Gemstones

The Ins and Outs of Black Diamonds

The Ins and Outs of Black Diamonds

Black diamonds add drama and beauty to any piece of jewelry, so it’s no surprise that they’re an increasingly popular gemstone. Black diamonds have become a popular alternative to conventional colorless diamonds and other types of center stones. Browse the spectacular black diamond designs created by Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry for creative examples of these unique gemstones.

What are Black Diamonds?

Black diamonds are available in a few different forms: natural, lab-made and treated. Naturally black diamonds (carbonados, a Portuguese term for an opaque, dark diamond) get their color from large quantities or clouds of mineral inclusions (graphite, pyrite or hematite) in the stone.

Most of the treated black diamonds are processed with heat to induce the color. These are typically white diamonds with a high number of inclusions and fractures, so they’re gray until treated with heat to make them black. These high-inclusion diamonds are called industry-grade diamonds.

Black diamonds consist of many small crystals all stuck together in random formation. So, larger black diamonds are actually made up of millions of other smaller black crystals. Black diamonds are bound together by internal inclusions that hold millions of smaller pieces together. This is known as a polycrystalline structure and it is what gives them their color.

Compared to other colored diamonds, black diamonds don’t get color from chemical impurities. For example, nitrogen impurities cause yellow tints to create yellow diamonds and boron causes blue hues.

Diamond Grading

White diamonds are graded using the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight). Their carat, cut, clarity, and color impact a white diamond’s grading. If you’re selecting a black diamond, you’ll look at the cut and carat, but the color and clarity don’t apply because black diamonds are opaque. Instead, verify that the color of the black diamond is fully saturated and that you don’t see any obvious imperfections.

Cut is the main factor to consider when choosing a loose black diamond. It can be challenging to cut black diamonds because they can be brittle, which means high-quality cuts can be expensive. Although black diamonds don’t reflect light the way colorless diamonds do, a good quality cut can add sparkle. To maximize a black diamonds’ sparkle, look for a rose-cut black diamond or one with a small table and large crown facets.

Typically, black diamonds aren’t cut in the fancier styles. You can usually find black diamonds in round, cushion, and pear shapes, but you’ll have to look harder (or pay more) for more unique shapes.

While black diamonds are opaque and don’t have the same traditional sparkle and brilliance as white diamonds, they have a gorgeous luster that gives them a shiny appearance that won’t dull over time.

Design Ideas

Design options for black diamonds are endless! They’re a versatile, bold, and stunning stone that are featured throughout Enchanted Disney’s pieces and various collections. You’ll find necklaces, bracelets, chains, earrings, wedding bands and engagement rings sprinkled with black diamonds. Another amazing aspect of black diamonds is that they pair well with many different stones and metals.

  • Stones: Black diamonds are neutral and look amazing with most gemstones (amethysts, garnets, pink sapphires, pearl, quartz and morganite).
  • Metals: black diamonds are bold and powerful, and they look fantastic with 14k white, rose, or yellow gold, rhodium, and sterling silver.

Some of the Enchanted Disney pieces use mixed metals and several different stones to create a unique, eye-catching jewelry. These unique, distinct pieces would make an amazing gift!

Thanks to their bold, unique appearance, black diamonds have become a popular alternative to conventional colorless diamonds and other center stones for engagement rings and other jewelry.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Black Diamonds

Black diamonds have plenty of advantages:

  • Bold, unique, distinct
  • Popular, edgy
  • Hard stone that doesn’t scratch easily (diamonds are strong whether they’re white or black!)
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Won’t lose their shine or luster over time
  • Natural shine like colorless diamonds

They also have a couple disadvantages:

  • Brittle and prone to fracturing: Both natural and heat-treated black diamonds have a lot of inclusions. Inclusions are basically tiny fractures within a diamond that weaken its structure. If a heavily included, larger diamond is hit or bumped in the wrong spot, it can break.
  • Black diamonds have a unique structure that makes them susceptible to damage. Unlike other diamonds, they’re made up of tiny crystals locked together that create a black diamond. Like inclusions, this can cause instability.

If you need a unique-looking gift, check out all of the black diamond options Enchanted Disney offers!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are black diamonds real diamonds?
Yes, black diamonds are considered “real” diamonds. Black diamonds are real diamonds with the same chemical composition as traditional, colorless diamonds. There are lab-made black diamonds, natural black diamonds, and treated black diamonds.

2. Are black diamonds expensive as compared to white diamonds?
In general, black diamonds are not as expensive as white diamonds. On average, treated black diamonds cost about $300 per carat, compared to $1500-3000 for a natural black diamond.

3. What do black diamonds symbolize?
Black diamonds represent strength, passion, luck, and everlasting love.

4. How black diamonds get their color?
Most naturally colored black diamonds (carbonados) get their color from large quantities or clouds of mineral inclusions (graphite, pyrite, or hematite) in the stone. Most of the treated black diamonds have been treated to induce the color.

5. Are black diamonds lab grown?
You can find natural, lab-made, and treated black diamonds. Many jewelry pieces on the market feature lab-grown diamonds, also called synthetic diamonds.