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The Comparison: Black Diamond vs Black Spinel

The Comparison: Black Diamond vs Black Spinel

Black gemstones make fine jewelry. A piece of jewelry laden with a black stone looks elegantly splendid. Black stones have mysterious yet mesmerizing effects. That is why many opt to have these alluring dark gems. In this article, we will discuss two specific black gemstones: black diamond and black spinel.

Black diamond jewelry never fails to amaze, but it can also be pricey. On the other hand, black spinel jewelry is more affordable without compromising its beauty and elegance.

What Is Black Spinel?

Everyone is familiar with diamonds, but not so much about spinel. So, let’s proceed directly and talk about spinel.

The spinel stone is very rare but does not hold as much value as other gemstones. Often confused with sapphires and rubies, spinel isn’t used as much by jewelers, and there is less demand for them. Spinel comes in various colors, from red to yellow, blue, purple, and orange. Neutral colors such as white, brown, gray, and black also exist. There are also colorless spinel stones, which make a good substitute for a colorless diamond.

Magnesium aluminum oxide or magnesium aluminate makes up a black spinel stone. Aside from being confused with black sapphire, the rare gemstone is often confused with black tourmaline. Spinel is mined and usually found together with ruby and sapphire. Black spinel is primarily mined in the Asian countries of Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia, though they can also be scarcely found in Brazil, Nepal, Nigeria, and Madagascar.

Perhaps the most famous piece of spinel is found in the Imperial State Crown made by Rundell and Bridge for the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838.

Identifying Black Diamond vs Black Spinel

Black diamond and black spinel are both revered for their reflective qualities and durability. 


Both of these black gemstones are considered rare. A black diamond is rarer than a white diamond, while a black spinel is only mined in a few places. 


MOHS hardness scale checks for the mineral hardness of gemstones. Diamonds are considered the hardest mineral, with a MOHS score of 10. Meanwhile, a black spinel has a MOHS score of 8 on the hardness scale. Since black spinel is softer than diamond, it is easily manipulated and cut into various shapes.


A black diamond is less expensive than its colorless counterpart. Even so, a black diamond is priced way higher than a black spinel. Prices of black diamonds range from $350 to $4,000. Treated black diamonds are cheaper, costing an average of $350 per carat. Untreated black diamonds are pricier at $1,500 to $4,000 per carat, depending on their grade.

Meanwhile, black spinel of less than 1 carat only costs around $200 to $500. However, black spinel stones become expensive as the carat increases. Top black spinel may range from $1,200/1-2 carat. Black spinel of more than 5 carats is extremely rare and may cost between $7,000 and $10,000.


The sizes of these black gemstones vary.


Black diamonds are not as perfect as white diamonds. Natural black diamonds are made from inclusions when carbon undergoes extreme pressure and heat, thus, creating its opaque color. Black diamonds are color enhanced to give them an even dark coloring. This enhancement can affect the hardness of the gem and make it weaker. Black diamonds are also known for their metallic appearance and high luster.

On the contrary, a black spinel stone sparkles and shines with a glass-like luster. This black gem does not have the metallic tone that other gemstones boast of. High-quality black spinel stones seldom have inclusions. But, in cases when they do have some, it results in a mesmerizing star effect that gives the stone a classy touch. Black spinel is more reflective compared to black sapphire and rubies. The gem is also identifiable by its octahedral crystal structure.

Usual Cuts

Due to black diamond hardness, it has limited cuts. You can find black diamonds in cuts of round, marquise, heart, oval, pear, and princess. Black spinel enjoys more cut variations because it is softer and more easily manipulated to fit the desired cut for a specific piece of jewelry. For black spinel, cuts are mostly round, marquise, oval, pear, octagon, kite, trillion, and baguette.

Maintenance of Black Diamond vs Black Spinel

The care and maintenance of gemstones should be done regularly to ensure they won’t lose their luster and sparkle. Black diamond is more tedious to care for than black spinel.

Black Diamond Maintenance

Sebum from your fingertips easily rubs onto the diamond, requiring more frequent cleanings. Do not touch or play with the black diamond on your jewelry to avoid this.

Mix a few drops of dish soap and water to clean the black diamond. Soak the diamonds for around 20 to 40 minutes. After soaking, use a new brush with soft bristles to gently scrub the diamond. Make sure to clean all areas, including hard-to-reach ones. Dry the jewelry and the stone using a polishing cloth. Do these steps once or twice weekly.

Black Spinel Maintenance

You can clean black spinel with soap and water too. There is no need to use an ultrasonic cleaner than other gemstones.

Prepare warm soapy water and a soft-bristle brush to clean black spinel jewelry. Brush the jewelry gently, giving more attention to hard-to-reach places. Rinse thoroughly and make sure not to leave any soap residue on the jewelry – dry using a soft cloth.

When storing several pieces of black spinel jewelry, wrap each piece separately in a soft cloth to help prevent scraping and rubbing against each other.

Final Choice

These black stones are beautiful in their own right, making it hard to choose between black diamond and black spinel. Consider your budget, occasion, and the wearer's daily activities to make choosing easier.

We suggest going for a black diamond for an investment piece. It is also a good choice for an engagement ring or any jewelry that marks a milestone.

A piece of black spinel jewelry is best for day-to-day wear. Since it is more affordable, you can use it casually. It is also a good pick if you are on a tight budget but still want to have a black stone.

Collectors of black-colored jewelry can add black spinel to their collection easily. Even if the natural stone itself is rare, synthetic spinel is easily produced and used nowadays, especially as a birthstone for August.

Other black gemstones of interest include black pearl, black opal, black garnet, black tourmaline, black zircon, black jade, black tourmaline, black sapphire, and black onyx, among others.