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Black is beautiful, but did you know that black is the most colorful shade as it is the mix of all the colors!
Sparkling white diamonds and colored diamonds are bound to catch anyone’s fancy, but these unusual ‘black’ diamonds have such a magical and mystical aura that can enchant even the ignorant ones.
Historically, black diamonds were held in low regard and started to gain popularity towards the fag end of the 20th century. With a very distinctive and bold appearance, black diamonds are unconventionally beautiful and that is what makes them highly desirable. Nowadays, it is quite common to find black diamond jewelry such as engagement rings, earrings, and bracelets. Black diamonds are quite popularly used in high-end jewelry too.
Natural Black Diamonds
Black diamond is also known as carbonado and is one of the toughest forms of a natural diamond. Although scoring 10 on the Mohs scale, they are even harder than other white or colored diamonds.
Like white diamonds, these are also formed by high pressure on the element carbon under the earth’s surface. The formation of their remarkable black shade is due to endless graphite inclusions and random clustering throughout. Due to their black color, they absorb most of the light entering them.
Black diamonds with white or gray inclusions are considered to be very unique. Black diamonds also have an element of mystery attached to them as it is believed that some of these fell on the earth as meteorites.
Black diamonds are quite rare and found only in few locations such as the Central African Republic and Brazil.
Rarity and Pricing of Black Diamonds
Natural black diamonds are considered to be fancy colored diamonds. Most of the natural fancy colored diamonds are extremely valuable due to their rarity, and their price highly influenced by their color intensity.
Though black diamonds are not one of those rare fancy colored diamonds (such as red, pink, or green), they are highly valued for their bold glamour and distinctive beauty. Due to their bold appearance, they are greatly favored in men’s jewelry.
Black diamonds are comparatively more affordable than other white or fancy color diamonds, which is majorly due to their less demand. The size of a black diamond is also a huge factor affecting its price. The cost of a natural black diamond may range from $3,000 to $5,000 per carat. Also, it is important to differentiate between natural black diamonds and treated black diamonds as the former are much rarer and expensive than the latter ones.
4C’s of Black Diamond
Black diamonds are opaque with high luster and metallic appearance. Their black hue comes in only one color intensity i.e. fancy. Apart from black diamonds, only fancy white and fancy red have a single intensity grade, whereas, other colors can be found up to nine grades ranging from faint to deep.
As they are not transparent, they do not exhibit sparkle and fire like other white or fancy colored diamonds, but still are spectacularly impressive and beautiful.
A high number of inclusions in black diamond absorbs light and hence does not refract light in the same manner as other diamonds. Due to this, clarity is not an important factor to grade black diamonds.
Black diamond contains innumerable graphite inclusions, due to which it is difficult to cut without fracturing it. Therefore, for a high-quality cut master craftsmanship is required which significantly increases its value.
To buy a high quality natural black diamond, it is important to ensure that the stone has a smooth, glossy, and shiny surface with no visible lines or blemishes. Round brilliant and princess cuts are the most popular choices for black diamonds. Other popular cuts are oval, pear, marquise, and heart.
Natural black diamonds are denser than other white or fancy colored diamonds, and therefore, a black diamond will be smaller in size than the same carat white or colored diamond. E.g. a one-carat black diamond will have a smaller size in comparison to a one-carat white diamond.
Grading of Black Diamonds
As black diamonds are opaque and full of inclusions, they cannot be graded by certified laboratories on general parameters as for other white or fancy colored diamonds.
Simply speaking, black diamonds are considered to be perfect when :
- They are completely dark.
- They have a uniform hue.
- Their facets are well-cut.
- There are no visible lines or spots.
- They have a glossy and shiny surface.
Natural black diamonds are graded basis above qualities. An important point to note is that color enhanced or lab treated diamonds are not graded or certified.
- Natural AAAA: AAAA graded black diamonds are the perfect natural black diamonds. They are extremely rare and range for even less than 1% of the total natural black diamonds. As they are extremely rare, they are exorbitantly priced and coveted by collectors, connoisseurs, and investors.
- Natural AAA: AAA graded black diamonds have uniform hue all over with a glossy surface. These black diamonds are quite rare with only 1% of them falling under this bracket.
- Natural AA: AA graded black diamonds have a slightly lower color intensity and contain some minute surface flaws. However, these flaws are not visible through naked eyes and hence they can be the best choice when considering fine jewelry. 10% of natural black diamonds fall under this bracket.
- Natural A: 20% of natural black diamonds are under this category. Though they are not as fine quality as higher grade ones, still they are deemed a good choice for jewelry.
- Natural B: 50% of natural black diamonds fall in this category. They are not a great choice for jewelry.
Metal Choices for Black Diamonds
Black is a highly powerful color and wearing a black diamond speaks of a powerful persona and authority. The black color also symbolizes love and romance.
Black diamonds can look exceptional when paired with complementing metals, and therefore it is imperative to carefully choose the base metal. Metals such as white gold and platinum make the best pair for black diamond jewelry including engagement rings.
Black diamonds can also make a stunning pair with yellow gold and rose gold.
Black Diamond Engagement Ring Settings
Black diamonds are gorgeous and immensely enchanting due to their unique appearance. If you are looking for something less traditional, a little more edgy and striking, then black diamond can make up for a perfect engagement ring.
A proper pairing and setting can enhance the look of an engagement ring that you can admire and cherish lifelong.
- Side stone setting: Black diamond can be highlighted by adding two colorless diamonds of any cut on either side.
- Halo setting: Surrounding black diamond with small colorless diamonds can create a magnificent effect.
- Solitaire setting: With a solitaire setting, a black diamond can be made the focus of attention. The only thing to note is to pair a black diamond with white gold or platinum for contrast and an eye-catching effect.
Natural vs. Color Enhanced Black Diamonds
Most of the black diamonds available in the market today are color enhanced or laboratory treated because of the rarity of naturally occurring black diamonds.
- Color-enhanced black diamonds are diamonds that undergo rigorous chemical processes to appear black, unlike true black diamonds which are naturally black.
- Natural black diamonds have a porous structure that allows more absorption of light and hence making them more opaque. On the other hand, treated diamonds are less opaque and less valuable than their natural counterparts.
- Color-enhanced black diamonds are more affordable than natural black diamonds. They can prove to be a great choice if budget is an issue but your heart is set on a black diamond.
Shop for Natural Black Diamonds
Buying a diamond requires a great deal of knowledge and research, and therefore, buying a diamond is not an easy affair.
It is highly recommended to buy black diamonds from reputed sellers. One of the most trusted and reputed diamond sellers is James Allen.
- They are the leader in online diamond sales.
- They have 18+ years of experience. With the prime focus on customer satisfaction, they provide excellent pricing for their diamonds.
- They have the highest tech diamond imagery in the industry, which makes it easy to accurately search and review diamonds.
- They offer a wide range of setting options for black diamond engagement rings.
Click here to visit James Allen and add a powerful and glorious black diamond to your collection!