Top 4 Best Places to Buy Black Diamonds Online (2020 Review)

Looking for the perfect place to buy black diamond jewelry online?

You're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:

  • What Should You Look For When Buying Black Diamonds Online?
  • Are Black Diamonds Good For An Engagement Ring?
  • How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal?
  • What Are The Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying?
best stores to buy black diamonds online

Top 4 Best Places to Buy Black Diamond Jewelry Online

If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding quality black diamonds from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops. 

  1. James Allen (best pricing and value)
  2. Leibish & Co.
  3. Brian Gavin
  4. Brilliant Earth

What Are Black Diamonds?

Initially, black diamonds were not seen as desirable or valuable in the jewelry world. But, in modern times, many people with affinities for drama and gothic tastes have chosen black diamonds in both fashion jewelry and engagement ring settings. 

There are many things to know when picking out the best quality black diamonds. Let's get into it!

#1. Buying Black Diamonds At James Allen

James Allen has a small selection of fancy black diamonds, with around 10 options. This is because black diamonds as center stones aren't really too common, so there's not a huge demand for them.

However, when they are demanded for a black diamond engagement ring, they're usually wanted in larger carat weights.

Black diamonds are intended for dramatic effect, so they're not usually wanted as melee stones, unless it's in a halo setting.

If you purchase from James Allen, you will purchase a 1 carat black diamond at the least. The largest one they currently carry is 5 carats and is under $10,000 for a natural black diamond. 

Once you've picked out your black diamond, James Allen has a variety of different styles to choose from. Because of their dramatic appearance, black diamonds look great in vintage settings with jewelry design techniques such as filagree or milgrain.

Vine detailing makes it look beautiful as well. A beautiful floral setting like this one would make the perfect black diamond ring! Just replace that colorless diamond with an oval black diamond, and you'll turn heads anywhere you go. 

Once you've picked out your black diamond, James Allen has a variety of different styles to choose from. Because of their dramatic appearance, black diamonds look great in vintage settings with jewelry design techniques such as filagree or milgrain.

Vine detailing makes it look beautiful as well. A beautiful floral setting like this one would make the perfect black diamond ring! Just replace that colorless diamond with an oval black diamond, and you'll turn heads anywhere you go. 

So, the reason why they should definitely be at the top of your list is their lifetime warranty. It's completely complementary and covers wear and tear maintenance that you'll need over the years, especially if it's a ring.

This includes tightening of any stones, rhodium plating white gold, and prong retipping. They also give you one free ring resizing within the first year. 

Read Also: What is white gold jewelry?

Buying Black Diamonds At Leibish & Co

Leibish and Co. is renown for their specialty in fancy colored diamonds online. They have around 30 different black diamonds, including a few black diamond pairs. All of Leibish & Co.'s diamonds are colored and untreated. They also come with certifications from reputable labs. They may have a higher price than other black diamond dealers, but if you do have the money, I definitely think it will be well spent here. 

I like that Leibish also offers its black diamonds in non traditional diamonds shapes like kites, octagon, and these lozenge cut black diamond earrings below.

https://www.leibish.com/black-diamonds/fancy-black-lozenge-35044

If you're needing a ring made in a hurry, Leibish may not be your best option, as it can take 22 business days to receive your ring. They do have free international shipping, and expedited options for shipping at a cost. If you're looking for a last minute gift, you could even consider buying from their 48 hour shipping catalog

Leibish also has two warranties. One is the manufacturer's warranty, which covers any factory or design flaws that cause you jewelry to have repeat issues. The second one covers wear and tear, to include tightening stones, rhodium, and retipping prongs. It doesn't include broken chains or clasps. 

Why We Like James Allen More: Leibish may have a larger amount of black loose diamonds, James Allen has much better options for varied budgets when it comes to ring settings. Leibish has gorgeous settings, but they're all pretty expensive because they only carry 18 karat gold and platinum. James Allen has more affordable options in 14 karat gold.

Buying Black Diamonds At Kay Jewelers

Kay Jewelers makes fancy black diamonds look about as common as an amethyst gemstone. If you search black diamonds in their website, you'll undoubtedly come across hundreds of results.

However, all of Kay Jewelers' black diamonds online are going to be treated diamonds. Treated diamonds are still real diamonds, but their color has been enhanced by heating techniques.

These diamonds are inexpensive really, costing less $2,000 for an entire black diamond engagement ring. Black diamond fashion jewelry goes for a few hundred.

Kay's makes black diamonds look really common. But that's because they are natural, but still treated. The color treatment makes undesirable black diamonds look more desirable and are of lower quality.

But if you wanted a black diamond that is higher quality (still treated, but natural), you might look into their LeVian collection, but they charge a premium price for name brand. 

Kay's has two warranties. One warranty covers diamonds and select colored gemstones. As long as you get your ring cleaned and inspected at one of their or their sister store locations, they'll replace your diamond if you lose it.

The second warranty is the Extended Service Plan, which is something paid for. The price is based on the item and covers all the meta work your jewelry might need. This includes setting a stone, rhodium, sizing for life, soldering, and other jewelry needs.

Why We Like James Allen More: Kay loves to coat their black diamond jewelry in black rhodium to make the black diamonds look high quality in melee settings, but they're not. That black rhodium will eventually fade, leaving your jewelry unsightly. James Allen doesn't use this tactic. They offer you complete transparency: what you see is what you will always get. 

Buying Black Diamonds At Zales

Zales' black diamonds selection is very similar to Kay's as they are both owned by Signet Jewelers. However, there are a few differences in collections.

Many of Zales' black diamonds are part of their Disney Villains collection. The Disney collection is one of Zales' unique offerings of high end jewelry made to appeal to millennials. Check out some of the black diamond jewelry from this collection below:

Like Kays, all of Zales' black diamonds will be color treated, not a completely natural diamond. The black has been color enhanced at high temperatures.

They do have some black diamond engagement rings, but most of them are set in 10K gold. If you wanted to get a custom ring done in 14K, it would take much longer. Zales black diamonds are affordable, costing less than 3 grand for both an engagement and wedding ring. 

Read Also: What's the difference between 10K and 14K gold?

Zales and Kays also share the same basic warranty, the Lifetime Diamond Commitment. Requiring that you get it checked every 6 months, they'll replace the stone with same quality or better.

They also have the Lifetime Jewelry Protection Plan, which is the Zales equivalent of Kay's Extended Service Plan. It covers all metalwork, setting of missing stones, tightening prongs, and sizing. 

Why We Like James Allen More: With James Allen, you get to see the black diamond that is going to be put in your ring via their 360 degree video technology. Zales won't show you their black center stones, unless it's already in store. You pretty much have to close your eyes and hope for the best when ordering online with Zales.

FAQ When Buying Black Diamond Jewelry Online

Are Black Diamonds Good For An Engagement Ring?

If you've done some research with us on fancy colored diamonds, you'd know that diamond is an exceptional choice for everyday wear, like in engagement rings or wedding bands. It usually doesn't matter whether the diamond is untreated natural, treated natural, lab-created. But fancy black diamonds are the exception to this rule. 

Natural untreated black diamonds are rare, but if you are so lucky to have one, you don't want to wear it everyday, if it's an engagement ring. 

Image by the National Park Service. Public Domain.

We've talked about how often we bump our hands into various objects throughout the day. Diamond is the strongest and hardest mineral known to man, but black diamonds are actually a little more fragile.

At least, the natural ones are. Because natural black diamonds get their black color from graphite inclusions, it makes the stone susceptible to damage. If you do own a natural black diamond, you should make sure it's in a protective ring setting like a halo setting, tension setting, or flush setting.

Are Black Diamonds More Expensive?

Because black diamonds weren't popular until the 20th century, no one held value in them. A beautiful diamond was one that reflected rainbows of light. Color treated black diamonds and synthetic diamonds are pretty inexpensive, usually costing under $5000. 

Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and will cost much higher that. Natural carbonados from Brazil or Central Africa will be more expensive. 

What Should You Look For When Buying Black Diamonds Online?

You've probably heard of the 4Cs by now, a diamond grading system put forth by the Gemological Institute of America. With gemstones, they follow the same basic guidelines, but without the actual grades. 

Cut

Usually the only official cut grade give to a diamond is in the round brilliant shape, this doesn't apply to black diamonds. There is no official cut grade for them.

The shape of your black diamond is generally up to personal preference. You'll just want to make sure that the corners or points of shapes like a marquise or pear shape are put in protective settings.

Remember that natural black diamonds are more susceptible to breakage because of the large amount of graphite inclusions. Any exposed points could chip easier. Bezel settings and halo settings are good options to protect pointed diamond shapes. 

Color

In the GIA system, most colored gemstones are valued and graded by their color and their color tone, hue, and saturation. This goes for fancy color diamonds as well. Fancy black diamonds are once again, the exception. 

Because the color black doesn't have any variations in hue or tone, these factors don't apply in grading them. In fact, the GIA doesn't give out grading reports for fancy black diamonds. Instead they give certificates that state whether the diamond has been treated and where it comes from. They call it the Colored Diamond and Identification Report

Saturation is still important to the quality of a black diamond. You wouldn't want a nice large black diamond solitaire ring that looks splotchy or has discoloration in some spots, would you? Most black diamonds are saturated nicely. However, more often than not, they are treated stones that receive enhancements to make their color and clarity better.

Black Diamonds from Leibish & Co. 

Clarity

Black diamonds are opaque because of their graphite inclusions, making them unaffected by regular GIA diamond clarity grading. So instead of falling along the traditional clarity scale, they issue that Colored DIamond and Identification Report. 

Carat

Like most colored gemstones, the carat weight will increase the price. With black diamonds, it can increase price, but only at exponential carat weights. I mentioned that James Allen has black diamonds that are under $10,000 at larger carat weights. But this doesn't include all black diamonds. 

Some of the most famous black diamonds come in at very large carat weights. The Sergio black diamond is the largest black diamond in the world, coming in at 3195 carats. It was found in 1895 in Brazil and is believed to be a carbonado from a meteorite.

Red Flags When Buying Black Diamonds Online?

Shopping online for jewelry can get kind of confusing fast if you don't know what to watch out for. When shopping for black diamonds, you want to be aware of some of the wordings used in the descriptions, the treatments, and where you're sourcing your diamond from. 

Natural black diamonds that are untreated are pretty rare. They're out there, but mainly on the websites we've named. James Allen is a reputable online diamond dealer that will give you that 360 view so you can survey the diamond. They are untreated and natural. 

Watch out for "deals" on social media apps like Facebook, What'sApp, and Instagram. Many of these private sellers will offer you deals online and either never send the product, or you receive a fake. Fancy black diamonds may not be as expensive as other fancy color diamonds, but it shouldn't be less that $1000 for a 1 carat natural, untreated, black diamond. You'll have shifts in prices for different diamond shapes like a cushion-cut diamond. 

Look out for the word "simulated" in descriptions. Simulants are other gemstones or materials that are being passed off as more valuable stones. Stones that are commonly posed as black diamonds include black onyx, black moissanite, and a newer find, boron carbide.

Sellers are supposed to disclose imitations, but this doesn't always happen on the world wide web. Often times you will see something like "natural black diamond simulated diamond pendant". And that's all you will see. Always look for the fine print. 

Thankfully, every black diamond dealer we've mentioned here is reputable and trustworthy to sell what they state on their respective sites. You know which stores offer what now, so your decision (James Allen) should be pretty easy to make.

How to get the Best Deal When Buying Black Diamonds Online?

I'm going to leave you with a couple of lasting tips and reminders to think about when buying black diamonds online.

Know the treatments

Knowing the treatments of a black diamond is important for you buying experience. You may not need a more expensive untreated black diamond, but you don't want to be paying more than you should for a color treated or synthetic black diamond. 

Most black diamonds begin as gray and are heavily included and lower grade. By using high pressure high temperature methods, the inclusions in that diamond are graphitized (turned to graphite). These often have better color saturation as well. 

If the black diamond has been irradiated to enhance color, they will often be green. The green is so dark that it appears black. Some of Kay Jewelers' larger black diamond carat weights appear green when the light hits it just right. 

Keep in mind that a treated black diamond costs around $300 per carat, but an untreated black diamond costs around $1000-$3000 per carat. That's a hefty difference. Always ask about treatments. 

Get the grading certificate

While there are different ways to tell if a diamond is real, you'd don't always get these options when shopping online. For instance, one way to tell if a diamond is real is to try to fog it up with your breath. Now, in the time of the COVID-19, this probably isn't the best tactic to use when shopping around your area. 

The best way to ensure that your black diamond is a genuine black diamond is to purchase one that has a grading report or certificate. Both of the untreated diamond dealers we've mentioned come with GIA certificates.

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