Jewelry Trends

How Much is a Black Diamond Worth?

Rachel Akmakjian


Rachel Akmakjian

How Much is a Black Diamond Worth? What You Need to Know About These Fancy Colored Diamonds

Consider black diamond jewelry if you’re looking for a unique alternative to the typical engagement ring with colorless diamonds. Unique and eye-catching, these colored diamonds are very much real diamonds, but that’s about where the similarities between black diamonds and white diamonds end.

black diamond engagement ring

What You Will Learn

What are Black Diamonds and How are They Formed?

Colorless or white diamonds form underground when carbon particulates experience high heat and pressure. Under perfect conditions, these elements create a perfectly colorless and clear diamond.

However, when other elements get mixed up in the process, the diamond will take on different colors. For example, nitrogen, sulfur, and boron can all change the color of diamonds, turning them into what’s known as fancy-colored diamonds. Boron creates blue diamonds. Sulfur makes green diamonds. Nitrogen creates yellow diamonds. (The only instance where this is not the case is when it comes to pink diamonds due to pressure changes that impact a white diamond’s molecular structure.)

When graphite enters this diamond creation process, the diamond turns black. The technical name for an authentic natural black diamond is “carbonado.”

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Natural Black Diamonds vs. Treated Black Diamonds vs. Lab Grown Black Diamonds

Just as manufacturers create white diamonds in a lab setting for higher quality yet more affordable diamonds, they can also create black diamonds for similar results. The creation of black lab grown diamonds undergoes either the High Pressure High Temperature Method or the Chemical Vapor Deposition method and then treats the diamond to give it a black hue.

However, beyond lab-grown black diamonds, you can also buy a treated black diamond or enhanced black diamonds, which are slightly different. A treated black diamond combines a naturally mined diamond with a lab-set treatment. A natural diamond is mined from the ground, just like it might be traditionally, but then that diamond is treated in a lab so that it turns black. It’s a real mined diamond, but it’s not really a natural black diamond.

Turning a diamond black — whether created beneath the Earth’s crust or in a lab — is done in a few different ways. A lab might expose the diamond to very high heat, or they might use radiation and a nuclear reactor.

It’s worth noting that from-the-Earth raw black diamonds have one key differentiating characteristic. Whereas colorless diamonds are the hardest gemstones, natural black diamonds are relatively brittle and more likely to chip or break. The graphite that gives the diamonds their dark hue also weakens them.

How Much Does Black Diamond Cost?

Black diamond values will depend on a few things:

  • Whether the diamond was grown in a lab or mined
  • If the diamonds were treated or enhanced (assuming they’re not natural fancy black diamonds)
  • The diamond’s color
  • The diamond’s clarity
  • The diamond’s cut
  • The diamond’s carat weight

Factors #1 and #2: Source and Treatment

Buying natural black diamonds means paying more every time.

In contrast, as is the case with a colorless diamond, a fancy black diamond will always be more affordable when grown in a lab. The price per carat can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Comparatively, a single-carat natural black diamond can cost thousands of dollars. The price increase is because not only are black and other fancy colored diamonds more challenging to source naturally, but they’re also exceedingly rare.

If the black diamond is a natural diamond treated in a lab (not grown in a lab), you can expect the price to be somewhere in the middle.

Factor #3: Color

Color impacts a black diamond’s value differently than it might that of a white diamond. Whereas white diamonds are more valuable and more costly the clearer they are, black diamond value hinges on color saturation.

The highest color grade a black diamond can receive is Natural AAAA. However, this grade is rare, and you’ll usually only see it applied to museum-quality diamonds—the more opaque the stone, the higher the grade.

Factor #4: Clarity

When we refer to diamond clarity as it applies to black diamonds, we aren’t referring to clarity as we might when talking about other diamonds. Since the stone should be opaque, you’re not looking for clarity so much as a lack of inclusions.

Suggested Read: Types of Diamond Clarity | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

Factors #5 and #6: Cut and Carat Weight

Lastly, the cut and how well it enhances the diamond’s appearance also influences the value of black diamonds, and the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond.

factors affecting cost of black diamonds

Black Diamond FAQs

Still have more questions? We have more answers. TL;DR? Here are all the need-to-know details.

How much does the average black diamond cost?

The average black diamond ring could cost anywhere from $200 to $3,000, depending on the abovementioned factors.

How much is a 1-carat black diamond worth?

A single-carat black diamond can cost anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, depending on factors like cut, carat weight, and clarity.

What impacts natural black diamond prices?

The factors that impact a black diamond’s worth include whether the diamond was grown in a lab or found naturally; if the diamond was treated or enhanced; the diamond’s color; the diamond’s clarity; the diamond’s cut; and the diamond’s carat weight.

Will black diamond values go up or down?

If recent history is an indication, black diamond values will only go up in the coming years. The higher values are due to increased interest in the stones and rising demand, paired with the lack of natural black diamonds. However, if more jewelry labs create more black diamonds and shoppers turn to lab-created diamonds versus natural diamonds, we could see black diamond prices decrease instead.

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Protect Your Black Diamond’s Value with the Right Jewelry Insurance

Whether you purchased a natural black diamond, a treated black diamond, or a lab-grown black diamond, protect your unique jewelry investment with specialized jewelry insurance. From engagement rings to luxury watches to precious heirlooms, BriteCo has you covered if you lose or damage your favorite piece.
Getting coverage is easy! Get your free quote now, and after a quick assessment, you’ll have your policy in minutes.

Also Check:

The Most Expensive Diamonds in the World
How much is a Blue Diamond Worth? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Black Diamond Engagement Ring Meaning
How Much is A Ruby Worth? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
How Much Are Emeralds Worth? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.