Real black diamonds are created under pressure from the earth, just as the white diamonds are. Their color comes from the numerous inclusions and fractures in them as well as a different crystal structure. Interestingly, there are some serious scientists who believe the source of these black diamonds were fragments of prehistoric asteroids. There are only a couple of regions on earth where they have been discovered.
Then there are “enhanced” black diamonds, which, as the name implies, are treated to produce the black color. The enhanced diamonds are actually diamonds, however. Because of the relative scarcity of actual black diamonds, these diamonds serve a need in the supply of gemstones.
Production of Enhanced Black Diamonds
The process of changing the color of a white or yellow diamond uses heat, radiation or high pressure. The result is a change in color to very dark green (usually), which appears black. Sometimes a coating is applied in lieu of the other processes or in addition to them. The diamonds used in this production are often not marketable as white diamonds due to their many inclusions. So they lend themselves very nicely to becoming black diamonds.
The Differences in Natural and Enhanced
Differences in the two types of black diamonds will not be readily apparent to the untrained eye. A natural black diamond is more porous and therefore absorbs more light, giving it an opaque appearance.
The enhanced stone when seen under a strong light, will appear greenish in color and it may appear shinier.
The natural black diamond will, or course, command a higher price.
If you decide the enhanced black diamond is the one you want, please note it will require some special care. Be sure to ask about that at the time of purchase. If and when you have it cleaned or take it to a jeweler for repair, the jeweler must be informed of the enhancement. Applying high heat, for example, would be undesirable.
With suitable care, either choice will be a beautiful and long-lasting addition to your jewelry collection.