and sizes that traditional ones do – round, oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant, and heart. More often than not, they will be cut into round shapes as it has historically been the most popular. You will also often see them cut into emerald or pear shapes that flatter jewelry wearers with modern tastes. They also do have carat weights, though these may differ slightly to traditional white diamonds that contain minimal inclusions.

What Are the Various Types of Black Diamonds?

There are three types of diamonds with black hues used for creating jewelry. The one that you select depends upon availability and your preference.

Natural Black Diamonds

Naturally occurring diamonds are also referred to as “fancy black” and are similar to natural white diamonds as they both come from the earth. They are also made of carbon; however, natural black diamonds have a different structure and contain high amounts of inclusions, particularly graphite, that are responsible for the color.

Lab-Grown Black Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural ones do. The only difference is that these diamonds have different origins. They are “grown” in a controlled lab using high-temperature technology to crystallize carbon. This type of diamond is the responsible choice as there is no mining involved.

Treated Black Diamonds

The third type of black diamond is the treated diamond. These are technically white diamonds that have high inclusions, making them unsuitable for jewelry in their original form. Irradiation or heat treatments are used to give these diamonds a black color.

Are Black Diamonds GIA Graded?

The usual standards of cut, color, clarity, and carat that are used to grade white diamonds don’t apply to these stones because they are opaque. Instead, they are called “fancy black” diamonds and are graded under the GIA scales for colored diamonds that rate gemstones on the intensity of their saturation, their tone, and their hue. While they are not be accompanied by the same certifications as traditional diamonds in the market are, they may come with documentation that provides insight into their unique specifications and gradations.

Final Thoughts

Still deciding between a colorless diamond, a brightly hued gem, or a fancy black diamond? Peruse our unique black diamond designs and get inspired.

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