Black diamonds, also known as Carbonados, have a mysterious allure, making them favorable to collectors and lovers of statement jewelry alike. Today, black diamonds are a pretty popular choice for engagement rings as well as men’s bands.
One of the first concerns regarding diamonds, in general, is the price. So, you might be asking yourself: How much is a 1 carat black diamond worth?
Depending on the type of black diamond, the price could range from couple hundred dollars all the way up to a couple of thousand dollars.
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the different pricing factors and black diamonds. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Formation Process Of Black Diamonds
While black diamonds are formed in the same conditions as colorless diamonds, precisely how they come to have a high number of inclusions that give them their distinct black color remains a mystery.
The more boring explanation is that black diamonds are a result of high-pressure conditions in the Earth’s crust combined with dark inclusions of graphite.
However, this theory doesn’t explain why these stones are found almost primarily in Brazil and the Central African Republic.
A more interesting theory, however, states that natural black diamonds were part of a star that exploded billions of years ago. Having drifted through space for billions of years, these stones crashed to Earth as part of a meteorite.
But, this may be a surprise to some: Black diamonds can be more affordable than colorless diamonds.
The relatively low cost of black diamonds is explained by the simple fact that there has not been a large demand for them as there has been for white or other colored diamonds. However, this is slowly starting to change.
In the past few years, the demand has increased; thus, the prices have increased, too.
Unfortunately, as the demand for these diamonds has increased, so did the number of treated black diamonds. As such, most diamonds you can find on the market aren’t genuine nor rare.
Are Black Diamonds A Good Investment?
While black diamonds aren’t traditionally considered stones for investors, they have become more and more popular in recent years. That means that their price, which was comparatively low in the past, has increased to be closer to “white” diamonds.
Suppose you’re looking to invest in natural black diamonds. In that case, the best option would be to search for a stone of considerable size or one with a distinctive feature that could add to its value.
On the other hand, investors should be careful when buying a black diamond, as the increasing popularity has led to a burgeoning market for artificially treated black diamonds.
These treated stones are substantially lower in price and of significantly lower quality than their natural counterparts.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re making the right decision when buying black diamonds, be sure to speak to professional jewelers or diamond experts. They will be able to tell you about pre and post-sale valuation services.
That will ensure that you will make the best purchase and get the right deal when you try to sell.
Black Diamonds’ Pricing
Natural black diamonds are relatively affordable compared to the much rarer fancy colored diamonds. They are also comparable in price to white diamonds.
A fancy black diamond can cost anywhere between $3000 and $5000 per carat. That means that an average 1-carat engagement ring is likely to cost around $3000.
As natural black diamonds are much more challenging to cut than other diamonds, a particularly well-cut black diamond is likely to cost more than the average black diamond.
Other factors, like how smooth the diamond’s surface is and if it’s porous or not, will strongly impact a natural black diamond’s price.
On the other hand, treated black diamonds are much cheaper than their natural counterparts as there is less demand for them, and they aren’t especially rare. If you’re looking to buy a treated black diamond, you can expect to pay about $300 per carat.
The bellow table shows prices of treated black diamonds compared to natural black diamonds compared to colorless white diamonds.
To better understand how much the diamond would cost, the prices in this table are both per carat and per diamond.
|0.50 carat||0.50 carat||1.00 carat||1.00 carat||2.00 carat||2.00 carat|
|Price per carat||Price per diamond||Price per carat||Price per diamond||Price per carat||Price per diamond|
|Treated Black Diamonds||$200||$100||$300||$300||$400||$800|
|Natural Black Diamonds||$2,000||$1,000||$3,000||$3,000||$3,000||$6,000|
|Colorless White Diamonds||$2,500||$1,500||$5,000||$5,000||$9,500||$19,000|
While the price per carat of the 1-carat natural black diamonds remains more or less the same – around $3000 per carat – the difference between natural black diamonds and colorless white diamonds increases exponentially as the gem’s size grows.
Factors That Impact The Price Of Black Diamonds
Along with white and red colored diamonds, natural black diamonds only have one intensity level: fancy black. That’s because black diamonds are entirely opaque and don’t vary in hue, intensity, or tone.
As such, the grading systems that define the intensity for other colored diamonds don’t relate to natural black diamonds.
Also, the black color of the gems means that black diamonds don’t sparkle in the light – unlike other diamonds. That gives them a more refined and understated quality that fits quite well with wedding rings.
A large number of inclusions within the natural black diamonds means they don’t refract light in the same way as other colored diamonds do. Therefore, clarity won’t even be a relevant factor in determining their value and quality.
Even though inclusions are the very thing that provides these diamonds their color, natural black diamonds don’t receive clarity grades.
Black diamonds are known to be incredibly complicated to cut because of the densely packed inclusions that provide the diamond its black color.
Black diamonds with a higher quality cut are of significantly greater value due to the high skill needed in cutting them. Therefore, the crucial factor to take into consideration to determine a black diamond’s value is the cut.
Due to the difficulties of cutting black diamonds, they don’t often come in the same variety of cuts as other fancy colored diamonds. If you manage to find a well-cut and unique design, you should consider purchasing it as the stone might be a good investment in the future.
The most popular shapes for black diamonds are round, princess, pear, and oval. Take note that when buying a black diamond, you should ensure that its surfaces are smooth and that there are no visible blemishes.
On the other hand, treated black diamonds are much easier to cut since they lack inclusions found within natural black diamonds.
With that being said, treated black diamonds are often made from lower-quality diamonds. That means that the end piece is still very likely to be of lower quality – even when the cut is of higher quality.
A diamond’s carat doesn’t refer to a size of a diamond but rather to its weight. Therefore, as black diamonds are denser than other fancy colored diamonds, they can often have the same number of carats while looking smaller.
For instance, a 1-carat natural black diamond will be remarkably smaller compared to 1-carat colorless white diamond.
Read More: How Big Is A 1 Carat Diamond?
Because natural black diamonds are opaque, they won’t sparkle in the same manner as other fancy colored diamonds.
However, well-polished natural black diamonds will have a glossy finish that gives them a shiny quality that is pretty unique amongst other fancy colored diamonds.
Related Read: Diamond Polish: From Rough Stone to a Beautiful Diamond
Natural Vs. Treated Black Diamonds
Black diamonds that you can find on the market today are divided into two categories:
Diamonds that became black naturally during their formation process and diamonds that were treated by several methods to give them a black color.
Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and can be pretty expensive. As demand for black diamonds has increased over the past few years, so did the number of treated black diamonds.
Natural black diamonds usually have a more porous structure than their artificially treated counterparts. That enables natural black diamonds to absorb more light, making them more opaque.
Most of the black diamonds one can see on the market are, in fact, treated black diamonds, though.
These artificially treated black diamonds are created by the process known as HPHT, short for high pressure and high temperature. By putting regular diamonds through high temperature and high pressure, the surface of the gems becomes black.
The same darkening effect can be achieved by a process known as CVD – short for chemical vapor deposition.
Related Read: What Is The Difference Between HPHT And CVD?
Treated black diamonds aren’t fake, though. Real, colorless diamonds are used in creating one.
That said, since economic sense would never allow a high-quality colorless white diamond to be treated, the stones that are treated are usually of lower quality.
Nonetheless, treated black diamonds are still often sold deceivingly as natural black diamonds.
Establishing the authenticity of a black diamond without using specialized equipment is very difficult. If the price of a certain black diamond seems too good to be true, you’re likely dealing with an artificially treated black diamond.
Suppose you want to be sure you’re buying an authentic natural black diamond. In that case, we recommend only buying gems that have a certificate from a recognized and trusted gemological institute such as the GIA or AGS.
Color Enhanced Black Diamonds
Black diamonds that are color enhanced are diamonds that have been put through radiation to provide them a black color. Usually, the diamond has gone through a level of radiation that changes it to a dark green color – but it looks black.
Like treated black diamonds, black diamonds that are color enhanced are less valuable and less opaque than natural black diamonds. Nevertheless, these diamonds can still look surprisingly beautiful – and are commonly used in wedding rings.
Black Diamond Engagement Ring Settings
Due to their unique appearance, black diamonds set in an engagement are bound to gather lots of attention. Pair your black diamonds with a gorgeous, suitable setting for an engagement ring that will be adored for years to come.
Additionally, it’s essential to choose a shape of diamond that matches the wearer’s style and personality.
You can create a magnificent ring with a halo setting by surrounding your black diamond with smaller colorless diamonds. Side stone setting enables you to highlight your black diamond by lining it with two colorless diamonds on both sides.
And with a solitaire setting, you can keep your black diamond as the main focus. You should consider platinum or white gold to contrast the stone’s black color, though.
To answer the question, “How much is a 1-carat black diamond worth?” first, we need to establish which type of black diamond we are talking about here.
If it’s a natural black diamond, the price of a 1-carat black diamond will be about $3000. If we are talking about artificially treated black diamonds, then 1-carat would be worth around $300.
The difference between these categories is that natural black diamonds acquired their color through processes during their creation. On the other hand, treated black diamonds gained their color through artificial techniques.
While factors such as color and clarity don’t play a role in determining black diamond’s value, cut is what you need to take into consideration: Due to black diamonds being difficult to cut, the ones that are exceptionally well-cut will have a higher price tag on them.
Read Also: Do Black Diamonds Pass Diamond Tester?