What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you think about a diamond? Let us guess; a shiny, classy, and perfect piece of work. But everything in life has some flaws here and there, and these gems are no exception.
Sure, we would rather like that they’re perfect, but they do form underground, so we can’t expect them all to get created equally. Still, diamonds will cost you an arm and a leg. But you have probably seen an image or two of diamonds that have some spots on them.
Maybe they’ve been there since formation, sure, but there is a question that has to be asked – can diamonds develop black spots?
That is a reasonable question because let’s face it – people want flawless diamonds. And not only that, they want to be sure that they stay flawless! Well no worries perfectionists, we have some answers for you. So let’s get this thing started!
Can Diamonds Develop Black Spots?
Let’s get the straight answer out of the way:
Yes, diamonds can develop black spots. But, the thing is, they can’t just appear all of a sudden, which means that there’s a little more to this. Diamonds formed inside a stone a long time ago; during this time, the necessary carbon atoms crystallized to develop this structure.
So in a sense, these black spots that you can catch on a diamond here and there are pretty much just diamonds. They’re the same material, but it’s just a part of the diamond that failed to develop in the same way. But we’ll get into this in a moment. The main takeaway is that the spots don’t just appear out of thin air!
This claim is correct if the spot isn’t formed with the rest of the diamond. Black spots never develop on their own after a diamond is formed. See, diamonds need some extreme conditions to form in the first place. The carbon atoms that go into a crystallized matrix need incredible heat and pressure to do so. This means that any changes inside that matrix won’t happen in your living room or the jewelry shop – you can be sure of that!
Once diamonds get formed, and while they’re in their rough shape, you can pretty much see all the possible flaws that are waiting for you once the cutting starts. Now, that doesn’t mean that you might not get a surprise during cutting, but these are usually just inclusions like scratches and cracks.
Because these black spots are just carbon that’s not arranged well, it means that they can’t let light through as a diamond would. This means that you can spot them from pretty much any angle, or if not, you can at least see that something is blocking the light. You don’t need a complicated investigation after that.
It’s good to know that black spots are harmless; they can’t weaken the diamond. Also, we have more good news: even if your diamond has this natural flaw, there are ways to make that flaw disappear or at least be less visible. But first, let’s see what exactly these flaws are.
What Are Black Spots On A Diamond?
So we have mentioned that these black spots, as they are often called, are just carbon that’s not formed properly. But what exactly does that mean? If you know anything about carbon, you know that diamond isn’t the only material that it can turn into.
So are these spots pieces of graphite that are on the inside? Can they affect the density of the diamond? Do they change its structure in any way? Well, yes and no. It’s pretty darn strange, actually, so you’ll have to let us explain. In a way, these are pretty much just carbon atoms. But there’s more to it.
The problem with saying that it’s just a group of atoms is, well, everything’s just a group of atoms! They have to be called something. Is it a diamond? Is it graphite? Well, it’s diamond, or at least it’s the material closest to it.
For a diamond to be a diamond, its atoms need to be arranged in a certain way. The matrix that they form is a crystal, which is pretty sturdy and durable as we all know. Sure, diamonds can shatter pretty easily, but they’re the densest material that we have found on the planet so far.
They’re also the hardest material in the world, but that’s a whole different story. The spot you see on or in a diamond isn’t really a spot; it’s not even black. It’s just atoms working that light differently, which is tricking your eyes into thinking that there’s something different there.
After all, as we already mentioned, diamonds are incredibly dense. The fact that they can transmit light so efficiently is incredible on its own. So it makes sense that they would be so great at blocking light if the structure isn’t right. We know that it sounds strange because it is strange. Your eyes are seeing a black spot that is not really there.
But if we start overanalyzing everything in this way, all spots are just groups of atoms that are doing something strange with light before it hits your eyes! But, now that we know what these spots are, let’s see how they affect the value of a diamond.
See Also: Can Diamonds Crack Inside?
How Do Spots Affect The Value Of A Diamond?
As you probably know, diamonds are made up of carbon. The black spots in them are dots of carbon that haven’t crystallized. They are just natural flaws. Can black spots decrease the value of a diamond?
Yes, they definitely can. But, only when it comes to the monetary value of the diamond. The good news is that black spots don’t do anything when it comes to damaging the stone. The quality of the diamond is completely fine, only the diamond price is lower.
See, there is a diamond grading system called the 4C’s system. This is the official grade that a diamond gets when it’s legally sold anywhere in the world. The 4C’s refers to color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Now, black spots affect these grades in pretty much every way, which is why they have such a significant impact on the eventual value of the diamond. Some are more obvious than others. But we do need to clarify exactly what these grades mean. Let’s start with color.
See, the less color a diamond has, the more it will be worth, as translucent diamonds have a higher demand. But how can one diamond form to be yellow while another is entirely colorless? Especially if they’re made out of the same material (carbon)?
When there’s so little in the recipe, how can there be any room for an error? The color has nothing to do with the actual carbon and the diamond – but with its flaws. See, the more flaws a diamond has, the harder it is for light to go through it. This means that the light entering the gem isn’t the same as the one that is exciting. Well, that may be a bit of a stretch, but we perceive it differently – that’s the whole problem.
Now, black spots don’t affect the color on their own, but when you combine them with everything else, the light will have difficulty staying pure. Now, just like with color, the clarity of a diamond will most likely be highly affected by the spots, so we won’t get into that part of the grade too much.
But the thing is that black spots actually have a significant impact on the cut and the carat weight. Sure, the weight will be the same, but spots complicate cutting. If you decide to leave the black spots in a diamond and just settle for a lower value, then you have nothing to worry about. But cutting that spot out means that you’ll have to go for a different cut that will ultimately have a lower carat weight.
How To Make Black Spots Disappear Or Be Less Visible?
Can black spots become less visible on your diamond? It’s a fair question, and we’ll try to answer it to the best of our abilities. Cleaning your diamond is probably the best method. Once the surface is thoroughly cleaned, more light can enter and go through the diamond.
So sure, you can make these spots less visible if you make sure that there’s more light entering the diamond. But still, they will be visible. After all, we’re all expecting a flawless piece of a gem here; if any imperfection stands out, there’s not much we can do about that.
The more complex question is – how to make those spots disappear? Well, black spots on a diamond can disappear by using the laser drilling method or fracture filling.
Laser drilling is a technique that uses a small hole to drill a channel in a diamond. The goal is to get rid of the black spot. The not-so-good part of this technique is that it can also cause the diamond to crack if it gets rid of too many spots.
Fracture filling is a process where the hollow end of a tunnel or the microscopic tunnel below can be filled with a glass-like substance. Although it is commonly used to fill voids in the cavity of a worn-out piece of jewelry, it can also damage the finished product.
Black spot treatment is a type of lower-quality gem that has negative effects on the stone’s quality. Both methods that we mentioned earlier aren’t completely safe to use because they can weaken the structure of the diamond. Our advice is to avoid both of them.
You see, at the end of the day, diamonds are sensitive, so you might not want to start removing parts of them that are on the inside. Sure, some spots can be handled if they’re on the surface. But those are usually found on a rough diamond. By the time these diamonds reach a selling point, the surface flaws have already been taken care of.
The fact of the matter is that diamonds are hardly rare, so if you have one that has spots and flaws inside and on top of it, you might want to find a different diamond. It’s just not worth the trouble.
But hey, who are we to judge – all diamonds deserve a chance!
Learn More: Diamond Care: How To Take Care Of Your Diamonds
We hope that we have given you all the pieces of information that you wanted to know about.
Can diamonds have black spots? Sure, but let’s face it – they’re still diamonds. Our advice is: don’t hesitate and feel free to buy the one with these bits of natural flaws. Because, at the end of the day, there is a lot of beauty in imperfections.
Also, these imperfections aren’t that big of a deal; you can’t notice them by just looking at the diamond. The spots that get left behind after the cutting and polishing are usually so small that you won’t be able to see them with the naked eye.
To be honest, we think that these imperfections make the diamond stand out and be different from every other stone. The perfectly translucent diamond can be a bit boring, so what not get one that’s a bit different?