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Black Diamonds & Carbonados?

Are they one in the same? Are there differences. The article here doesn’t seem to describe if all black diamonds are carbonados or if there is a criteria for it to be a carbonados. I’ve researched a few different places and the indicate its the same, but then I saw other articles that speak as if they were different.

Hello jewels227,

“Black diamonds” and carbonados are not the same, although you might find carbonados described as black diamonds. As the article explains, carbonados are a polycrystalline material made of amorphous carbon, graphite, and diamond. A diamond, on the other hand, has an isometric crystal structure. A diamond is a crystal, a carbonado is not. A black diamond is a diamond like any other, only it’s black. On the other hand, a carbonado is a composite material. It contains diamonds but other amorphous materials as well.

IGS Admin

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Thank you for sharing psanchez.

Absolutely not!

Carbonados are sometimes referred to as ‘black diamonds’, however, they are mostly collectible items and are not great for jewellery because they can be fragile and flake easily.

The vast majority of black diamonds are ‘bort’ that has been treated to be completely black. This bort may start fairly black, but the colour isn’t even through the stone.

I have yet to find out exactly how black diamonds are made black, generally we are told it’s an HPHT process, but I suspect that there is either a gas or other additive to give the even black colour.

To make all of this even more interesting… because the diamonds start out as bort, most hand held diamond testers test these treated gems as ‘moissonite’, cheaters have taken advantage of this and started to produce black moissonite that is sold as black diamond…

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