Black Lab Diamond Engagement Rings: What you need to know

Black Lab Diamond Engagement Rings: What you need to know Cover Photo
5 min read8 July 2022

Black diamonds are growing in popularity. They are seen as unique pieces and create a talking point for any engagement ring. And who doesn’t want to show off their unique ring? 🤩

Known for their one-of-a-kind appearance, black diamonds are notable for a number of other distinctive qualities. This includes how they are created and how they are used in the design of an engagement ring. This article will explore what exactly a black diamond is, how it is formed, and what to look out for.

What is a black diamond?

Diamonds that have an extremely high number of inclusions are known as black diamonds. Some inclusions on a white or colourless diamond look like tiny dark specks on the surface of the stone. And, if there are enough of them, the diamond will appear black. Unlike what many people would think, there are no distinguished impurities in a pure black diamond at an atomic level. A black diamond is still made out of carbon atoms.

Because of the number of inclusions required for a black diamond, it is rare to find them in a mined environment. Typically diamonds are found with inclusions but not so many for a diamond to be black.

Black diamonds are also not the same as other fancy-coloured diamonds because the formation of coloured diamonds typically involves the presence of chemical impurities during the process of the diamond's formation. This doesn’t mean that a fancy-coloured diamond can’t be a black diamond. Remember, fancy-coloured diamonds can also be black. It has to do with clarity.

How are black diamonds graded?

Fancy coloured diamonds, such as black diamonds, are graded using a system that is different from the one used for colourless diamonds — which are the most common types of diamonds.

Black diamonds can't be rated by the 4Cs (diamond cut, colour, clarity, and carat) in the same way that colourless diamonds can. This is due to the fact that black diamonds have characteristics that set them apart such as colour and clarity. The greatest determinant of value for a black diamond is colour.

Variants & Appearances

Some will grade black diamonds from AAAA down to A and then B. But the best way to think about it is from translucent to opaque. Each has certain characteristics that may appeal to you.

Black Diamond AAAA v B

The image shows the equivalent of an AAA diamond on the left with a B graded black diamond on the right.

  • AAAA grade black diamonds are the rarest and highest quality. They make up less than 1% of black diamonds. They have a distinctive shine because of their cut and the way in which the inclusions create a deep colour.
  • B black diamonds are dull diamonds. The inclusions tend to make it look more like a regular stone than a diamond.

When seen from the side, certain diamonds with a black face-up appearance may really have a dark brown or dark green body colour. This is likely to have atomic impurities and can be a fancy-coloured diamond.

Black diamonds that have their natural hue are often fully opaque, and they have a high brilliance that makes the stones seem nearly as if they are made of metal. In addition, the presence of so many inclusions in these diamonds might make the cutting and polishing process challenging. They also need to be placed with extreme caution.

What to look out for

If you do buy a black diamond, you will typically get a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or International Gemological Institute (IGI). The report is different to one that you would receive from a colourless diamond. It is referred to as a Coloured Diamond Identification and Origin Report.

It is possible that black diamonds will generally cost less than white diamonds because there is less demand for them from consumers. This is in contrast to other fancy colours, such as blues or pinks, which can be very expensive.

But people's preferences shift over time. Over the last several years, black diamonds have seen a significant surge in popularity. They are particularly appealing to those who are searching for an engagement ring that is highly dramatic with a distinctive appearance.

Are black diamonds real diamonds?

Black diamonds are real diamonds. They can have the same atomic composition as a colourless diamond (coloured stones have impurities that give their colour). Black diamonds can also be lab-grown. This would have exactly the same atomic composition as a mined black diamond.

If you are interested in buying a black diamond, make sure you work with a jeweller to identify the best possible black diamond for your budget. Although black diamonds are genuine diamonds, there is a significant distinction in the spectrum of black.

If you are looking to buy a black diamond, reach out to Four Words to help you choose the best black diamond for your budget.

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