When thinking about diamonds, there’s a good chance the first thing that comes to your mind is the sparkling colourless or white ones generally seen on engagement rings and other pieces of jewellery. However, what most people are unaware of is that diamonds are available in a multitude of colours including black. Due to black diamonds being rarely opaque, they are the most unique kind of diamonds available on the market. And although they don’t sparkle in the same way as their colourless counterparts, they are beautiful stones that provide stunning contrasts to any piece of jewellery. Here is everything you need to know about these rare gemstones.
Are black diamonds real?
Since they are naturally occurring gemstones, they are just as real as colourless diamonds. However, there are also two different types of black diamond that are created in labs:
- Black diamond simulants
- Colourless diamond which has been treated using heat
Black diamonds that are formed naturally are a kind of diamond known as carbonado. And unlike the colourless diamonds that reflect light, black diamonds have the ability to absorb any light that enters it.
Where can they be found?
Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and are only harvested in Central Africa and Brazil. During prehistoric times, before the continental drift, the two regions were adjacent to each other and it is likely that these gemstones originated from either of the two locations. Also, the gemstones are solely found in alluvial deposits. These are deposits that have been created sources of running water, such as rivers.
How do they get their colour?
Black diamonds get their colour from clouds or large quantities of minute inclusions of minerals like pyrite, hematite,and graphite. Some gemstones might also bear tiny fractures and fissures that have either become black due to the presence of graphite, which is why their shade can vary from a dark olive green, brown and smoky grey to a dark grey.
Presently, black diamonds available in the market for engagement rings and jewellery are treated to intensify their colour. This is done by applying a low pressure and high-temperature treatment. By this process, grey or even white stones with numerous inclusions and fractures can be turned black. This is why you should always ask your jeweller, when purchasing black diamonds, whether they are natural or treated.
What about the 4Cs?
Similar to colourless and coloured diamonds, black diamonds are also classified using the 4Cs: Carat weight, clarity, colour, and cut.
Because the density of these gemstones is higher than its colourless counterparts, it’s a little smaller in size than white diamonds belonging to the same shape and carat weight.
As a naturally occurring material, all diamonds contain some evidence of their exclusive growth history in the inclusions present in them. Though exceptionally rare, they are no different and are graded on the same scale as other diamonds.
This particular category is judged on both the specific hue of the stone and the even distribution of the colour present within the stone. A particular heat treatment is generally used to develop the deep tones visible within the stones. This results in different shades of brown or green which are so dark that they look like the colour black to the naked eye.
Generally, black diamonds are known to have a much simpler shape than colourless diamonds because of the expertise and skills needed to cut this solid material. The surface should be smooth, dark and glossy with clean edges.
Since black diamonds have a dramatic and unique beauty, couples choosing jewellery made with it generally have the same kind of a relationship. Whether they are the right choice for you is chiefly a matter of preference. Though they may not shine and sparkle, there is no denying that they are a rare and exotic gemstone.
If you are looking for valuable gemstones, such as a black diamond, then feel free to contact us. We are a leading jewellery buyer in Toronto and have many similar options available. Visit our store or call us for more information.