Diamonds are one of the most valuable jewels on earth and are mostly associated with wealth and prestige. They are used in making jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Most engagement and wedding rings are made with diamonds, and most people are usually curious to find out how much they cost, how big it is, and how many carats it has.
The most desirable quality of diamonds is their visual appeal, especially white or light-colored diamonds. They appear shiny, expensive, and flawless.
However, during the process of forming diamonds, the result is not always flawless. Black spots, that may be visible may form and in one way or another impact how the diamond looks and its value.
This article elaborates on what exactly these blackspots are, how they impact the overall value of a diamond, and how they can be made less visible.
What are black spots in diamond?
Black spots in diamonds are simply dots of carbon that have not been crystallized.
Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits, deep within the earth are subjected to intense levels of heat and pressure, leading to crystallization.
These carbon deposits are found approximately 150 to 200 km below the earth’s surface. Within the earth’s surface, temperatures are as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius and there is pressure as high as 825,000 pounds per square inch.
These are the perfect conditions for diamond formation and the diamonds can take either a few months to millions of years to materialize.
During this process, not all carbon atoms will be crystallized, and the end product will appear to have black dots or black spots. These black spots are entirely made up of carbon and are natural flaws that occurred as the diamonds were being formed. They are part of the structure of the diamond.
These black spots are carbon that has a different formation from diamond crystals. They have a different matrix that prevents them from allowing light to pass through, hence they appear black.
Therefore, their black appearance isn’t necessarily because they are black, but they block light due to the difference in their structure from the diamond.
Why is there carbon spot in diamond?
The real reason behind the formation of carbon spots is still a mystery since the raw materials used to make the diamond are exposed to the same levels of pressure and heat.
Therefore it is fascinating to note that some of the forms that result are crystal clear and some are opaque with the black carbon spots.
Despite the real reason being unknown, some theories explain why carbon spots form. The first theory is that the carbon spot was the central area or the nucleus that which the diamond originated. T
herefore, as the diamond crystallized, the central part did not, hence remaining black.
Another theory is that the chemicals that were used on the raw materials used to make diamonds were not evenly distributed, therefore some sections remain uncrystallized and appear as dark spots.
Other reasons could explain the formation of carbon spots if another mineral happened to make its way into the stone during the formation process.
If the carbon spot is on the surface, there could have been an air bubble or flaw during formation. If perhaps the spot is inside the stone, it could be debris left behind during formation.
They may also form as a result of exposure to high concentrations of nitrogen and boron.
As stated earlier, it is not clear what exactly causes the formation of these carbon spots, but the reasons stated above may explain it.
Are blackspots in diamonds bad?
The answer to this would be yes and no.
No, because blackspots on their own are completely harmless. They are a natural part of the diamond and are one of the most common inclusions found in diamonds.
Yes, because the disadvantage they bring is that they can diminish the visual appeal of the diamond. Black spots, if big enough, can be detected with the naked eye, especially in white or light-colored stones.
Some blackspots may also indicate lines of weakness in the stone’s structure. This makes the stone easily susceptible to cracking or cleaving if the diamond is exposed to rapid temperature changes, continuous pressure, or a sharp blow.
Due to these reasons, blackspots harm the overall quality of the diamond, hence making them mostly bad.
Black Spots impact on Diamond’s Quality
As stated above, black spots in diamonds are harmless but they do impact the quality of the diamond negatively.
Blackspots, especially in white or light-colored stones hinder the way light passes through the panes of the diamond. This reduces its beauty, shine, and sparkle, thus diminishing its quality.
Diamonds with visible black spots are graded as “I clarity or less” which represents a lesser quality diamond. Diamonds with black spots that are only visible under a jeweler’s microscope are graded as “SI clarity”, which is of a higher quality.
Therefore, it’s clear that blackspots impact a diamond’s quality. The more visible they are, the lesser the quality of the diamond.
Are diamonds with blackspots cheaper?
Yes, they are. This is because black spots are the least desirable inclusions in diamonds. They can greatly impact the value of a diamond since some of them are big enough to be starkly visible.
The value of diamonds is determined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Scale and the principle of the 4Cs is used.
The 4Cs stand for color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Blackspots significantly impact the cut and carat weight. For example, if a stone is being cut to a particular shape while avoiding blackspots, in the quest of cutting away these blackspots, an entirely different shape/cut may result.
The carat weight will also be less as more of the stone is cut away, therefore it ends up weighing less. Due to these factors, blackspots lower the value of diamonds, hence making them cheaper.
Also, if the black spots can be seen with the naked eye, without any magnification, the diamond cannot be sold at a premium price.
How to make diamond black spot less visible?
There are various ways this can be done, and one of the best and easiest ways would be to clean the diamond.
The most advanced technique that can be used to remove black spots from diamonds is a procedure known as laser drilling.
In this method, a laser is used to drill a microscopic hole, and a channel the size of a hair strand is burned through the stone to the black spot.
The blackspot is then dissolved using heat or acid, leaving a space. This space is then filled with a glass-like substance, through a process called fracture-filling.
The disadvantage of using this method is that it weakens the diamond by compromising its structural integrity, especially if several black spots are removed this way.
The glass-like substance used to fill the diamond has different properties from the diamond itself, therefore it can change the color and appearance of the entire stone.
It is up to the user to determine if the black spots are too large and bothersome to necessitate using this method of removal, despite the risks.
Other simple techniques that could be used to make black spots less visible include, cleaning off the dust and other particles that have settled on the surface of the diamond. This can be done at home using a jewelry cleaning kit or hiring a professional to clean it on your behalf.
As time passes, accumulated dust and grime make the diamond appear dull, therefore cleaning it will not only get rid of the grime but also remove dullness.
This will allow more light to penetrate through the diamond, thus restoring its shine. The blackspots will be less visible and will be masked by the sparkle of the clean diamond.
Another technique could be covering the diamond with prongs or a bezel setting. A bezel setting is a setting whereby a diamond is surrounded by a metal rim.
The diamond is protected, but its beauty remains uncompromised. This technique can only work with diamonds that have black spots on their edges, therefore the metal rim can cover these spots.
This method would not be suitable for diamonds with black spots at the center. Despite the bezel setting, they’d still be visible.
The last resort would be exchanging the diamond with visible black spots for one with less visible black spots or entirely no blackspots, which is very rare to find. This would come at an extra cost but would be the best option if the blackspots are too bothersome.
As much as blackspots are an undesirable inclusion in diamonds, they are mostly too small to be seen with the naked eye and have a minimal impact on the overall look of the diamond.
Diamonds are one of the most valuable jewels on earth, and it’s amazing to see that having these flaws does not impact their value and worth at all.
It would be a great lesson to take with us, that despite our flaws, we are still valuable.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.