Diamonds are mysterious, alluring jewels that have captivated people around the world for centuries. White diamonds are classic, timeless gemstones. Black diamonds on the other hand, are rare, dark, and exceptionally magical. What are the real differences between these two diamonds? Read on to find out everything you need to know about both black and white diamonds in our black diamond vs white diamond comparison.
What Are Diamonds and How Are They Made?
The mystery and allure behind diamonds begins with its origins. Diamonds are made hundreds of miles below the Earth’s surface, in the mantle. The mantle of the Earth is the layer that separates our surface from the planet’s molten core. The mantle can reach temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees, with pressures reaching more than 700,000 pounds per inch. This extreme environment is what creates the diamond.
The mantle’s environment morphs and changes the atomic and molecular properties of graphite. The properties of the graphite begin to restructure under the heat and pressure. As the structure morphs, it turns into triangular, crystalline structures that we recognize as diamonds. But how do they get to the surface if they are created hundreds of miles below us?
A diamond’s rarity is two-fold: Not only is its first home hundreds of miles below the surface, but the diamond must travel those hundreds of miles before we can find it. Diamonds travel hundreds of miles to the Earth’s surface through the use of volcanic pipes; naturally occurring all over the world.
Where Do Diamonds Get Their Color?
As the diamond is forming, imperfections can occur when impurities are introduced to the equation. More often than not, nothing obstructs the creation of the diamond and you get a pure diamond. Pure diamonds are also referred to as clear, or white diamonds.
Less often, something obstructs the properties of the diamond as it is forming. This obtrusion is what creates a naturally-colored diamond. A specific color is created by a specific intrusion, which results in the reflection of light and the color you see in a diamond.
For instance, when a diamond is introduced to boron during its metamorphosis, a blue diamond will be created. Yellow/orange diamonds are created with nitrogen, and purple diamonds are created with hydrogen. Green diamonds are a little stranger, since they are created through the absorption of radiation in the soil.
Black diamonds on the other hand, get their color from certain impurities that happen in the formation process. When the graphite experiences a ton of inclusions, or piques, that spread evenly throughout the stone, the color appears black. As you’ve guessed, these are not seen as often.
Black Diamond Vs White Diamond: How Rare Are They?
Just by reading the information you’ve found above, you’ve probably come to your own conclusion about the rarity of a black diamond vs white diamond. A white diamond is the most commonly-found diamond, because that is a diamond in its purest form. It is much more common for a diamond to be undisturbed during its formation (a pure diamond) than it is to be invaded by a foreign element (a colored diamond).
Colored diamonds in general make up less than 0.1% of all the diamonds mined in the world. In the world of colored diamonds however, black diamonds are considered among the rarest.
Where Can You Find Them?
Although diamonds can technically be found anywhere in the world, it is more common to find them in particular regions than others. For instance, areas like Australia, South Africa, Asia, and South American have been known to yield large supplies of diamonds. The title of largest supplier in regards to white diamonds and diamonds as a whole, goes to the Argyle Mine in Australia.
Oddly enough, black diamonds are typically not found in traditionally diamond-mining areas, with most finds coming from Brazil and Central Africa. This makes discovering a black diamond less probable and adds to the black diamond’s value.
Black Diamond Vs White Diamond: How are They Graded and Valued?
Diamonds are generally graded on four main components: cut, clarity, carat, and color. Each type and color of diamond can vary in their degrees of color-intensity and clarity, lending to the widely-varied prices of diamonds. Obviously, its size and cut are also a factor in determining overall value.
White, pure diamonds graded using a letter scale between D-Z. If a white diamond is graded a D, it is completely pure and colorless. This is the “most-intense” color and also considered the rarest. As the rating goes down towards Z, more impurities appear in the color of the diamond. A Z-rating would mean there is a presence of yellow within the stone as a secondary hue.
And if you’re wondering the difference of grading-value in the black diamond vs white diamond battle, black diamonds are extremely easy to grade. Unlike white diamonds, there is only one grading-classification for black diamonds: Natural Fancy Black Diamond. This is because when a diamond becomes black, there is no varying degree of color-intensity. Black is black.
What Do They Cost?
As you can expect with the simple knowledge of supply-and-demand, black diamonds are considered more expensive. Because of their rarity, the demand is much higher and the supply under-par. White diamonds are the most common type of diamond, so the supply can dictate a more affordable price.
As white diamonds can vary in their grade and value, the price can vary per carat. A flawless, D-rated, white diamond will cost a large percentage more than a diamond with a Z-rating, for example. On average, you could expect to pay around $1,500 for a .5-carat white diamond, $5,000 for a 1.0-carat, and $20,000 for 2.0-carats. Black diamonds cost around $3,000 per carat. The larger the cut and size however, the more that is expected to pay per-carat.
Diamonds of all colors are truly magnificent pieces of the natural world. They are beautiful and exquisite, providing a level of luxury that cannot be beat. White diamonds are more common, but a symbol of status and beauty. Black diamonds are rare and symbol of sophistication and wealth. No matter which type of diamond you like best, be sure to find a reputable jeweler for all of your diamond questions or needs.