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Black gemstones are a unique, eye-catching option for jewelry that are sleek, elegant and sophisticated. Unlike in the past, when these stones were commonly associated with mourning jewelry or a goth appearance, black gemstones today are a bold and confident fashion statement.
Beautifully created black gemstone jewelry is stylish and modern. Often paired with white metals for a modern touch or yellow or rose gold for a vintage, classic look, black gemstones suit anyone, regardless of gender or skin tone. With a wide array of black gemstones available to choose from, finding the right black gemstone for you can be difficult.
Here is our list of the top 11 black gemstones for jewelry to help you make your choice.
Black Gemstones List
1. Black Diamond
Black diamonds were once compared to ‘sealing wax’ and considered worthless for jewelry. However, today they are highly sought after and are frequently seen on runways and in high-end fashion designs.
Black diamonds are made of carbon but receive their color from the high number of miniscule impurities (commonly graphite) present in the stone. The black color that we see is in fact the color of the impurities and not of the stone itself.
Natural black diamonds are very rare and only found in a few regions in the world. They are among the toughest of diamond varieties and are very durable, with a Mohs rating of 10. However, some may contain tiny fractures that can compromise the integrity of the stone.
Black diamonds don’t sparkle like their colorless counterparts, but they do reflect light in their own way, with a subdued brilliance. Due to their extreme rarity, black diamonds command very high prices. As a result, treated or synthetic versions are much more affordable and common on the market. Low quality colorless diamonds are irradiated or intensely heated to turn them black. These are more affordable but not as valuable.
Black diamonds have only one grade – Fancy. Choose a stone with perfect saturation and even color distribution. Black diamonds are not graded on clarity, as the inclusions are what gives the stone its character.
2. Black Sapphire
Sapphires are known for being blue but they come in beautiful black versions also. Black sapphires are almost opaque in appearance. They are mainly mined in Australia and are considered inferior, low-grade gemstones. This makes a black sapphire very affordable.
Although they’re affordable, black sapphires are very rare. They contain a uniform color but may have slight variations of hues and depths within it. While black sapphires are not brilliant, and don’t tend to reflect light, they can mirror light if well-faceted.
Black star sapphires are a variety that is highly sought after and can command high prices. These are black sapphires that contain tiny thread-like inclusions, typically of the minerals rutile or hematite. When cut en cabochon and viewed under direct light, these inclusions create a star-like effect, known as asterism. This chatoyancy exhibits an intersecting 6-rayed star.
Like other sapphire varieties, black sapphires and black star sapphires are made of corundum and have a Mohs rating of 9. They are extremely durable stones and ideal for everyday wear.
3. Black Onyx
Onyx is the traditional black gemstone and has been used since ancient times in jewelry and as a healing stone. Solid black onyx is smooth and has a vitreous luster, but is not shiny. When cut en cabochon, the stone’s luster is maximized. Solid black onyx is rare in nature, and most black onyx found on the market is dyed to achieve its color and produce even saturation.
Black onyx is a relatively durable gemstone, at 7 on the Mohs scale. It has very good wearability and is fairly tough. However, rough handling can cause onyx to chip or crack. Although onyx used to be highly valuable in the past, today it is inexpensive and considered a minor gemstone.
4. Black Pearl
Black pearls are very rare in nature and require very specific conditions to be formed. As a result, these are among the most expensive types of pearls. Black pearls can be found in varying degrees of black, from solid to light gray. They are famous for their iridescent glow that gives the stone an added luster.
Most black pearls are cultured, meaning that they have been farmed. These include Black Akoya, Tahitian and Black Freshwater varieties. Like all organic gemstones, black pearls are very soft, ranking at a mere 2.5 on the Mohs scale. As a result, they are easily scratched and abraded. Black pearls are not ideal as an every day stone and need to be looked after as a delicate gemstone.
Obsidian is a natural glass that forms when lava cools and hardens rapidly, minimizing the formation of crystal structures. As a result, obsidian, also known as Volcanic Glass, is smooth and has a very high luster. It has been used since prehistoric times with numerous applications, to make basic tools, mirrors, and jewelry.
Obsidian is often cut en cabochon to maximize its glassy luster, but it may also be faceted to give it more depth and character. Although it seems a tough stone, obsidian ranks at 5.5 on the Mohs scale and is fairly soft. It is easily scratched and is prone to breakage if exposed to rough wear or blows. However, with appropriate care, obsidian jewelry can last a long time.
A stylish gemstone, obsidian is used to create glamorous pieces. Whether in delicate, small pieces or large statement items, obsidian suits all sorts of jewelry.
6. Black Spinel
Black spinel is a lesser-known, rare gemstone. While spinel comes in a range of colors, black remains one of its rarest varieties. Black spinel has a very high luster and is highly reflective. When faceted into popular gemstone cuts such as cushion, pear, marquise, square and oval, this gemstone tends to exhibit very good brilliance. Some black spinel can display chatoyancy, depending on the inclusions present in the stone. In general, black spinel has very good clarity levels.
Black spinel is an affordable gemstone and is of fine quality. It has a very good hardness ranking, at 8 on the Mohs scale, making it durable enough for daily wear in all sorts of jewelry.
7. Black Zircon
Zircon is a highly brilliant naturally occurring gemstone that is used as a diamond substitute. Zircon shouldn’t be confused with the cheaper, synthetic stones known as cubic zirconia. Black zircon is made of zircon silicate and receives its black hues from iron oxide inclusions. The color can range from dark brown to solid black.
Black zircon ranks at 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and is also a very brittle stone, meaning that it is prone to breakage. However, it is very reflective and when faceted, can display high brilliance. However, it can be very difficult to find black zircon jewelry on the market as it is very rare and not a mainstream gemstone.
8. Black Tourmaline
Black tourmaline is among the most common black gemstones available today. Although tourmaline comes in a range of colors, black tourmaline is one of the most common varieties. It is found in abundant quantities and is a very affordable gemstone.
Black tourmaline has a glassy luster and is smooth to the touch. It ranks at 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and has excellent wearability. Black tourmaline gemstones are tough and resistant to breakage, making them excellent for all types of jewelry. Black tourmalines come in all shapes and sizes, which makes them ideal for large statement pieces. They are cut into a variety of shapes, from cabochons to beautifully faceted pieces.
9. Black Jet
Black jet is another organic gemstone, that is a variety of bituminous coal, made of fossilized wood. It is sometimes known as Black Amber due to its similarities to amber – both are warm to the touch, highly flammable and contain electrostatic properties.
Black jet used to be very popular in the past, especially during the Victorian Era, when it was popularly used for mourning jewelry. It also enjoyed popularity during the 1920s but then fell out of favor. Jet is relatively soft with a Mohs hardness rating of 2.5 to 4. It is not suitable for daily wear and is easily damaged. Black jet is solid in color and seems to absorb all light, without reflecting any. It is smooth and lustrous and, when faceted, achieves more depth and character.
10. Black Garnet
Garnet is a highly popular gemstone, commonly known for being red like a ruby. Black garnet is not a common gemstone and is quite rare. There are a couple of black garnet varieties – black andradite and black melanite. From the two, black melanite is more commonly found in the jewelry world.
Black melanite is similar to black tourmaline in its color but often has a higher luster than tourmaline. It is commonly faceted to bring out the brilliance of the stone. Black melanite has excellent wearability and is a very tough stone, with no cleavage. This makes it highly resistant to breaking and very good for all types of jewelry.
11. Black Jade
Jade has a long and illustrious history in the world, especially in China and is highly sought after. The term jade is synonymous with the color green. When there are high levels of iron in the jade, the color of the stone becomes black with secondary hints of green. Like black garnet, jade also comes in two distinct varieties – jadeite and nephrite. Of the two, jadeite is considered more valuable and of higher quality, while nephrite is more commonly found and is less expensive.
Because of jade’s soft nature, with a Mohs ranking of about 6, it is easy to carve into beautiful designs. Having said that, jade is a very tough gemstone due to its compact composition and is very durable. Jade can be faceted, although cabochons and carvings are more common choices for the gemstone.
12. Black Quartz
Black quartz is a type of mineral that is a variation of quartz, a popular gemstone known for its clarity and durability. Black quartz, as its name suggests, has a deep black color that is achieved through the inclusion of black or dark minerals such as tourmaline or iron. This unique coloration gives black quartz a distinct and edgy appearance, making it a popular choice for contemporary and alternative jewelry designs.
Black quartz is a relatively hard stone, scoring a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it a durable and long-lasting gemstone. It is often cut into cabochons or faceted shapes to showcase its beauty and shine, and is used in a variety of jewelry pieces such as necklaces, earrings, and rings.
In addition to its use in jewelry, black quartz is also believed to have healing properties, and is sometimes used in meditation practices to help promote focus and clarity. Overall, black quartz is a striking and versatile gemstone that is sure to make a bold statement in any piece of jewelry it adorns.
13. Black Scapolite
Black scapolite is a lesser-known gemstone that is characterized by its dark color and striking appearance. It is a type of mineral that belongs to the scapolite family, which is composed of silicate minerals with a unique crystal structure.
Black scapolite is a hard stone, scoring a 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it a durable gemstone that is well-suited for use in jewelry. It’s a versatile gemstone that can be used in a variety of designs. It is often used as a centerpiece in rings, necklaces, and bracelets, and its dark color and luster make it an ideal gemstone for creating statement pieces.
Interestingly, black scapolite is also believed to have certain metaphysical properties, such as promoting inner peace and emotional healing. As a result, it is sometimes used in spiritual practices and meditation to help bring a sense of calm and balance.
14. Black Opal
Black opal is a rare and highly valued variety of opal, a mineraloid composed primarily of hydrated silica. It is known for its dark body color, which can range from dark grey to jet black, and its iridescent flashes of color, which can include green, blue, purple, and red. The unique play of color within black opals is caused by the presence of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light in a way that creates a rainbow effect.
Black opals are primarily found in Australia, with the Lightning Ridge region in New South Wales being the most famous source. The value of black opals is determined by their body color, brightness, pattern, and intensity of play of color. Because of their rarity and beauty, black opals are highly sought after by collectors and are often used in high-end jewelry.
While black opals are more valuable and rare than other types of opals, they are also more fragile and require careful handling to avoid damage. Despite this, their unique beauty and rarity make black opals a popular choice for those seeking a truly special and unique gemstone.
Black Opal is technically not black, but is so called due to the dark body tones it exhibits. This dark tone allows the famous opal flashes-of-color to stand out in beautiful contrast. Black opals are very expensive and extremely beautiful.
15. Black Diopside
Black diopside is a mineral belonging to the pyroxene group. It is a black to dark green gemstone that is found in a variety of locations around the world, including Russia, Italy, and Canada. The name “diopside” comes from the Greek word for “two-faced,” referring to the fact that it can exhibit two different colors depending on the angle at which it is viewed.
Black diopside is often used as a gemstone due to its deep, rich color and high level of clarity. It is also sometimes used in industrial applications as a refractory material, due to its ability to withstand high temperatures.
In terms of metaphysical properties, black diopside is said to be a grounding and protective stone that can help to dispel negative energy and promote emotional balance. It is also said to have a calming effect on the mind and can be useful for those who struggle with anxiety or stress. Black diopside is considered a relatively affordable gemstone, making it a popular choice for those seeking a dark, richly colored stone without the high price tag of other black gemstones.
16. Black Pyrite
Black pyrite is a form of pyrite that is characterized by its dark, metallic black color. Pyrite itself is a common mineral that is composed of iron and sulfur and is often referred to as “fool’s gold” due to its resemblance to gold. While most pyrite is a brassy yellow color, black pyrite is unique in its dark, almost black appearance.
Black pyrite is found in sedimentary rocks and is often associated with other minerals such as marcasite, galena, and sphalerite. It is used primarily as a decorative stone, and can be found in a variety of applications including in jewelry, as a decorative accent in architecture, and as a component of mosaic tiles and other decorative objects.
Black pyrite is said to have grounding and protective properties, and is said to be particularly useful for those who are seeking to manifest their goals and intentions. It is also said to be helpful for those who are seeking to overcome negative thought patterns and behaviors.
17. Black Rutile
Black rutile is a mineral that is characterized by its dark, almost black color and needle-like crystal formations. It is composed primarily of titanium dioxide, and is often found as an inclusion in other minerals such as quartz and feldspar. It is primarily found in Brazil, but can also be found in other locations around the world.
Black rutile is primarily used as a decorative stone, and is often used in jewelry, as well as in the manufacture of ornamental objects and home decor items. Its unique appearance, which features fine, black needles arranged in a parallel fashion, make it a popular choice for those seeking a distinctive and eye-catching gemstone.
This stone is also said to have a grounding and stabilizing effect, and said to be helpful for those who are seeking to overcome negative emotions and thought patterns. It is also said to be a useful stone for meditation, as it is said to help quiet the mind and promote mental clarity.
18. Black Aventurine
Like other forms of aventurine, black aventurine is composed primarily of silicon dioxide, and contains tiny inclusions of other minerals that give it its distinctive appearance.
This gemstone is used as a decorative stone, and can be found in a variety of applications including jewelry, home decor, and as a component of architectural features. Its deep, rich color and shimmering surface make it a popular choice for those seeking a gemstone that is both visually striking and versatile.
Black aventurine is said to have grounding and protective properties, and is also said to be useful for those seeking to overcome negative thought patterns and behaviors.
19. Black Moonstone
Black moonstone is a variety of mineral feldspar that is characterized by its dark, almost black color and unique play of light. It is primarily found in Madagascar and India, and is often used as a gemstone due to its distinctive appearance.
Like other varieties of moonstone, black moonstone exhibits a phenomenon called adularescence, which is a shimmering effect caused by light reflecting off the internal structure of the stone.
However, unlike traditional moonstone, which is typically a milky white color, black moonstone has a deep, dark background color that provides a striking contrast to the shimmering light.
20. Black Agate
Black agate is a type of mineral chalcedony that is characterized by its dark, opaque black color. It is primarily found in volcanic rocks and can be found in locations around the world, including Brazil, India, and the United States.
Black agate is often used as a decorative stone and can be found in a variety of applications, including jewelry, carvings, and ornamental objects. Its deep, rich color and smooth, polished surface make it a popular choice for those seeking a gemstone that is both visually striking and versatile.
21. Black Sunstone
Black sunstone is a unique variety of feldspar that is known for its dark, almost black color and distinctive play of light. It is primarily found in Norway and is composed of tiny inclusions of hematite or goethite that give it a shimmering effect known as aventurescence.
This effect is similar to the one found in other types of sunstone but is especially striking against the dark background of the black stone.
Black sunstone is often used as a gemstone and can be found in a variety of jewelry, including rings, pendants, and earrings. Its unique appearance makes it a popular choice for those seeking a gemstone that is both visually striking and versatile.
22. Black Lava Stone
Black lava stone is a type of volcanic rock that is formed when molten lava cools and solidifies. It is primarily composed of basalt, which is a dark-colored igneous rock that is rich in iron and magnesium. Black lava stone is known for its porous texture and deep, matte black color, which makes it a popular choice for jewelry and decorative items.
Because of its porous texture, black lava stone is often used in aromatherapy and as a diffuser for essential oils. The tiny pores in the stone can absorb and hold essential oils, releasing their fragrance slowly over time.
This makes black lava stone a popular choice for those seeking a natural and long-lasting way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.
23. Black Hematite
Black hematite is a type of mineral that is composed of iron oxide. It is characterized by its deep, dark color and metallic luster, which gives it a distinctive sheen. Hematite is one of the most common minerals on Earth and is found in a variety of locations around the world.
Black hematite is often used in jewelry and decorative items due to its unique appearance. It is typically polished or cut into beads and cabochons and is often used in combination with other stones and materials to create striking and eye-catching designs.
Black hematite is believed to have grounding and protective qualities and is said to be helpful for those seeking to release negative energy and promote a sense of balance and stability.
24. Black Star Diopside
Black star diopside is a variety of the mineral diopside. It is characterized by its deep, dark color and its distinctive asterism, or star-like pattern, which is caused by the presence of inclusions of magnetite or hematite within the stone.
Black star diopside is primarily found in India and is often used in jewelry, particularly in cabochon form to showcase its unique star pattern. It is a relatively affordable gemstone, making it a popular choice for those seeking an alternative to more expensive black gemstones.
25. Black Jasper
Black jasper is characterized by its deep, opaque black color and its fine-grained texture. It is often used in jewelry and decorative items due to its unique appearance and durability.
Black jasper is found in a variety of locations around the world, including Brazil, Australia, and the United States. It is believed to have grounding and protective qualities, and is said to be helpful for those seeking to release negative energy and promote a sense of balance and stability.
This stone is also said to be helpful for promoting feelings of strength, courage, and determination. It is often used in crystal healing practices to help alleviate stress and anxiety, and to promote feelings of calm and centeredness.
Which Black Gemstone Should I Choose?
1. For an Engagement Ring
When it comes to choosing a black gemstone for an engagement ring, there are several options to consider depending on your personal preferences and style.
Black diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings due to its durability, brilliance, and unique color. It is a timeless and elegant choice that can complement a variety of styles.
Black spinel is another great option for an engagement ring, as it has a similar appearance to black diamond but is more affordable. It is also a durable and scratch-resistant stone that can withstand everyday wear.
Black sapphire is a beautiful and durable gemstone that can provide a classic and timeless look for an engagement ring. It is also more affordable than black diamonds and comes in a range of shapes and sizes.
Ultimately, the choice of a black gemstone for an engagement ring comes down to personal preference and budget. It is important to consider the durability, cut, and quality of the stone when making your selection, and to choose a stone that reflects your style and personality.
2. For Costume and Fashion Jewelry
When it comes to costume and fashion jewelry, there are several options for black gemstones that can be used to create unique and stylish pieces.
Black onyx is a popular choice for fashion jewelry, as it has a deep, rich black color and a smooth, polished surface that can complement a range of designs. It is also relatively affordable and readily available.
Black agate is another great option for fashion jewelry, as it has a similar appearance to black onyx but with more varied and interesting patterns. It can be used to create bold and striking designs that make a statement.
Black tourmaline is a popular gemstone for spiritual and protective jewelry, as it is believed to have grounding and purifying properties. It can be used to create unique and meaningful pieces that promote a sense of calm and balance.
Black obsidian is another gemstone that can be used in fashion jewelry to create striking and bold designs. It has a unique and distinctive appearance, with a smooth surface that reflects light in interesting ways.
Soft Black Gemstones
Soft gemstones are those that have a lower level of hardness on the Mohs scale, which measures a mineral’s resistance to scratching. Generally, any gemstone with a Mohs hardness rating of 6 or lower is considered soft.
Some examples of soft black gemstones include black tourmaline, black kyanite, black mica, and black jet.
Soft black gemstones can be good for certain purposes, such as in crystal healing and metaphysical practices. They are often believed to have grounding and protective properties and can be used to promote feelings of calm and balance.
However, soft gemstones are generally not recommended for everyday wear in jewelry, as they are more prone to scratches and damage. They are best used in protective pouches or as display pieces.
If you are interested in using soft black gemstones for metaphysical purposes, it is important to research their properties and uses to ensure they are right for your needs. You may also want to consult with a professional crystal healer or gemologist for guidance.
Black gemstones are a versatile and elegant choice for jewelry and decorative purposes. From the deep and rich hues of black onyx and black spinel to the unique and varied patterns of black agate and black jasper, there is a black gemstone to suit every taste and style.
Whether you’re looking for a classic and timeless black diamond engagement ring or a bold and striking statement piece made with black tourmaline or black obsidian, these gemstones can add depth and dimension to any design. And for those interested in metaphysical properties, black gemstones are believed to have grounding, protective, and healing properties that can promote feelings of calm and balance.