How to Tell If a Black Diamond Is Real at Home
Black diamonds are one of the most mysterious gemstones in jewelry. About 600 tons of white diamonds have been mined, traded, polished, and sold since 1900, but not a single black diamond has been discovered in any of these diamond mines. You can only find black diamonds in a few select locations—primarily Brazil and the Central African Republic.
Most black diamonds are used in industrial cutting, but black diamond rings and other jewelry are rising jewelry trends right now. As a matter of fact, black diamond jewelry is historically rare for many reasons, including superstitious ones. It was once believed that black diamonds were cursed, prompted by the strange story of the Black Orlav Diamond.
Although most people don’t believe that black diamonds are cursed, even gemstone jewelry enthusiasts have many questions regarding black diamonds encrusted in black diamond watches, rings, or other jewelry.
For one, many people aren’t sure if black diamonds are real diamonds or another type of black gemstone. Others want to know how to tell the difference between a real black diamond vs fake, or how to tell if a black diamond is actually a real diamond. To answer all of these questions and more, here’s our guide on how to test a black diamond to identify it from other black gemstones.
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- Are Black Diamond Real?
- Types of Black Diamonds and Their Differences from White Diamonds
- What Are Fake Black Diamonds?
- Where Do Black Diamonds Come From?
- How Much Do Black Diamond Costs? Price Comparison Chart
- How to Tell if a Black Diamond Is Real
- the Mysterious Allure of Real Black Diamond Jewelry
Are Black Diamonds Real?
Before we can get into the different methods to tell if a black diamond is real or fake, let’s address a bigger question: are any black diamonds real diamonds?
While there are many different colored diamonds that are all naturally occurring, black diamonds encrusted in men’s black diamond bracelets or any other jewelry are the most perplexing for many people, likely due to their rarity and unpopularity in jewelry. That being said, just like there are real yellow diamonds or real blue diamonds—black diamonds are real diamonds that are black in color.
There are, however, several different types of black diamonds. All of the types of black diamonds are real diamonds with black color. They all have the same chemical makeup as natural white diamonds. Natural black diamonds are identical to white diamonds in composition, but their structure is slightly different.
Types of Black Diamonds and Their Differences from White Diamonds
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Let’s compare natural black diamonds vs treated black diamonds vs lab-grown black diamonds.
Types of black diamonds:
- Natural black diamonds
- Treated black diamonds
- Lab-grown black diamonds
We’ll also discuss the different types of black diamonds vs white diamonds.
Natural Black Diamonds
Natural black diamonds (also called “carbonados”) are the raw black diamonds you find in Brazil and the Central African Republic as naturally black. Natural black diamonds get their color from their structure, which is an unusual form of polycrystalline diamond that includes graphite and amorphous carbon. Not that clear.
Just like other colored gems, a raw black diamond gets its color from the mineral impurities that permeate the gem during its formation. Blue diamonds get their color from boron, while yellow diamonds get their color from nitrogen. Natural black diamonds like the ones used in our men’s black diamond rings get their color from their internal clusters of graphite, as well as their inclusions.
A regular diamond’s structure is composed of solid crystals that form in natural lines, while black diamonds consist of many small crystals clustered together randomly. This makes black diamonds absorb more light than white diamonds, which shows their color.
Treated Black Diamonds
Treated black diamonds are real diamonds, so what is the difference between natural black diamonds and treated black diamonds? Well, the difference is that treated black diamonds are natural white diamonds that have many inclusions in them. These inclusions reduce their value and make them darker and less sparkly in color than jewelry-grade white diamonds.
Instead of wasting these flawed white diamonds, they are typically used in industry for intense cutting or they’re heat-treated to make them darker. A treated black diamond (also called “colorless treated black diamonds” or “black colored diamonds” has the same internal crystal structure as a white diamond, but the appearance of a black diamond.
Because treated black diamonds are real diamonds that have a low grade, you can typically buy real black diamond jewelry for a cheaper price than other real diamond jewelry. Treated black diamonds still have all of the traits as natural white diamonds (hardness, structure, minerals, etc.); they’re just black.
Lab-Grown Black Diamonds
Man-made black diamonds (also called lab-grown black diamonds or simulant black diamonds) are not exactly the same as natural black diamonds or natural treated black diamonds. While the former types of black diamonds take billions of years to form, lab-grown black diamonds are created in a lab via expensive processes.
Artificial black diamonds are not cheap, so few labs will make them since they can’t compete with real treated black diamonds. You probably won’t be able to find lab-grown black diamonds for sale due to the high price and energy cost of growing them. It’s highly inefficient and not great for the environment.
What are Fake Black Diamonds?
Since all of the black diamond varieties we’ve mentioned are actually real diamonds, that begs the question, are there fake black diamonds? What are fake black diamonds made of?
Fake black diamonds (also called diamond simulants or synthetic black diamonds) are a different black gemstone, not a real diamond. This can be a real mined gemstone, a lab-grown black gemstone, or a material that’s not even a gemstone. They often contain a composite of different minerals or color treatments.
The most common black diamond simulants are:
- Black colored glass
- Black cubic zirconia
- Boron Carbide (a high-tech ceramic)
These simulant black diamonds are merely created to look similar to black diamonds. Fake black diamond jewelry is really cheap; you can find it everywhere on sites like Wish or Alibaba.
Unlike real black colored diamonds, simulant black diamonds might not retain their color. They also lack the hardness and durability of real diamonds. It’s best to avoid these gems, especially since you can buy cheap real diamonds with heat treatment to make them black.
Where Do Black Diamonds Come From?
So, we know that heat-treated black diamonds come from diamond mines in the earth, and lab-grown diamonds come from a lab. But where do natural black diamonds come from?
There are many theories as to where black diamonds, which are used in our black diamond engagement rings, came from, and how they formed. Some geologists theorize that black diamonds formed from superbolt-long duration lightning striking rich sediment deposits on the earth. Others speculate that black diamonds formed in interstellar space from a supernova or asteroid.
Supporters of the extraterrestrial origin of black diamonds propose that the supernova that formed their material occurred at least 3.8 billion years ago in interstellar space. After 1.5 billion years, the mass of space material approached earth and struck it as a meteorite about 2.3 billion years ago.
While the supernova/meteorite theory is the most accepted cause of black diamond formation, it’s crazy to think that before 2008, none of these theories were fully developed. Black diamonds, which are used to make black diamond wedding rings, truly are a mystery—and a beautiful one at that.
How Much Do Black Diamond Costs? Price Comparison Chart
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How much do black diamonds cost compared to usual diamonds? The answer depends on the type of black diamond. Natural fancy black diamonds like the ones in our black diamond bracelets are relatively affordable, but they get expensive for higher carats. but obviously, it depends on the size sought after. The average cost of natural black diamonds is $3,000 to $5,000 per carat.
Treated black diamonds, however, are less expensive, and they are less in demand than white diamonds. This also helps keep their price low, at least until they become more popular. Here’s a black diamond vs white diamond price comparison chart.
|Carat||0.50 Carat||0.50 Carat||1.00 Carat||1.00 Carat||2 Carat||2 Carat||3 Carat||3 Carat|
|Price||per carat||per diamond||per carat||per diamond||per carat||per diamond||per carat||per diamond|
|Treated Black Diamonds||$200||$100||$300||$300||$400||$800||$500||$1,500|
|Natural Black Diamonds||$2,000||$1,000||$3,000||$3,000||$3,000||$6,000||$3,000||$9,000|
|Colorless White Diamonds||$2,500||$1,250||$5,000||$5,000||$9,500||$19,000||$12,000||$36,000|
You can see how white diamonds are more expensive than natural black diamonds, and treated black diamonds are cheaper than natural black diamonds. If you’re looking to buy cheap real diamond jewelry, a treated black diamond or natural carbonado is a great gemstone choice to cut costs.
Fake black diamonds are much cheaper than either type of black diamond, but they aren’t real diamonds, so you don’t get the same benefits. Black diamond simulants should never be sold as natural black diamonds or treated black diamonds, so be careful of sketchy dealers trying to pass them off as real diamonds.
How to Tell if a Black Diamond Is Real
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So, since both main types of black diamonds are real diamonds, you should be able to identify a black diamond from a simulant black diamond or other black stone. How can you tell if a black diamond is real? Here are some simple tests to identify a real black diamond at home.
How to tell if a black diamond is natural or heat-treated at home involves a visual test. To tell if a black diamond is heat-treated, you will need a magnifying glass and a light source.
Look at the diamond under the magnifying glass in the light. You may notice a greenish or bluish light that passes through the diamond, or you may see black and white light.
In a natural black diamond, which is used, for example, in a black diamond pendant, the light will have a “salt and pepper” effect inside the gemstone that consists of alternating areas of black and white, not green or blue. (This is easier to tell with high magnification).
If you see green or blue hints of light, it’s most likely a heat-treated black diamond.
Unless your diamond comes with a lab-grade certificate from a reputable gemological lab, it’s safe to assume that your black diamond jewelry contains a heat-treated or color-enhanced gem.
Water Drop Test
A real black diamond has a high density compared to simulant diamonds and other fake black diamonds. To conduct this test method, fill a glass of water almost to the top of the rim and drop the diamond in it. (This test is easier to do with a loose black diamond or a raw black diamond, but you may be able to get the black diamond out of its setting).
If it sinks to the bottom, then it’s real. If it floats on top or just below the surface of the water, then it’s a fake black diamond.
Real diamonds have prominent refractive qualities. Within the diamond, light bounces around multiple times and scatters in all directions, not in a straight line. (This test is easier to do with white diamonds but not impossible with black diamonds used in women’s black diamond bracelets or other diamond jewelry).
To conduct this test, take a blank sheet of paper and draw a dot on it with a pen. Place the flat side of the black diamond on the dot. Try to look at the paper through the pointed end of the diamond. If you see the dot, then the diamond is fake.
All real diamonds are very tough. They form under extremely high heat, so they’re resistant to it. Another way to tell if a black diamond is a real diamond, use a lighter or another flame source to heat the diamond for a few seconds.
Place a glass of cool water nearby to drop the hot diamond immediately after heating the stone. Observe the diamond when you drop it in the water. A fake diamond will shatter due to its inability to sustain such sudden internal expansion and contraction. A real diamond will retain its form due to its durable structure.
Diamonds are excellent conductors of heat, meaning that they don’t hold onto it for very long. To do this black diamond test at home, hold the black diamond ring or the gemstone between your fingers and bring it up to your mouth.
Exhale a stream of air onto the black diamond. The heat and moisture in your breath will cause the gem’s surface to fog up. Watch to see how long it takes the fog to disperse. In a real diamond, the fog will disappear quickly or instantly. If the fog remains on the gem for a longer amount of time, then it’s not a real black diamond.
The Mysterious Allure of Real Black Diamond Jewelry
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Entrancing, mysterious, and unusual, real black diamonds are every bit as gorgeous as white diamonds—in their own way. If you’re drawn to the mystique of black diamonds, and you’re interested in buying more unique diamond jewelry, check out our collections.
Here at ItsHot, we know our diamonds inside and out—and since we’re located in NYC, we’re able to create stylish, high-quality black diamond jewelry for men and women that are truly unique. Our black diamond jewelry for sale is surprisingly cheap, thanks to our manufacturer’s prices at up to 80% off deals.
Enjoy browsing our real black diamond jewelry. Use our search filter to narrow your search by price, gender, diamond grade, carat weight, metal type, popularity, and more.
Founder of ItsHot.com
Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.
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