Guide to Black Lab-Grown Diamonds
Guides Knowledge

Black Lab-Grown Diamonds – The Complete Buying Guide

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann

In our guide to black lab-grown diamonds, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about lab-grown black diamonds, including how they differ from mined black diamonds, how they’re formed in the laboratory, how black lab diamonds achieve their color and more. We’ll also share where to find the best black lab-grown diamonds and offer advice on how to save money on black diamonds.

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What are black lab-grown diamonds?

A black lab-grown diamond gets its color by simulating the conditions it takes for mined black diamonds to form in the ground. 

The way a black diamond gets its color is different from any other fancy-colored diamond. Instead of achieving black hues by way of crystal lattice or deformity, they get them from mineral inclusions.

That’s right. Mined black diamonds (also called carbonados) are created very differently than lab-gown black diamonds, but both are still very real diamonds.

Which black diamond is mined, and which is lab-grown? You might be surprised!

How are black diamonds created?

Mined black diamonds get their black color from inclusions or radiation stains within the diamond crystal. On rare occasions, it can be because of defects. However, those inclusions don’t fully saturate the diamond to a pure black, which is why almost every mined black diamond is treated. 

It’s well-known that black diamonds get their colors from inclusions of graphite, but it’s actually a variety of darker minerals. Iron, magnetite, sulfides, and hematite can all contribute to the coloring of the black diamond. 

You might also find that if you look closely, most mined untreated black diamonds are not, in fact, black. Instead, they are often a deep brownish color or a deep green that almost looks black. That’s where color treatment comes in. 

On the other hand, black lab-grown diamonds are black diamonds that have been created in a lab environment. They start out as colorless and are altered to turn black. Therefore, they may also be called lab-created black diamonds.

Enhanced black diamonds vs. black lab-grown diamonds

It might surprise you to learn that there aren’t many true black diamonds in the world. One can wonder how that may be, seeing as black diamonds have been in chain jewelry stores for years and years. 

That’s because those black diamonds are natural, but they are treated to achieve a solid black appearance. Enhanced black diamonds are black diamonds that have been mined from the earth, then altered to deepen their color. They may also call these treated black diamonds. 

Color and clarity grades of black lab-grown diamonds

One of the benefits of getting a fancy color lab-grown diamond is that they typically have better diamond color and clarity than their natural counterparts. Beautiful secondary hues can be altered to produce unique hues. With black diamonds, beautiful color is not necessarily the goal. 

A solid black opaque diamond isn’t the goal, either. For a black diamond to be considered high quality for its tier, it should have slight translucency with a black shade. 

Unlike other fancy colors, black lab-grown diamonds don’t come in different intensities. They only come in one: fancy black. That makes it hard to determine value, which is why black diamonds are often marketed much more expensively than for what they’re worth. 

And because natural black diamonds get their color from inclusions, they have no clarity grades either. Lab-grown black diamonds get their color from radiation, but there are no intensities for them either. The base difference is a solid black opaque diamond or a slight translucency black diamond. 

Lab-grown black diamonds can be given clarity grades, but you probably won’t notice the difference unless your lab-created black diamond is slightly translucent. But even at that point, they appear cloudy, which adds to the aesthetic of the black diamond.

How much do black lab-grown diamonds cost?

Natural, treated black diamonds are probably the most affordable fancy color in the market. You’ll often see small black diamonds set in sterling silver for under $200. You will also see the price per carat for a black diamond to be much more affordable than a colorless diamond. 

It would only make sense that a lab-created black diamond would be very affordable compared to other lab-grown fancy colors and lab-grown colorless diamonds alike. Even in natural form, you’ll see 3-4 carat black diamonds going for around $9,000

Though they are harder to find commercially, lab-grown black diamonds, too, are very affordable. However, some places will overcharge for both lab-grown black diamonds and natural, treated black diamonds. It’s even possible to see them priced the same!

With any other fancy-colored diamonds, as well as colorless diamonds, lab-created diamonds are much cheaper than mined ones. So, it can seem surprising that black lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds cost the same. And that’s why you should, for once, also consider a black mined diamond.

Why you shouldn’t buy lab-grown black diamonds

Buying lab-grown fancy color diamonds is a great opportunity for you to own the rarity of a fancy color diamond with all of the benefits and none of the debt. 

Except with black diamonds. 

Lab-grown black diamonds allow the production of high-quality black diamonds to increase. However, since nearly every natural black diamond can be heated to achieve the same result, there’s not much difference.

Typically, that’s a good thing. Lab-grown fancy-colored diamonds are supposed to be unidentifiable from the mined versions. They have all the exact same features and durability. 

The advantages that fancy color lab-grown diamonds have over natural fancy color diamonds are usually price, value, color saturation, and clarity. But with lab-grown black diamonds, a lot of these advantages are non-existent. 

Natural, treated black diamonds can be just as affordable as lab-grown black diamonds. Black diamonds, as a whole, are neither valuable nor in as much demand as other colors. 

And that’s why there are many black lab-grown diamonds on the market.

One could argue that the ethics of a black lab-grown diamond is better, which is true. Less energy is consumed, and the workforce is minimized. But black diamonds aren’t highly valuable, so the idea of black market black diamonds is extremely unlikely, unlike colorless or other fancy-colored diamonds.

But, despite these reasons to buy a lab-grown diamond over a mined one, the market for black lab-created diamonds is tiny. There’s nothing wrong with lab-grown black diamonds. Just make sure you’re not overpaying for them. Many companies will market them with branded names, which will increase prices. Compare prices with natural black diamonds to ensure you’re getting what your diamond is worth.

Guide to Black Lab Grown Diamonds - lab-grown diamond from New World Diamonds
Black lab-grown diamond from New World Diamonds

How to save on black lab-grown diamonds (and mined)

Lab-grown black diamonds mined cost more or less the same, which is why you may find it hard to buy black lab diamonds. But, whether you are buying black lab-grown or mined diamonds, we have tips to save on black lab-grown diamonds. This is how:

  1. Consider downgrading on some of the diamond 4Cs. Unlike colorless lab diamonds, the most important for lab-grown black diamonds are their color and saturation. With black lab-grown diamonds, you can safely go for lower clarity and cut grades, saving you on the price.
  2. Get a smaller diamond. Large fancy-colored diamonds are much rarer and thus much more expensive than smaller ones. Picking a smaller diamond can both save you money and allow you to go up on color quality.
  3. Opt for a less expensive color. While certain fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds are both rare (i.e., more difficult to produce) and popular, others are both less expensive and more plentiful. Black diamonds, for example, are the cheapest diamond. It’s so cheap that mined and lab-grown black diamonds cost the same!
  4. Buy black lab-grown diamonds from a trusted retailer online. Choose one of our top-rated lab-grown fancy-colored diamond retailers, and you’ll both save money and get a better lab-grown black diamond.
  5. Find deals and discounts on black lab-grown diamonds. See our overview of all lab diamond sales and deals!

Best places to buy black lab-grown diamonds

LabGrownCarats.com reviews and evaluates the best places to shop for lab-grown diamonds. Unfortunately, not every diamond jeweler carries fancy-colored, especially black diamonds.

We recommend buying black diamonds from With Clarity and James Allen due to their extensive selection of black diamonds and black diamond jewelry, excellent prices, and wonderful shopping experience. Read our reviews and see why they are the best places to buy black diamonds.

Black lab-grown diamonds from With Clarity (and mined)

With Clarity offers the largest and best selection of black diamond jewelry. In addition, the prices at With Clarity are fantastic, and their customer service is first-rate. That’s why you can shop confidently at With Clarity.

Black lab-grown diamonds from James Allen (and mined)

James Allen’s has the largest loose black diamonds inventory, which can be customized with their extensive selection of jewelry. All diamonds are of premium quality, prices are excellent, and the customer service is the best.

If you are set on a lab-grown black diamond, you’ll find the best inventory at New World Diamonds. Read what we think about them in our New World Diamonds review.

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