Black diamonds have a unique, mysterious beauty. With their rich depth, black diamonds can add a dramatic touch to engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, and many other types of fine jewelry. In addition to having a unique style, black diamonds have many other singular qualities. From how they form in the earth to how they should be cleaned, black diamonds are distinctive among gemstones. 

Curious to know more about what makes the boldly beautiful black diamond different from other diamonds? Read on to learn everything you need to know about black diamonds. Below, we’ll cover what black diamonds are, go over the unique qualities of black diamonds, and answer some black diamond FAQs. 

What is a Black Diamond? 

Black diamonds are fancy colored diamonds, which is the same category that pink, blue, and yellow diamonds fall into. When diamonds form naturally in the earth over millions of years, they’re sometimes exposed to elements or minerals that change their color. For example, when a diamond is exposed to boron during its formation, it becomes blue. A diamond can achieve a black color when it has large quantities of black mineral inclusions, such as graphite, pyrite, or hematite. Depending on the concentration of a fancy black diamond’s mineral inclusions, it can look brown, dark green, gray, or black. 

Unique Qualities of Black Diamonds 

The Unique Visual Quality of Black Diamonds 

This princess cut black diamond pendant shows off the beautiful lustre of its featured black diamond. 

Visually, black diamonds are very unique among diamonds– and not just because of their color. White diamonds and other fancy colored diamonds are transparent, giving them brilliance and fire. However, black diamonds are typically completely opaque. Rather than having scintillation, these black stones have a captivating, lustrous shine. 

The Four Cs of Black Diamonds 

Because they have such distinctive qualities, black diamonds can’t be graded by the 4Cs (diamond cut, color, clarity, and carat) in the same way colorless diamonds can be. Black diamonds can receive cut grades and they do have carat weights. But black diamonds cannot receive standard color or cut grades. Black diamonds can’t be graded on the colorless diamond color scale, since they fall far outside of it, and they can’t be graded on the colorless diamond clarity scale, since they’re inherently so highly included. 

So, black diamonds won’t come with the same type of grading report that certified colorless diamonds would come with. Instead, black diamonds may come with a different type of report that notes things such as color (black diamonds are given only one color grade: Fancy black) and whether or not the diamond is natural. The GIA’s version of this report is called a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report. 

The Difference in Caring for a Black Diamond 

Be sure to clean your black diamond studs with care! 

Black diamonds are black because they have numerous inclusions, which can make a black diamond more prone to cracking. Because of this, it’s important that you clean black diamonds with care. If you clean your black diamond jewelry at home, clean it gently using only soap and water. Know that you should never use steam cleaners or ultrasonic jewelry cleaners to clean black diamond jewelry. These cleaners are far too harsh for black diamonds and can easily cause damage. 

The Rarity & Affordability of Black Diamonds 

Like other types of fancy color diamonds, black diamonds are extremely rare. Black diamonds are much more rare than colorless diamonds, which may come as a surprise if you’re familiar with these diamonds’ price points– black diamonds are much less expensive than colorless diamonds. 

Wondering why black diamonds are more affordable than colorless diamonds? It’s simply an issue of demand. Since colorless diamonds are in higher demand, diamond miners and jewelers charge more for them. 

FAQ About Black Diamonds 

The black diamonds featured in these white gold and black diamond engagement rings are as real as they are beautiful. 

Are black diamonds real? 

Yes! Black diamonds are real diamonds with a black color. Black diamonds are made of carbon, just like colorless diamonds, and contain mineral inclusions that make them black. Most commonly, black diamonds contain graphite inclusions. 

Are black diamonds heat treated? 

Not all black diamonds have been heated treated. However, the majority of the black diamonds you’ll find sold today have been heat treated to induce their coloring. Many of the black diamonds you’ll find in jewelry stores are natural diamonds that initially had a gray color, then underwent a heat treatment that gave them an even black color. Note that most of the black diamond jewelry sold today features heat treated black diamonds because natural black diamonds with even coloring are much more rare and expensive.  

Where do black diamonds come from?

Natural fancy black diamonds are found in relatively few locations in the world. The majority of the world’s natural black diamonds come from Brazil and the Central African Republic. 

Is a black diamond the same thing as Carbonado? 

Carbonado is another name for black diamond, but this term is typically used to describe a specific type of black diamond. The term Carbonado is more commonly used to describe polycrystalline black diamonds that are used for industrial purposes, while the term black diamond is more commonly used to describe jewelry quality black diamonds. 

How much do black diamonds cost? 

The average cost of a black diamond depends on whether it is a heat treated natural diamond or an untreated natural diamond. Treated black diamonds have an average cost of $300 per carat, while untreated black diamonds have an average cost of $3,000 per carat. 

What is the meaning of black diamonds? 

Black diamonds share the same symbolism as other diamonds, but also have a unique meaning of their own. Like white diamonds, black diamonds are thought to symbolize purity, love, fidelity, and eternity. Then, they’re also thought to be a symbol of power, charisma, certainty, and passion. 

Are black diamond engagement rings popular? 

Black diamond engagement rings are certainly a more rare choice, but they have grown in popularity in recent years. Many people tie the newfound rise in black diamond ring popularity to a pop culture engagement ring: Carrie from Sex and the City’s black diamond engagement ring. 

Are there famous black diamonds? 

There are many! Perhaps the most famous black diamond is The Black Orlov, a 67.5 carat black diamond that is thought to be cursed. According to legend, The Black Orlov (also nicknamed the Eye of Brahma) became cursed when a monk stole the diamond from a statue of the Hindu god Brahma in Pondicherry in the early 19th century. Some other famous black diamonds include The Sergio, an enormous 3,167 carat black carbonado diamond that’s believed to have come from outer space upon a meteorite, and the Black Amsterdam Diamond, a 33.74 carat black diamond that’s renowned for its exquisitely well-done pear shaped cut. 

Final Thoughts 

We hope this guide to black diamonds has been helpful for those who are considering a bold, dramatic black diamond for their jewelry. If you’d like to learn more about buying black diamonds online, be sure to check out our Black Diamond Earring Guide, which features practical tips on how you can select the perfect black diamond center stones for earrings, rings, and pendants. Our in-depth buying guide goes over how you can gauge the size of different black diamond carat weights, how to choose your jewelry setting style, what you should understand about black diamond certification, and much more. 

If you have any questions for us about black diamonds, black diamond jewelry, or any of the specific black diamond pieces we carry, please feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to assist you!