We are used to thinking of diamonds as white sparkling stones. But did you know that there are also fancy black diamonds? Actually, black diamonds are among the most popular choice of coloured diamonds. Even though they are so popular, there are a lot of rumours about them. So let’s find out what is the reality.
Are Black Diamonds Real?
Black diamonds are as real as white diamonds. They are just not that common. However, it should be mentioned that there are two types of black diamonds: natural and treated.
What Are Natural Black Diamonds?
Natural black diamonds, also known as “carbonado”, have the same chemical composition as white diamonds. However, the crystal structure of black diamonds is different, and they have an extremely high amount of inclusions, causing them to differ in colour.
Although black diamonds are still graded 10 on the Mohs scale, they are known to be even harder than the majority of diamonds. This unparalleled durability is the result of the differences in their structure.
What Are Treated Black Diamonds?
Treated black diamonds are created in labs by treating white diamonds with heat or radiation. As a result, the colour of these gems changes to black.
As you might guess, treated black diamonds are more affordable and common than naturally occurring ones. Since natural black diamonds are relatively rare, you should know that if you are about to buy a black diamond for an affordable price, it is very likely to be a white diamond that has been treated.
Are Black Diamonds Low-Quality Stones?
Many people think that black diamonds are stones that have extremely low clarity which makes the stones look black.
The colour of black diamonds is not only due to their inclusions but also due to their unique structure. The structure affects how they reflect light, which is mostly absorbed by the stone. Black diamonds do not display any brilliance or sparkle.
Treated black diamonds, in their turn, owe their colour to the treatment and not the structure. Whether the original white diamond that has been treated was of high quality is a different matter. But let’s agree, it is very unlikely that someone will take an expensive white diamond of the highest quality and change the colour to sell it for less money.
Just keep in mind that regardless of the origin, such stones have a very low clarity grade because of their colour and structure. However, traditional quality guidelines used to evaluate white diamonds are not really applicable to black diamonds. That’s why the term “low quality” doesn’t actually make sense when used for black diamonds.