Carbonado, or in other words, a natural black diamond, is collectively made from graphite, carbon, and other impurities which are incorporated in the diamond’s polycrystalline structure. It is commonly used to make jewelry such as engagement rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc.
Such types of diamonds are found in the sediments of Brazil as well as the Central African Republic. It is given the name ‘carbon’ in regions like Eastern Australia and Venezuela. Hence, carbonados and black diamonds mean the same thing. These words, however, are used interchangeably.
Carbonados were said to be created in a planetary nebula approximately 4 billion years ago, a long time before the foundation of our Giant Planets. According to geoscientists, a large meteorite mass fell on the Earth, and carbonados were found there. Today, the place of impact is known as some parts of Brazil and Central Africa.
The majority of carbonados have a pretty vibrant glow. Carbonado seems opaque from the outside. It is made from crystals and impurities arranged naturally at different angles, which helps absorb light and gives the stone a metallic luster.
Its unusual constitution hints at the possibility of exotic origination, therefore appealing to the interests of the public.
Let us now look at different aspects of this type of diamond to help you make an informed choice for any future purchase.
What are Black Diamonds?
Black diamonds are diamonds with a high number of inclusions. These gems are classified as fancy-colored diamonds, similar to pink, blue, yellow, or brown colored diamonds. The grading of black diamonds is done differently than that of white diamonds.
There are various stories you’ll find in respect of its origin. Some believe it has either formed from the fission of uranium and thorium. Others believe it to arise from an asteroid effect, some two-four million years ago in outer space far beyond Earth and later came here.
While inclusions on a standard white diamond might appear as small tiny spots, this gem is filled with inclusions at very undeniable levels. Thus, in turn, getting its name a black diamond.
This diamond got more importance in the late twenties. One of the most famous black diamonds to exist is the Black Orlov. It is also called the ‘Eye of Brahma‘ in southern India. It is an uncut carbonado of approximately 67.5 carats which was placed on the idol of Lord Shiva.
When linked to spirituality, such diamonds are characterized by the physical and emotional well-being of the person who owns them. But if acquired in a wrong manner can bring evil to the bearer. If you are looking out for a black diamond but don’t know where to start, don’t worry we have you covered.
Types of black diamonds:
There are three types of black diamond differentiated based on origin
- Natural Black Diamonds
It is clear from the name itself that these black diamonds occurred naturally. It just needs to be cut, polished, and fit onto a piece of jewelry. No additional color is added to it. It originally appeared black. And a good quality natural black diamond will look ten folds better than any black stone you can find in the market.
- Treated black diamonds
When you shop for your jewelry, you will likely come across a diamond. This diamond is commonly sold among other diamonds. Irradiation and heating make this diamond appear completely black. How? A white diamond with many inclusions under high pressure and temperatures is treated to make its surface completely black. This type of black diamond comes cheaper than natural black diamonds.
- Man Made synthetic diamonds
A minor difference from natural diamonds creates a new category of industrial diamonds. Man Made black diamonds are similar to natural black diamonds in their chemical compositions but differ from them as they are not formed naturally. Instead, they are created in laboratories by performing controlled chemical reactions. It is similar to treating black diamonds in that they are also produced from white diamonds but of comparatively high quality.
How Do Black Diamonds Get Their Color?
Dark inclusions inside the diamond make it the darkest of all other diamonds. The primary hue among these diamonds might be nearly colorless, brown, or turquoise. Additionally, the hue is caused by a cluster of interior breaches and necklines that have been graphitized and dyed black.
But within contrast, black diamonds are white diamonds with an exceptionally high concentration of inclusions within them to the stage that they indeed appear black. These inclusions can be graphite, pyrite, or even hematite.
While “normal” natural-colored gemstones get their color from particulates associated with them during the initial formation, black diamonds are close to white diamonds.
As far as lab-created diamonds are concerned, it is made from the highest temperatures and pressures (HPHT method), which in turn darkens the texture of the diamond. Technicians “produce” graphene inclusions for thermal treatment. But talking about carbonados, methods like irradiation and dyeing are used.
What are Carbonados?
At the time, the carbonado was found and forced to be extracted in Rio, South America. It was initially identified as a polymorphic stone in the 18th century.
Related yet interesting, during that time, yakitate, a similar material, was discovered in Russia. It was more translucent than those other diamonds and exhibited a green appearance of black or dark gray.
In contrast to other naturally occurring polycrystalline diamonds, carbonado lacks throne imperfections and, in turn, exhibits a relatively low isotope ratio content.
The luminescence analysis indicates that radioactive inclusions were present during the carbonado production process. Meaning it was already there and not acquired later on.
Questions about the carbonado’s origin have arisen due to these and other qualities that set it apart from other diamonds. Many believe that carbonado was formed in outer space and a large mass fell on the Earth like a meteorite. This may be why it has such exceptional qualities that other fancy-colored diamonds do not.
Carbonado is the most surprising type of jewel on The planet. Finding the beginning of carbonado would proclaim an entirely different method of precious stone development and could address an excellent variety of extraterrestrial carbon conveyance to Earth.
Regardless of numerous mineralogical hints not seen in regular jewels, its method of beginning the remaining parts is generally unexplained.
The Value of Carbonado in Cutting
The value of a pure carbonado is around $3000 per carat only when it is entirely natural and not heat-treated.
The average per-carat price of a heat-treated carbonado is $200. That is relatively cheap compared to other fancy-colored diamonds or the infamous white-colored diamond. Due to their low price, these black diamonds are widely used in cutting and grinding applications across industries.
Cutting a carbonado and styling it into a piece of jewelry is different. That can be done but only with high-quality carbonados.
Black Diamonds Rarity & Pricing
Suppose you are looking out for an affordable option. Natural black diamonds are comparatively cheaper than other diamonds. A high-quality natural black diamond will cost anywhere between $3000 and $5000/carat.
Since black jewels are frequently more difficult to polish, it is reflected in their cost. It’s critical to take note that the 4C’s reviewing framework doesn’t make a difference to black diamond and, with regards to evaluating, dark jewels can’t get the customary reviewing report from GIA or AGS.
Fancy black diamonds naturally occurring are not easy to find and thus considered rare. Heat-treated black diamonds & artificial black diamonds are easier to find and are not so rare.
In February 2022, Sotheby, a fine-art selling company, auctioned off a faceted, 555.55-ct carbonado diamond named “Enigma, ” worth around $4.3million. This stone is considered the biggest black to exist in the world.
So, whether a black diamond is a heat-treated natural diamond or an untreated natural diamond determines its average cost.
Black diamonds that have been processed usually cost around $300 per carat.
Are Black Diamonds Valuable?
The answer to this is obvious, yes. Talking about the natural black diamond uniqueness, it is extremely rare, and it is very valuable.
Due to less originally colored diamonds, it becomes more valuable when you look at their authenticity, largeness and uniqueness.
While you contrast the costs of black diamonds with those other valuable beauties, you’ll discover that such jewels fall between standard gemstones and top-tier diamonds.
Because of their rarity and affordability, black diamonds are among the growing trendy diamonds. Also, there are many options available in different shapes for carbonados which will attract you even more to the black diamond market.
But the problem arises while analyzing it as a natural or heated diamond. Next time while selecting the type of stone you choose for your jewelry, you need to look at it carefully and, if possible, get it checked by an expert gemologist.