What Is a Black Diamond?

Photo of a black diamond engagement ring.

Dark and daring, black diamonds have a special sort of allure. Whether you’re in search of the perfect center stone for your diamond engagement ring or are looking for an edgy new way to accessorize, these unique gems are sure to fit the bill.

Discover if black diamonds can be lab grown diamonds, and how they’re formed, graded, and priced in this quick guide.

What Are Black Diamonds?

As opposed to a colorless diamond or a white diamond, which are valued for their lack of impurities, black diamonds are diamonds with a very high number of inclusions of minerals like graphite, pyrite, or hematite. Black diamonds fall within the fancy colored diamond group and can range in color anywhere from near-colorless to brown, or olive green. The black color that shoppers love is often enhanced by subjecting the stone to high-temperatures and low-pressure treatments, which act to graphitize the fractures within the diamond, turning them black.

You might be wondering, “are black diamonds real?” The answer is, yes. Black diamonds are real diamonds as they consist of the same chemical composition as their colorless counterparts. Similar to traditional diamonds, black diamonds are said to represent eternal love, passion, and energy, making them a great choice for a diamond engagement ring.

A famous black diamond is the Black Orlov which was discovered in 19th century India and totaled 195 carats. Also referred to as the Eye of Brahma, the stone was said to have been featured as one of the eyes in a statue of the Hindu god Brahma.

Types of Black Diamonds

Black diamonds are categorized into two main groups, natural black diamonds, and treated diamonds. Like other natural fancy stones, natural black diamonds are far rarer and more valuable than treated gems.

As opposed to many other colored diamonds, black diamonds are only available in one color intensity which is referred to as fancy black. Fancy black diamonds are still graded according to the 4Cs of diamond quality – cut, color, clarity, and carat -although the desired qualities of a black diamond are different than those of a colorless stone.

Look for a black diamond that’s color is fully saturated and be sure to note that there are no visible imperfections that can be seen with the naked eye. Additionally, stone shape and metal setting will also play an important factor in a piece of black diamond jewelry’s overall appearance. Many people choose to pair these fancy color gems with white gold as they look particularly captivating in this setting. Alternatively, the diamond shape comes down to personal preference. When you choose a black diamond as your center stone, it will look great in any cut, style, or carat weight.

Are Black Diamonds In Style?

The demand for black diamonds skyrocketed in recent years as celebrities like Carmen Electra, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow were spotted rocking these jet black gems. From bands and engagement rings, to statement pieces and designer handbags, black diamonds are enjoying a trending moment.

That being said, finding a natural black diamond is no easy task. Unfortunately for diamond shoppers, treated black diamonds are far more common than natural gemstones of this variety. Additionally, it can also be incredibly difficult to tell the difference between a natural black diamond and a stone that’s been treated to change its color. If purchasing an untreated black diamond is important to you, be sure to only shop with reputable retailers that specialize in black diamonds.

How Much Do Black Diamonds Cost?

When it comes to pricing, black diamonds typically cost less than rarer fancy color diamonds. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000 per carat for a quality black diamond. Again, be wary of prices that seem too good to be true if you have your heart set on a natural black diamond, as those with very low prices are likely to be color-treated gems.

Can Black Diamonds Be Lab Grown?

Yes, black diamonds can be lab grown. Chemically and structurally identical to natural black diamonds, lab grown black diamonds are the same, minus the fact that they weren’t mined from the earth. Many shoppers choose lab grown black diamonds due to their eco-friendly nature and appealing price point.

Black Diamond Engagement Rings

If you’re searching for an eye-catching alternative to the typical center stone, a black diamond could be the right fit for your diamond engagement ring.

Top Engagement Ring Settings

A few engagement ring settings stand out amongst the rest when it comes to making a black diamond look particularly stunning.

First is the glamorous halo engagement ring setting. Rings of this style feature a “halo” of accent stones that encircle the center diamond. Diamond halos have a reputation for being amongst the most glitzy of diamond ring designs, and they can even make your diamond look bigger thanks to the added dazzle that they provide.

Next up is the three stone engagement ring setting. In this romantic style, the center gemstone is neighbored by two mirroring side stones. This design is perfect for the romantic as the stones are said to represent a couple’s past, present, and future. What’s more, if you opt for this setting, you have choices – do you want a black diamond center stone, or will you choose black diamond side stones instead?

Lastly, is the timeless solitaire engagement ring setting. Simplistic, yet stunning, rings in this style consist of a standalone center stone fixed upon a sleek metal band. A black diamond in a white gold solitaire setting is nothing short of captivating. Add even more dazzle with an accented band if you’re looking for some extra sparkle.

Black Diamond Jewelry

If you’re trying to find the perfect accessory to amp up your fine jewelry collection, a black diamond piece might be exactly what you’re looking for.

A pair of black diamond earrings add a sophisticated edge to any outfit. Plus, diamond stud earrings can be easily transitioned from day to night wear, making them a versatile piece. If you’re not the earring type, a black diamond necklace or pendant is sure to be a fine addition to your everyday style. Combine it with a fashionable t-shirt for a casual look, or pair it with a little black dress for the ultimate evening out on the town.


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