Actually, Black Diamond apples are a type of Hua Niu apples (also known as Chinese Red Delicious) that get their unique dark purple color from the geographical conditions in Nyingchi, in the autonomous region of Tibet. The 50-hectare orchard has been set up by the Chinese company Dandong Tianluo Sheng Nong. E-Commerce Trade Co., Ltd. has a height of 3100 meters above sea level, making it the ideal place to grow this intriguing fruit. The temperature differences between day and night are considerable and the fruits get a lot of sunlight and ultraviolet light so their skin from the characteristic deep red of Hua Niu apples goes to dark purple.
“Black Diamond apples are purple, shiny and have a nice texture, from the outside the apples almost look like candle wax and are as beautiful as a diamond, so they got their name,” Ms. Yu Wenxin, market director at Dandong Tianluo Sheng Nong E-commerce Trade Co., Ltd.., told Fresh Plaza.
The production in the Nyingchi orchard began in 2015, three years after the trees were planted, but due to a number of factors they can only be found in a select number of high-end supermarkets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and are usually sold in gift packaging of 6 to 8 types of fruit. According to Tencent News, the price of Black Diamond apples is about 50 yuan per fruit.
Metadan reports that Black Diamond apple trees have to bear dark fruits because of the low temperatures, their growth rate is much lower than average. Although most apple varieties are mature in 2 to 5 years, these trees need no less than 8 years. Moreover, only about 30% of the orchard’s yield meets the color compliance standards sold as premium Black Diamond apples. These are issues making fruit growers reluctant to adopt this variety.
Black Diamond apples are a bit of a mystery, even among experienced apple growers, because apart from the handful of sources mentioned in this article, there is really not much information about them online. Some users of the Growing Fruit forums are convinced that these dark purple apples do not really exist, while others claim that the online circulating photos have been improved to make the fruits darker than they really are.