The Jewelry Box Blog

A Guide to Black Diamonds

Black diamond and gold engagement ring

For the jewelry lover who covets a bold statement piece, say hello to the black diamond. Known for its unique, mysterious beauty, and rich depth, a black diamond can add a dramatic touch to an engagement ring, necklace, pair of earrings and many other types of fine jewelry. A gemstone unlike any other, the black diamond is fast becoming a must-have in every jewelry collection. Is your interest piqued? Ahead, explore the enigmatic world of black diamonds and discover how they get their distinct color, why they are gaining popularity, whether they are affordable and much more.


What are Black Diamonds and Are They Real? 

When you think of a diamond, chances are the image that pops into your head is a sparkling clear or white stone – not a black one. This is to be expected, as colorless diamonds are the most iconic and marketed diamonds on the planet. Far less is known or understood about black diamonds, which makes them an enigma to many. However, they do possess several distinctive characteristics that set them apart from their colorless counterparts.


How do Black Diamonds Differ from Traditional Diamonds? 

Their black color. Mined black diamonds get their signature black color due to mineral inclusions like graphite, pyrite, or hematite that become trapped inside the stone during formation. Enhanced black diamonds and lab-created black diamonds get their black color from heat treatments. 

Their polycrystalline structure. Black diamonds are composed of millions of tiny black crystals held together by inclusions rather than being a single, pure stone. This helps give them their deep, rich color.
Their opaque appearance. Unlike a transparent diamond that reflects and refracts light (lending to its brilliance, fire, and scintillation), a black diamond absorbs light giving it a dark matte finish and marble-like luster. 

Not graded by the 4Cs. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) does not currently grade black diamonds in the same way that it grades colorless diamonds (the 4Cs) because their color and clarity fall outside of the standard grading range. Instead, they are evaluated based on the GIA’s color grading system for colored diamonds which uses a single-color grade: “fancy black.” In lieu of a grading report, buyers of black diamond jewelry receive a Color Diamond Identification and Origin Report.


Types of Black Diamonds 

There are many types of black diamonds, including those that are mined, are heat-treated and lab-grown.

Mined black diamonds, also known as carbonados (a Portuguese term meaning “burned” or “carbonized”), are made of an unusual polycrystalline material, consisting of diamond, graphite and amorphous carbon. Formed nearly 4 billion years ago, these charcoal-like stones are incredibly rare and exclusively mined from streambeds in Brazil and the Central African Republic. 

The exact origin story of black diamonds is the stuff of legend, as scientists continue to debate whether they were formed under the Earth, by radiation, or was the result of a meteoric or even extraterrestrial event.

Enhanced black diamonds or treated black diamonds are diamonds that have undergone color treatment to turn them black. The two most common types of treatment include high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) and radiation.

Black lab-grown diamonds are man-made instead of mined from the environment. They are still chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds.

Salt and pepper diamonds are a variation of black diamonds and consist of a mixture of white diamonds with fragments of black inclusions in them.


Why is Black Diamond Jewelry Popular?

Black diamond jewelry became fashionable in the late 20th century, but its popularity surged over the last decade. No longer lurking in the shadows, black diamonds have taken center stage and are currently among the most sought-after gems. So, why are consumers making a b-line for these black beauties?


Pop Culture and Celebrity Influences 

The black diamond’s BIG breakthrough (pun intended) came following the release of a popular film in which Mr. Big proposes to Carrie Bradshaw with a 5ct black diamond engagement ring. As he slides the ring on her finger, she asks: “Why’d you get a black diamond?” to which he responds, “Because you’re not like anyone else” (swoon, and also, RIP). Curiosity in black diamonds continued to peak when high-profile fashionistas like Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Carmen Electra and Kat Von D began brandishing black diamond jewelry in public.


A Bold Form of Self-Expression 

In a world of ubiquitous clear stones, be a black diamond! A little corny, but you get the point. A black diamond is the perfect accessory for anyone who wishes to defy conventional norms and express their unique personality and style. A black diamond really stands out in the crowd – in a good way!


Stylish and Versatile 

There’s just something about black diamonds. Edgy yet sophisticated, alluring yet romantic, bold yet beautiful – these dark gems are in a class all their own. Adored by women and men alike, they are equally perfect for everyday wear (black goes with everything!) or a fancy soiree. Black diamonds pair beautifully with all metal colors (especially white or yellow gold and platinum) and gemstones, in practically any setting.



Black diamonds tend to be more budget-friendly compared to colorless and fancy colored diamonds.  While many variables impact cost, including supply and demand, you can generally expect to pay between $100-$400 per carat for lab-grown and heated black diamonds.

When you find the perfect black diamond to add to your jewelry collection, protect it by obtaining personal jewelry insurance through Jewelers Mutual. It’s an affordable option that covers loss, damage, and disappearances. You can check your rate by clicking the button below.



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About Jewelers Mutual Group

Jewelers Mutual was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Later, consumers began putting their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their jewelry and the special memories each piece holds. Today, Jewelers Mutual continues to support and move the industry forward by listening to jewelers and consumers and offering products and services to meet their evolving needs. Beyond insurance, Jewelers Mutual’s powerful suite of innovative solutions and digital technology offerings help jewelers strengthen and grow their businesses, mitigate risk, and bring them closer to their customers. The Group insurers’ strong financial position is reflected in their 37 consecutive “A+ Superior” ratings from AM Best Company, as of November 2023. Policyholders of the Group insurers are members of Jewelers Mutual Holding Company. Jewelers Mutual is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, with other Group offices in Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. To learn more, visit