What Are Black Diamonds?

Everyone used to think of diamonds as white (or colorless) and sparkly. In recent years colored diamonds have started to become more popular. Rightly so as they are far rarer and, depending on your taste, more beautiful than the ‘regular? white diamond.

However very recently a new type of diamond has started to appear in magazines and jewelry stores: black diamonds. But what are black diamonds, are they real diamonds or something else’

Black Diamonds are Real DiamondsRough black diamond

They might not look like a diamond when you first see one, they don’t display and of the sparkle diamonds are known for. They look black because a black diamond absorbs light and doesn’t refract it like other diamonds do.

The reason for this is that black diamonds have a structure known as ‘polycrystalline’. Which basically means a number of crystals have been mashed together to form a new crystal.

This makes it very hard for light to travel through the crystal and causes the black color.

Because a black diamond has a polycrystalline structure it is usually more porous than other types of diamonds and is more difficult to cut. Another name for a black diamond is carbonado.

How are They Formed’

There are several theories about how black diamonds were formed and all of them have problems explaining the evidence.

The first theory is that it is simply a naturally occurring crystal, just like other diamonds. The problem is that if this is true why are black diamonds only found in several places in the world (mostly Brazil and in Central Africa)’

Another theory is that they can be created when a meteorite impacts the earth. However, other diamonds created in this way have a certain type of crystal in their structure. Black diamonds do not.

The latest theory is that black diamonds were not created on the earth, but were created in a supernova or an asteroid impact on another planet.

However none of these theories can explain everything and so the verdict is still out on this.

Black Diamonds Value

A decade ago they were quite cheap as mostly researchers and collectors were interested in black diamonds. However a recent marketing campaign has put the black diamond in the spotlight and prices have risen sharply. Nowadays they are sold for prices comparable to white diamonds.

Buying Black Diamonds

Black diamonds while lacking sparkle can still look amazing. Especially when you combine them with white diamonds. However, there is something you should keep in mind when looking for the perfect piece of jewelry.

A large number of black diamonds that are on the market today are not in fact real black diamonds (called carbonado). They are treated diamonds and are usually very dark green or dark brown diamonds. This is actually a blessing in disguise, as real black diamonds are difficult to cut and can be more brittle than other diamonds.

Always ask the dealer if you are buying a natural black diamond or an enhanced one. If they don’t know the answer to that and aren’t willing to find that out for you, you should take your business elsewhere.