Whether as the center attraction or as accent stones, black gemstones add an extra touch of sophistication and confidence to a piece of jewelry. They are mysterious and intriguing and are an alluring choice for jewelry. As more people turn to unique and modern styles, black gemstones are becoming increasingly popular.
While there are many options to choose from, two of the best black gemstones are black sapphire and black diamonds. Interestingly, not many people know that diamonds and sapphires can be found in black varieties.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the pros and cons of black sapphire vs black diamond.
What is Black Diamond and Black Sapphire?
Unlike their colorless and colored counterparts, both black diamonds and black sapphires have been considered inferior, low-grade gemstones and were not commonly used in jewelry. However, since the 1990s, black diamonds saw an unexpected surge in popularity, partly due to clever marketing tactics and expert designers who incorporated the gemstone into their work. Black sapphires are not as prestigious as black diamonds. They are still considered second-rate gemstones and are not highly valued.
Black diamonds, also known as carbonado, contains graphite and amorphous carbon in its composition. Black diamonds get their color from the presence of heavy amounts of graphite impurities within the stone. Natural black diamonds are very rare, and mainly found in Central Africa and Brazil.
Black sapphires are made of corundum with inclusions causing the color of the stone. Unlike black diamonds, black sapphires are found in abundant quantities with most originating in Australia.
Black Diamond and Black Sapphire in Jewelry
Diamonds and sapphires are among the top gemstones for use in jewelry. This is due to their durability and appearance. Black diamonds rank at 10 on the Mohs scale and are the toughest of all diamond varieties, due to their compact composition. The color of black diamonds is graded as Fancy Black, and can range from faint gray to solid black. Evenly saturated black diamonds are the most sought after. These stones are also quite lustrous and are often faceted for maximum effect. Black diamonds can be very pricey depending on the quality of the stone, with some carats costing thousands of dollars.
Black sapphires, on the other hand, are very affordable. They have very good durability (9 Mohs) and wearability. As black sapphires are not brittle, they are not prone to breakage. Black sapphires are commonly solid black in color and seem to absorb all light that touches it. It does not reflect light and is not a lustrous stone. They are often faceted or cut en cabochon.
Both these gemstones are ideal for daily wear and will last a long time with minimal maintenance. White metal settings give a cool contrast to black gemstones and have a modern touch to them. For a more vintage, softer feel, yellow or rose gold is perfect.
Synthetic and Treated Black Diamond and Black Sapphire
Due to the high price tag of natural black diamonds, most black diamonds on the market are made by heat treating low quality colorless diamonds to turn them black. There are also synthetic black diamonds, which are man-made versions. These are exactly the same as natural stones.
Black sapphires may sometimes be heat treated to enhance their color. There are also synthetic versions of black star sapphire, which is a more expensive variety of black sapphires that contain asterism.
Should I Buy a Black Diamond or a Black Sapphire?
Both these gemstones have many advantages, making them very good choices for black gemstones. However, black sapphires are more affordable and may be a more budget-friendly choice. Black diamonds, on the other hand, have more depth and brilliance and are also considered more prestigious.
If you desire a gemstone similar in appearance to black onyx, black sapphire is a very good alternative as it is more durable.
Which gemstone you choose depends on your preferences and priorities.
Where Can I Buy Black Sapphires and Black Diamonds?
Finding these gemstones in brick and mortar stores will prove difficult. Black is not a typical color of jewelry and not many jewelers stock these designs. Search online for endless options.