What are Black Diamonds? Detailed Guide

By Michael Fried

Scared of getting ripped off? Don’t want to waste your money? Confused by all the choices? Contact us.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

We highly recommend buying a black diamond, or any Fancy Color Diamond, from a vendor who provides high-quality photos, like Leibish & Co. or James Allen. You want to make sure you’re getting the best-looking black diamond for your budget. In our experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices and customer experience in the Fancy Color Diamond market. They also provide a high level of expertise when it comes to pairing the diamond with a jewelry setting.

Origin of Black Diamond’s Color

The presence of graphite in the crystalline structure during the diamond’s formation is believed to be the cause of the black color. Interestingly enough, a black diamond is essentially so full of inclusions that it paints the entire stone black—enough to cause quite a gem-like appearance.
Among all gemstones, diamonds are recognized for their durability, scoring a 10 (the highest possible) on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. A diamond’s structure is composed of solid crystal with identifiable natural lines.

Black diamonds are somewhat different, as they consist of many small crystals all stuck together in random formation. Although they’re still graded as a 10 on the Mohs scale, black diamonds are known to be even harder than the majority of diamonds as a result of the differences in their structure. In fact, before black diamonds were recognized as gems for jewelry, they were used for a variety of different functions because of their durability.

Black Diamond’s Intensity Levels

In contrast to most other colored diamonds, black diamonds are found in only one color intensity: Fancy Black. Other diamonds such as Fancy White and Fancy Red have a single intensity grade, but most other colors can be found with up to nine, from Faint to Deep.

Like all other diamonds, the 4Cs (Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat) should be considered when purchasing a black diamond. Even though Fancy Black diamonds do not receive regular Color and Clarity grades, it’s still important to both verify that the color is fully saturated and that there aren’t any obvious imperfections when looking at the stone with the naked eye.

In choosing a black diamond, you’ll also want to consider the shape, which is primarily based on personal preference.

Black Diamond’s Rarity and Prices

When it comes to black diamonds, it’s critical to differentiate between natural stones and stones treated to become black. The former is far rarer and more valuable than the latter. Unfortunately, the practice of treating diamonds is somewhat widespread, and it can be difficult to tell the difference. That’s why we suggest purchasing a black diamond from a reputable vendor like Leibish & Co. Overall, though, the price for black diamonds tends to be lower than other rarer colored stones.

As you search for black diamonds, watch for any stones with a seemingly low price. It’s likely that a black diamond marked at a considerably lower price point has been color treated. Even a report noting a “natural diamond” doesn’t mean it’s a natural fancy black diamond. It could refer to a natural diamond that’s been color treated.

Review black diamonds on vendor sites like Leibish & Co. and James Allen to get a good idea of the current average price per carat—though this will range based on the diamond’s overall quality. If you’re not confident, reach out to our experts. We’d be happy to assist in your search.

Black Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

Because black diamonds are so unique, any black diamond engagement ring is bound to garner attention. Pair your stone with a beautiful setting for a ring that will be cherished for years to come. In addition, be sure to choose a Diamond Shape that matches the style and personality of the wearer.

Style 1: Halo setting

Create a stunning ring by surrounding your black diamond with small colorless diamonds.

Halo setting example: Rose Gold Natural Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Style 2: Side stone setting

Highlight your black diamond by flanking it with two colorless diamonds on either side.

Side stone setting example: Black & White Diamond Engagement & Wedding Ring Set

Style 3: Solitaire setting

Keep your black diamond as the main focus with a solitaire setting. Consider white gold or platinum to contrast the stone’s color.

Solitare setting example: Round Black Diamond Solitaire Ring

Popular Jewelry Settings for Black Diamonds

Enjoy the process of creating stunning jewelry with black diamonds. Check out the earrings and pendants below for inspiration.

Black diamond pendant inspiration: Black Radiant Diamond Pendant

Black diamond earrings inspiration: Fancy Black Radiant Diamond Drop Earrings

Black diamond necklace inspiration: Round Black Diamond Solitaire Pendant

To get the most stunning stone for the price, select a black diamond from either Leibish & Co. or James Allen. If you have questions or concerns about purchasing a black diamond, contact our diamond experts.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
Leibish & Co Leibish & Co is the industry leader in the world of Fancy Color Diamonds. Their inventory size and prices are the best in the business, and their expertise in this highly specialized field will ensure that your diamond is set in a way to maximize its color.
What we love about them:
  • Largest and best inventory of fancy color diamonds
  • Best prices for fancy color diamonds
  • Industry leading expertise will ensure the color of your diamond is maximized in its setting
  • Leading bidders in the annual Argyle auction
  • Highest quality jewelry available online
  • Free shipping
  • Free resizing within first 2 years of purchase
  • Items comes with professional appraisal for insurance
  • 30 day no questions asked free return policy

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