How to Identify a Black Diamond

Black diamonds have taken a center stage in the jewelry industry for the past few years. Who wouldn’t love it? It’s unique, it has stunning beauty, and a black stone is just pure sexy. Everyone is used to the beauty of colorless diamonds, but when you see a black diamond, you’ll fall in love.

But the million-dollar question is: how do you identify a black diamond if it’s real or fake? If you plan on investing in a black diamond ring or any black diamond jewelry you should educate yourself on two things:

  1. How to identify a black diamond
  2. How to identify if a black diamond is real or fake

Because you know why? There are sellers who can easily deceive you and declare it’s a black diamond, but the truth is, it may be a gemstone, loose moissanite, or another lower-quality diamond. Read further to know more about black diamonds before investing in one. 

What You Need to Know About a Natural Black Diamond

The first thing you need to know about black diamonds is they are rare. Raw black diamonds are only found in the Central African Republic and Brazil. Black diamond has three categories:

  1. Natural or Raw Black Diamonds: This type is naturally occurring black diamonds or carbonado diamonds that possess more clusters of graphite as compared to white diamonds. That is why it possesses its black color.
  2. Treated Black Diamonds: Cheaper industry-grade white diamonds, when subjected to heat and irradiation turns into a treated black diamond. 
  3. Man-made: these are also called lab-grown diamonds that are being obtained and synthesized in the lab. There are ongoing debates about these lab-made diamonds can be classified as diamonds in the first place. 

Whether a black diamond is treated or natural, what defines a diamond is its crystalline atomic structure, especially the amorphous carbon, and chemical composition. 

Black Hope Diamond
Image by 350z33 from Wikimedia Commons

How to Identify a Black Diamond

The first thing you’ll notice when you first glance at a black diamond is its inclusions or small imperfections in its structure. Typically, jewelry experts would advise you to identify a black diamond using a magnifying glass. 

Here’s a fact about black diamonds: no matter how shiny or sparkly a black diamond looks from afar, it usually comes scratches and a few nicks on its surface. That’s even if it is categorized as an AAA quality black diamond, it never has a perfectly smooth surface. An AAA quality black diamond is considered to be ‘nearly perfect. 

Natural Color: Black Diamonds

The actual body color of a black diamond ranges from a nearly colorless brown, dark brown, dark green body color, olive green to black. Additionally, a black diamond is completely opaque, has a high luster which contributes to its almost metallic appearance. 

Since black diamonds have heavy inclusions, usually, cutting and polishing them may be difficult. If jewelers do, they do it with great care. 

When it comes to the color of black diamonds, you should remember that they must be uniform all throughout. If you notice dark shades of brown and a combination of black then that’s probably a fake black diamond. 

photo of a real black diamond - how to tell if it's fake
Image by Tristha from Wikimedia Commons

The Worth of Black Diamond

So what is the worth of black diamonds? Here’s what you need to know: even though black diamonds are rare, they are less expensive than colorless diamonds. Why? Even though there is less supply, there is less demand for it as well. 

Related Read: Understanding a Diamond Grading Report

Because you know why? We are used to colorless diamonds. But how much do black diamonds cost? The price ranges between $1,500-$3,000 per carat for black diamonds weighing between 1.00 to 3.00 carats.

On the other hand, colorless diamonds may range between $2,500 to $153,000 per carat for clear diamonds weighing between 1.003.00 carats. That is a big price difference, right? 

Jewelry Pieces Made With a Black Diamond

Black diamonds are available in varying jewelry pieces. A piece of black diamond jewelry is available in earrings, necklaces, and even engagement rings. Many vintage ring makers use black diamonds to enhance the beauty of any jewelry style.

Many hip-hop personalities use black diamonds necklaces. Both men and women popularly use stud black diamond earrings. Because why not? Its classic and sexy look would look good on anyone. 

black diamond ring

How to Test if Natural Black Diamonds Are Real

So here’s a dreaded question, how can you differ a real and fake black diamond? How do you know if black diamonds are real? The goal is to determine if it’s a real diamond, like what would you do on a colorless diamond. 

There are several tests you can do at home to tell if a black diamond is real or not, here are the following: 

Waterdrop Test

A black or white diamond has a high density, and a waterdrop test can help you determine if the black diamond is real or not. You can do this test at home, if it’s raw and uncut, black diamond on a piece of jewelry is not counted. Simply take an almost filled glass of water and drop the diamond in it. If the diamond sinks to the bottom, it’s real. If the diamond floats, then it’s fake. 

Dot Test

Natural diamonds have refractive power. Refractive power is the ability of a substance to make a ray of light change direction when it enters it. When introducing light to real diamonds, the light bounces off multiple times and the light never travels on a straight line. 

This is another test you can do to determine real diamonds — the Dot Test. What should you do? Take a blank paper and draw a dot on it. Then place the flat side of the black diamond on the dot. Try looking at the pointed end of the diamond, if you see the dot, that is a fake diamond. 

Fog Test

Another test you can do to determine if black or colored diamonds are real is the Fog Test. During the Fog test, hold the diamond and breathe out a wisp of air directly to the stone. The moisture and heat of your breath will cause the diamond to fog since real diamonds are excellent conductors of heat. 

If the fog instantly disappears then the diamond is real. On the contrary, if the fog takes time to disappear, then the diamond is fake. 

The Heat test

Diamonds are extremely tough and can resist extremely high heat. Another test to determine if a black diamond is real is through the Heat Test. To do this, use a lighter to heat the black diamond for a few seconds, then drop the hot diamond immediately on a glass of water. 

If it shatters, then it is a fake diamond. If the diamond retains its form, then it is real. Fake diamonds when heated and dropped into the water shatters due to contraction of matter and sudden expansion. 

The Sparkle Test

You can tell if a black diamond is real when it reflects well under the white light. Similar to a Dot Test, hold the black diamond under a light source. If the light bounces off you can see colored beams, then the diamond is real. If it has a dull reflection when introduced to a light source, then it’s most likely fake. 

Related Read: Why Are Diamonds So Expensive? [And Worth The Price!]

After Doing the Tests Above, Here’s What You Should Do

Once you have tested the black diamond with the tests stated above, here’s one final tip to truly tell if a black diamond is real: check it’s cut. Usually, black diamonds are difficult to cut. When you check the black diamonds, check for smooth edges and if it’s cut in a precise manner.

Chances are if it has smooth edges or was cut precisely, it’s not authentic. Unless of course, if it comes with a high price tag. However, if the price is too good to be true then you should question its authenticity. 

black diamond antique ring - how to know if it's real

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Diamond Testers Test Black Diamonds?

No, diamond testers do not test black diamonds. A diamond tester only detects white diamonds. Black diamonds are opaque, even if you use a high-quality diamond tester in it, the result may be inaccurate. 

What Does a Black Diamond Look Like Under a Blacklight?

When a black diamond is exposed to blacklight (ultraviolet), it glows to a blue color. At times, you can see other colors too like green, yellow, red and white. However, blue is the most common color it will glow into under blacklight. 

How Do You Tell if a Diamond Is Real With a Flashlight?

In order to tell if a diamond is real with a flashlight, hold the diamond near the flashlight and observe how it reflects. The light scatters throughout the stone, causing the sparkle, if that happens, that is a real black diamond.

hope diamond with lighting - black diamond
Image by 350z33 from Wikimedia Commons

Is It Worth Buying Black Diamond?

So the bottom line on all of this, the question is: are black diamonds worth buying? The answer is subjective to your preference. We’ve established earlier that although natural black diamonds are rarer than white diamonds, black diamonds cost less. But if you want to stand out black diamonds are worth buying. 

Where to Buy a Black Diamond?

Are you planning to buy a black diamond? Here are a few pieces of advice for you: choose a reputable seller who’s been in the jewelry business for a long time. Also, when buying a diamond, may it be black or clear, always understand the grading report

If you want to purchase beautiful black diamond jewelry, you can contact us at here AaLAND Diamond Jewelers. We offer nothing but real diamonds and other pieces of jewelry of top-caliber at a reasonable price.  

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